This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Friday, Jun. 7, 2013 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20130607.php.
Bouquet of Roses
Think pink! It's hard to imagine a more refreshing option on a sultry summer evening than a chilled, crisp rosé wine, sipped by itself or chosen to accompany a salad, cheese course or light summer evening meal.
Let's celebrate the nearness of summer during a year in which many of us thought that spring would never arrive by focusing on pink wines for the month of June. It doesn't matter where it comes from, what variety it is or how it gets its color, if it's pink, rosé. saignée, blanc de noirs or whatever - even blush if that's your style.
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Today's Tasting Report
Domaine Lafond 2012 "Roc-Epine" Tavel ($19.99)
We jokingly call rosé wines in general "pink,” but this one really is, the clear, bright color of a fresh pink rose in bloom. A classic Rhône blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut and other regional varieties, it offers fresh and appealing scents of strawberries, raspberries and a hint of ripe summer watermelon. Crisp and full, juicy red-berry fruit framed by snappy acidity, a lot of red-wine character in a rosé. U.S. importer: Wines of France LLC, Mountainside, N.J. (June 6. 2013)
FOOD MATCH: Versatily and food-friendly, this pink wine would go nicely with fresh vegetable dishes, lighter cheeses, poultry, veal or pork. For us it made a fine companion with an early-summer dinner of cheesy cauliflower soup and avocado salad.
WHEN TO DRINK: Its good weight and full style, with the sturdy metal screw cap, suggests that this wine won't go around the bend in the next year or two. That said, though, rosé is not a wine for cellaring. Enjoy it while its young, crisp and fresh, then move on to the next vintage.
VALUE: Maybe I'm conservative, but $20 strikes me as a little over the top for a pink wine, even a fine Tavel. Wine-Searcher.com shows a $17 U.S. median price, with some vendors offering it in the lower teens. Those are the bargains to watch.
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Mas de Gourgonnier 2012 Les Baux de Provence Rosé ($17.99)
This delicious rosé from a respected organic producer in Provence is labeled "made with organically grown grapes, certified organic by Ecocert France SAS." Unlike Gourgonnier's flask-style red-wine package, the pink wine comes in a standard Bordeaux-style bottle. It's a pretty, transparent copper color. Appetizing, subtle red-berry aromas, raspberries and strawberries lead into a fresh, gently tart and appealing fresh-fruit flavor, berries and a snappy squirt of lime. We enjoyed this on a steamy late-spring evening with a bowl of fresh veggies simmered, then finished with a quick poach in good butter and olive oil. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio. (Feb. 1, 2013)
FOOD MATCH: A wonderful match with the bounty of summer vegetables that's starting to come in now, it was fine with a ragout of fresh veggies that included tiny new white creamer potatoes, yellow summer squash and zucchini parboiled, then finished with browned onions and crimini mushrooms for a quick poach in butter and olive oil.
WHEN TO DRINK: As above, it's got the body and character to hold up for a fiew years, but pink wine really calls for early quaffing while it's at its most young and fresh.
VALUE: Wine-Searcher.com shows a $15 U.S. median price, a fine bargain. My local $18 toll will pass for this fine rosé, but if you're in a competitive market or have access to wine shipping, go for the best price if you buy it by the case.
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