Staff Selection: 2008 Grande Cassagne Rosé



2008 Chateau Grande Cassagne Rose Costieres de Nimes Rose; other red varietal; Languedoc-Roussillon;
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$8.49 per bottle as part of a full case purchase. Discount will be applied when we process your order, and confirmed back in a fulfillment email.
hautdecagnesDéjà Vu. Now that summer is here again, I find myself contemplating. What does summer mean to me? Since I’m originally from San Francisco’s Sunset District, I have a slightly different take on it than, say, someone from Cape Cod, for instance. Summers used to mean longer days, yes, but also heavy fog that seldom burned off. There was a time I used to think that Candlestick Park had great weather. Hey, I’m not knocking the Sunset or those of you who live there. I’m SDI through and through, and will always be. Those pristine, albeit rare, crystal clear summer mornings in the ‘set are the stuff dreams are made of. As I began traveling, I discovered a panoply of summer fun and traditions. The one that resonates most with me had to be on that spur of the moment trip I took in 2005 to the Cote d’Azur. That’s where I discovered Rosé!

As the plane swung over Monaco, my seatmate thought I was nuts. “You don’t know where your friend lives, don’t know his number, and he doesn’t know you’re coming, is that it? Well, good luck finding him.” It was kind of like that. I tried to put the trip together two months prior, but it fell through. I did have an old email from him with his number (hoped it wasn’t deleted); so when I got into Nice, I checked into an internet café, and luckily, found the number. I called, got voicemail, and left a message that I would call back every hour on the hour. The next time I called, he answered. “I’m here”, I said.
“In France.”
“I know you’re in France, where in France?”
“Okay, where in Nice?”
“La Gare.”
“Okay, I’m coming to get you, stay there.”
“No, wait, I left my stuff at the airport, meet me there in an hour”
“Okay, terminal 2.”
I got my things, and there was Carsten, just like the old days. When he lived here, he insisted on hosting all of our Bordeaux-tasting group’s activities so he could do the cooking. He is now a chef. He drove me back to his tiny (former wine cellar) apartment, so I could clean up and drop off my stuff, and then we were off. I’m definitely a go-with-the-flow traveler, and since he wasn’t expecting me, I figured he had things to do, so I tagged along.

We first had to meet up with a man named Nabil in Antibes. We met in the Marché Provençal and sat at a table with a demi-pichette of Rosé. It was hot, I had been travelling, I wasn’t drinking Bordeaux, but the Rosé was cool, crisp, dry, and had character. I looked around the marché, this wine really worked with the surroundings. They babbled about business in French; I sipped my Rosé, and my mind drifted about how lucky I was that day. After the business concluded, Carsten suggested we drive to Cannes. Hehe. What would you say to that? So we popped into Cannes, sat down at a café, and what’s this? More Rosé. “Hey Carsten, what’s up with the Rosé?”
“You complaining?”
“Then shut up and enjoy yourself.”
Carsten and Tony Bourdain are very much alike.

You can guess what the wine of choice was for the remainder of the trip, and why not? It was great during the hot afternoons and warm evenings. Its ability to pair with a variety of cuisine made us return to the grocery store to load up day after day. Did I say it was more than affordable? When I returned home, I regaled my loved ones of the soulful, cultural adventure I just experienced. The only thing that didn’t resonate with them was the Rosé part. That was before I began working here at The Wine House. My friends and family are well aware of the beauty of these wines now. So as I sit here contemplating about summers past, I feel so lucky to have been exposed to such wonders and am proud of myself to have been so open to receiving gifts such as these while playing tourist in another country. No agenda, no checklists, no expectations. Just live there for a little while, and magic happens. As for summers present and future, I cannot imagine them bereft of Rosé. Let me tell you about my favorite one this year: The funny thing about déjà vu is that you never really know when one is going to happen.

Here we go, we have a bunch of Rosé in stock here, and I like them all. But there’s one I keep going back to. It’s the 2008 Grande Cassagne, again. There is something they do here. Maybe the 5% Mourvèdre gives it that special je ne sais quois. Aromatically, it hits you with a closely bound duo of fruit and mineral, yet there is a whisper of smokey, cured meat drifting in the background. On the palate it opens with vibrancy that keeps the fruit in check, the mineral hangs on, as does that phantom smokey thing and an herbal presence jumps on board as well. The finish is pure harmony. All in all, Carsten is now cooking in British Columbia, swears he’s on his way back to France after the season’s over, but it’s okay, I’ve still got my favorite Rosé to remind me of the south of France! A Santé!Peter Zavialoff

Feel free to email me about the Sunset District, Déjà Vu, Carsten’s Bordeaux Tasting Parties, Rosé, or the South of France:


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Filed under Costieres de Nimes, French Wine, Peter Zavialoff

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