Chateau Grande Cassagne 2004 Costières de Nimes Rosé ($11.99)
Bright salmon pink with a hint of copper, this wine offers a good demonstration of the pretty colors of rosé. A blast of exuberant, forward mixed-berry fruit is impressive but almost bizarre for my tastes, so potent that it almost communicates an impression of artificial flavorings, with a distinct "bubble gum" character that reminds me of nothing so much as Kool-Aid or a Big Red soft drink. Really not my cuppa, but it's better on the palate, raspberry and strawberry and cherry, almost sweet on the first impression but with sufficient lemon-squirt acidity to dry it out in the long, berry-scented finish. With all that sweet fruit on a sturdy backbone, it might make a good "bridge" wine for a taster seeking to shift from "blush" wines to more serious rosé. US Importer: Robert Kacher Selections, Washington, D.C. (May 2, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: That in-your-face fruit was a little too candied to make an ideal match with ossobuco bianco. Better, I think, as an aperitif than a food wine.



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