Staff Selection – In the Zone Rose

A long time ago, one of my wine mentors told me, “Don’t worry about what the critics say about a wine that you like. If they speak poorly about it, it’s better for you. It will stay cheap and in stock.” Since then, it’s been an ongoing challenge to stay ahead of high praise and points (ugh! my pet peeve when it comes to wine). Back in my California wine drinking days, I would weed through dozens of medium priced, lesser known wines, pick out the gems, and groan with disappointment when their labels would appear in a wine magazine months later. Well, guess what? It’s still happening.

I’ve read recently that Rose has overtaken white wine in popularity in France. The resurgence and reintroduction of Rose here in the states is looking more permanent fixture than fad. It’s really caught on in southern California, where Hollywood types that travel to Cannes once a year get turned on to the stuff, then come home and pour it for everybody. It’s definitely caught on chez moi ever since I visited my chef buddy on the Cote d’Azur three years ago. I have a glass when I come home from work. I drink it when I cook. Last night, I had it with a pork roast, and I loved it. I bring them to barbeques. I give them as thank you gifts. I could go on and on, but you probably get it. So, okay, Rose is cool after all, but there are eight of them here… which one to drink?

Back to what I was on about regarding taste. We all have different taste. I have said it many times: The beauty of the world is that we all have different taste. If we didn’t, the good stuff would have been gone years ago. When recommending a Rose, it may be a generality, but a great many of you, like myself, prefer a dry, crisp, complex Rose with just the right amount of fruit. Not overbearing, we like a Rose that is balanced with essences of herbs and minerals. Simple, right? Not really, but let me just say that surroundings, ambiance and company all contribute to the Rose experience.

So, yet again, I have been enjoying what I thought was my never-ending private supply of Rose, only to have The Wine Advocate beam its halogen torch on me with my hand in the cookie jar. Yep, you guessed it. High praise and points for my favorite Rose. I’ve just looked back through my invoices for 2007 Rose, and there are some I’ve taken three of, some two, some only one, but there’s one I’ve taken 14 bottles of so far!!! If that’s not endorsement enough (it should be), check out what David Schildknecht had to say about the 2007 Grande Cassagne in the latest issue of The Wine Advocate: “The Grande Cassagne 2007 Costieres de Nimes Rose offers an aromatic and gustatory wealth of herbs, with subtle notes of raw meat, black pepper, tart cherry, and a savory, saline mineral suggestion in the finish that just won’t quit. This generous rose will give you the flavors to accompany even grilled meat dishes, yet will cool and refresh your palate – and of course, you can enjoy it with lighter fare as well over the coming 6-9 months.” It is against my philosophy to refer to numerical scores, so I apologize that I am not including Mr. Schildknecht’s number for this wine.

Okay, well the cat’s out of the bag on this wine. But like I said, I’m used to it. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time one of my secret wines gets notoriety. Meanwhile, I’ll keep you all posted on what wines I like before they get discovered! – Peter Zavialoff

Editor’s note: While we here at The Wine House respect Peter’s philosophy regarding numerical wine scores, we are also in the business of selling wine. Sometimes numerical scores are helpful in this endeavor. Therefore, let it be known that this wine received an 89 rating from Mr. Schildknecht.

Tasting Notes
Ah that color! Subtle, pink … no, call it off-salmon. Just looking at it is exciting. The nose: red fruit, subtle, yet present. There seems to be a little spice and mineral alive in the aromatics. On the palate, that fruit rises and holds off right where it needs to and allows all of the other nuances to harmonize brilliantly. The finish is more crisp than fruity, and the word that best suits the experience is savory. Enjoy this before, during or after a meal. Have it with a salad at lunchtime. I can think of a litany of occasions for this wine, chances are, so will you. The only problem I can think of? Yep, it’s got a hole in it.

Feel free to email me with any comments or questions regarding undiscovered quality wines, numerical wine scores, Rose, or the Cote d’Azur:


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Filed under French Wine, General, Peter Zavialoff

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