Category Archives: Rose
Wow! Can it be spring already??!! Seriously, we’re turning the clocks ahead, baseball is being played, NCAA Basketball brackets will be revealed tomorrow, and I’m booking appointments at various Bordeaux chateaux to taste barrel samples of the 2015 vintage; it must be March. Taking a trip like that can be a bit disruptive to my normal schedule and duties around here, so I have much to do before saying bonjour to the folks aboard Air France flight #83! This of course is weighing upon me and my stress level has ratcheted up just thinking and worrying about all the i’s to dot and t’s to cross. That’s when the little voice in my head says, “Stop. Chill. Relax. Do what you can; take ’em one at a time.” What relaxes me? No need to overthink this one: a nice cool glass of Rosé, now that sounds relaxing.
Tony – ты мой мужчина! – Anya Balistreri
On we go, into the ‘ber months! Kids are back in school, the French are back from their holidays, and here in San Francisco, it’s time for our summer! For the occasion, we’ve sourced some special wines to make our September a memorable one. Six reds, one crisp Rosé, and five whites, all chosen for their versatility, are screaming values on their own. Pack them all in a box and knock the price down 35%? Magic. The September Dirty Dozen!
Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.
2012 Falanghina Nina, Torre Quarto $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Give it a chill, just not too much, otherwise the lovely melon fruit and fragrant aromas (look for that slight hint of pine) will be muted. Falanghina, an ancient Italian grape, is grown in the south – Puglia in this instance. Yellow-gold in color, this lush white has a round texture that complements seafood, fresh salads and cold entrées.
2012 Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Jean-Paul, Boutinot $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
From southwest France, this dependable refrigerator door white’s beauty – a classic blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc – lies in its simplicity. Notes of lemon and citrus zest move into tangy grapefruit on the palate, leaving a refreshing, lingering lightness. Nothing complicated, but it’s oh so nice ice cold out of the fridge on a warm late summer’s eve.
2012 Pedro Ximenez PX, Cucao $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Pedro Ximenez is a varietal known mainly for its role in Spain’s sweet sherries, but this dry example is grown in the northern-most wine region of Chile – the Elqui Valley. Sunny weather ripens the fruit while the high altitude ensures freshness. A delightful blend of acidity and concentrated fruit; try with miso-dressed soba noodles or coconut shrimp.
2013 Ventoux Rosé l’Instant, Domaine Fondrèche $15.99, $12.79 reorder
This wine gets you at ‘hello.” Just look at that color! As pale as pale Rosé gets, winemaker Sébastien Vincenti blends 50% Cinsault with 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache and the wine is light, lean, crisp, and delicious. It’s a versatile little Rosé, textbook southern French style. Got a hankering for Salmon Étoufée? If you do, try it with this.
2012 Grenache Blanc/Rolle/Roussanne, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $12.89, $10.31 reorder
In 1998, Diane Puymorin purchased this domaine and re-named it Château d’Or et de Gueules. TWH regulars know all about her and those wines, but Diane keeps it real and pays homage to the history of her property with this bottling. Here she blends three classic white Rhône varietals. It’s crisp, clean, and fleshy. Pair it with a seared tuna sandwich.
2012 Gewurztraminer Herrenweg, Domaine Ehrhart $21.99, $17.59 reorder
Gewurztraminer is known for its profound bouquet reminiscent of lychee nuts and rose petals. The Ehrharts’ single-vineyard, Herrenweg is a tad off-dry, and is rich and expressive, both aromatically and on the palate. Not for sipping, this one needs food. Especially spicy food. You must try it with a spicy curry dish, or spicy Cajun red beans and rice.
2010 Tempranillo Dauco, Bodegas Martúe $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Hailing from central Spain, this friendly Tempranillo has silky smooth tannins and rich cherry fruit. Outside Rioja, Tempranillo can show many faces, but here it shines as a versatile, charming red, reminding drinkers what makes Tempranillo just so darn delicious! Surely Paella works but so does Pollo con Arroz, Plov, or Tadig with kebabs.
2012 Malbec, Ecologica $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Argentian Malbec is unquestionably a favorite for those looking for value and quality in an everyday wine. Ecologica sources only organic fruit and is Fair Trade Certified. Medium-bodied with welcoming notes of green herbs, red plum and cassis fruit, the acids and tannins hold up well to heavily-seasoned grilled meats or a quesadilla with fresh Pico de Gallo.
2010 Dão, Proeza $11.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Looking for a full-bodied red that goes easy on the pocket book? Look no further than this voluptuous Portuguese red from Proeza. Loaded with big flavors courtesy of Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz, grapes traditionally made into Port, this dry red is grippy and broad-scaled. A lot of wine for the money! Hearty, rib-sticking meals would work best.
2010 Touraine Rouge, Domaine des Corbillières $14.99, $11.99 reorder
We’ve been working with Dominique and Véronique Barbou for two decades, their wines can magically transport us to the land of France’s most majestic chateaux. This blend of Pinot Noir, Côt (Malbec), and Cabernet Franc is marked by juicy fruit with an herbal twist. Drink it on its own or with anything you would want to pair with a cheerful red.
2011 Barco Reale di Carmignano, Le Farnete $14.59, $11.67 reorder
In the rolling hills just west of Firenze is the commune of Carmignano. Long before the days of the ‘Super Tuscan’, Cabernet Sauvignon was allowed to grow here, only to be blended with the native Tuscan Sangiovese. It’s a zippy little red table wine with another layer of complexity. Pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil is all you need with this one.
2009 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Tour de l’Isle $14.59, $11.67 reorder
Proprietor of Tour de l’Isle, Robert Rocchi acts as a negociant in the southern Rhône Valley who advises a handful of growers on improtant aspects of winemaking. The results in bottle are not only delicious, they are reflective of their places of origin. Or as Anya likes to say, “He’s not afraid to make wine that tastes good.” Try this with a grilled steak.
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|Happy Friday! There are 14 weekends this summer, and this one is #5. No need to panic, we’ve still got 9 more afterwards, but that little factoid has us thinking that we should make the most of them. Summer always offers us the opportunity to head outdoors, maybe head over to a farmers’ market, meet up with friends, fire up the grill; yeah, stuff like that. It’s a rare summer afternoon or evening that goes by without the thought, “A glass of Rosé would be perfect right now.” Rare indeed. One of our favorite Rosés has to be the Touraine Rosé from Domaine des Corbillières. We received 2 containers recently, and on the French one were pallets of Rosé, 2013 Corbillières included.
Our Rosé selections represent a few differing styles and flavor profiles, and we have many fans of each of them. They range from the super-sleek, zippy, extra dry to other dry Rosés with varying degrees of fruit expression. For customers (and staff!) who love a dry Rosé with a light-medium body, delicate layers of pink grapefruit, a hint of saline mineral with a harmonious finish, the Touraine Rosé is the perfect choice. It’s a great wine to have on hand all summer long, as it is truly a people-pleaser!
|The first thing one notices about the Corbillières Touraine Rosé is the seductive salmon hue. When daydreaming about Rosé, this is precisely the color I envision. The aromas are delicate and nuanced. There’s citrus, a hint of some kind of red fruit as well, an herbal, almost peppery subtlety, and a mineral undertone. The palate is bright and fresh, the fruit and structure charming, and the finish refreshing. This is exactly what one would expect to be served if seated at a French café – a wine like this can transport the taster far, far away.
What makes the Touraine Rosé stand out so much? It is made from Pineau d’Aunis. Pineau d’Aunis? Is that spelled correctly? Yes. What is Pineau d’Aunis? It is a distinct black berried grape from the central Loire Valley that is sometimes called Chenin Noir. It is neither a Pinot nor Chenin. Not widely planted, it is a sanctioned grape for the red and rosé appellations of Touraine and Anjou. Its use is to impart a fruity, peppery profile to rosé wines.
The famous philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Just sayin’. We’re already one-third finished with our summer weekends in 2014, so maybe it is a good idea to stop and take a look around this weekend. Stop and look around with a glass of 2013 Domaine des Corbillières Touraine Rosé! – Peter Zavialoff
|Here in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer. Sure, it means many different things to many different people, but that’s just like everything else. We all entertain ourselves in different ways, we all eat different types of food, and as far as wine goes, there’s something out there for everyone. One thing’s for sure, the summer weather causes a great many of our customers to reach for Rosé. Why not? We love Rosé all year round, though in the summer months it becomes particularly apropos. With so many styles and choices out there, there is indeed, something for everyone. When asking about Rosé, many customers look for a wine that is “pale,” “bone dry,” “crisp,” “fresh,” and “lip-smacking.” If those descriptors resonate with you, then you may want to give the 2013 Domaine Fondrèche l’Instant Ventoux Rosé a taste.
We have never sent an email offer on ANY Fondrèche l’Instant Rosé in the past. Its color sells itself. Though we have other wines in a similar style, the Fondrèche Rosé is almost always our lightest colored Rosé each vintage. That seems to click with a lot of our customers, especially those who buy in bulk! It doesn’t stay in stock very long. Back in the winter time, we crunched some numbers and decided to ask them to up our allocation because of this. It always goes to show, you never get what you don’t ask for. So we asked, they said yes, and now we can make some noise about it.
|Domaine de Fondrèche is one of the most well-known domaines in Ventoux, probably because winemaker Sébastien Vincenti has vines growing in the best sites of the appellation. His farming is certified organic, and he has been employing bio-dynamic practices in his vineyards for several vintages. For his 2013 l’Instant Rosé, Sébastien blends 50% Cinsault with 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache giving the wine that Provençal look and flavor. Coming in at 12% alcohol, pouring that second glass on a warm evening is no problem either!
The Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck listed Vincenti’s 2013 l’Instant among the finest Rosé wines of the year. Here’s what he had to say, “Beautifully pure, with notions of citrus blossom, peach and strawberry, the 2013 Ventoux L’Instant Rose is focused and crisp on the palate in a lean, tight and refreshing style. Drink it over the coming summer months – 90 points.”
We agree! For those of us who enjoy a sleek, mineral-driven, lip-smacking Rosé, the 2013 Domaine de Fondrèche l’Instant delivers big time!!! Oh, check it – this baby comes in magnum too! Talk about a party in bottle! – Peter Zavialoff
|It’s official. Up and down the California coast, we’ve experienced our first heat wave of the year. With record breaking temperatures hitting some spots both Tuesday and Wednesday this week, folks have been headed outdoors. To the park, to the beach, or to the backyard, it is outdoor season! Hmmm. Kind of makes Rosé sound like a good idea.
As Anya reported last month, being in our new, larger facility in Dogpatch enables us to get some of our imports in-stock quickly and efficiently, so we indeed can have freshly bottled Rosé in April (and May) instead of June or July. It makes the world of difference, especially here in San Francisco. For those of you who don’t know, in the city itself, the months of July and August are marked by endless fog that is drawn in from the ocean by the scorching temperatures of California’s Central Valley. It’s not that depressing, take it from a native. If one is looking for clear skies and warm weather in July and August, a 15 minute drive in any of 3 directions will get you out of the fog.
|We don’t necessarily believe that Rosé has a season, but it sure is a lot more fun to have a nice, cool, crisp glass of it under sunny skies than it is during a snowstorm. (We don’t get snow here in San Francisco, that drive usually takes around 3 hours). So that underlines the importance of having fresh Rosé in April rather than June or July. Last week’s heatwave is proof of that. The reaction has been astounding. The Rosé that Anya wrote about last month is gone. Gone, like a circus gone. Don’t worry, there’s more on the way. Winemaker Diane Puymorin makes another Rosé. In fact this one is bottled under her more prestigious label, Château d’Or et de GueulesLes Cimels Rosé.
Having purchased Domaine de la Petite Cassagne in 1998, Diane changed the name to d’Or et de Gueules, the local dialectal “red and gold.” She pours her heart into these wines, and we’re all smitten by them. If you read our emails with any regularity, you need no introduction. For her Les Cimels Rosé, she adheres to the Provençal style, blending mostly Mourvèdre and Cinsault in equal parts. She rounds it off by adding a little Grenache and Syrah for depth and complexity, and voilà, Les Cimels Rosé!
|Yes, it’s officially springtime. Here in San Francisco, we’re enjoying our summer, part I, part II comes in September. And now that we’re in our new facility, we’ve got fresh Rosé. 2013 Château d’Or et de Gueules Les Cimels Rosé, to be exact! – Peter Zavialoff|