I had spent the morning with a few friends, tasting through wines that had the potential to become part of a greater portfolio. In a sense, though everything we tasted was either Old World or from New Zealand, I felt like I was in Napa; It becomes difficult to be objective or make reasonable comparisons when everything you’re tasting is excellent. All of the wines were terrific in their own rite, from one of the cleanest New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs I’ve ever had to a lineup from Chateau d’Angles from La Clape in the Languedoc that I have been a fan of for years. There was, however, one wine that stood out even amongst these giants, and it certainly wouldn’t have been what I expected.
When we got to the rose’, the first one poured was good, if perhaps rather unremarkable. It was nicely packaged and reasonably priced, so it was certainly an option, but then we poured the second, and I was at once reminded of why people love rose’. The color was beautiful, a gorgeous pale salmon hue, and the nose nearly knocked me out of my high-backed chair. One of the most incredible, aromatic bouquets I’ve ever had the pleasure of nosing around in, I got an entire rose garden, followed by subtle hints of bubblegum and watermelon Jolly Rancher. It simply begged me to start drinking it.
Imbibed, the fun continued. Flavorful yet defined by subtlety, the usual suspects of strawberry and rosewater find their place on the palate, accompanied by a continuation of the nose in the slightest, most delicate way. The wine is light upon the palate, yet vibrant and youthful, and to me epitomizes what Provence is all about. Perhaps best of all, it’s about a $30 bottle, giving it a terrific QPR. Amongst a dozen excellent wines, this one totally stole the show.
The wine was too good not to share. When the meeting ended, I set it in the cup holder of my car and we took it to lunch with us at a local wine bar to pass it amongst friends there. “I could sell the sh*t out of this,” one particular staffer, who I know to be a lover of fine rose’, told me. I don’t doubt that she could. I took the rest of the wine home with me, and the next night shared it with Sonja, who was equally impressed. We sipped at it before dinner, and then, though I most often pair rose’ with a summer night and a patio, we had it with the scrumptious chicken stir fry Sonja made, and it worked quite well. Who would have thought?
I think my major take-away here is, in essence, open-mindedness. You read this blog. You know I’m a Napa Cab lover through and through. And yet when I tried this stunner of a rose’, I couldn’t miss the quality, couldn’t help but fall in love with it, and immediately considered looking at flights to France. Wine like this has a place at our table, and in my cellar, even if it has to be at the expense of a little bit of Cabernet. Hey, it’s important to diversify, right? I loved sharing this wine with other people as well, and watching their reactions. If you get a chance, by all means please try it. I think you’ll be impressed as well.
Cheers to open-mindedness, to sharing wine with friends, and to the coming weekend,