Our Saturday tasting at the store was rosés, and while the line-up was solid, three in particular really stood out.
2007 Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose
Funny thing, I’m reading Reflections of a wine merchant by Neal Rosenthal and two of the three rosés on this list are imported by the man himself – they are both on the higher end of their category, but incredibly tasty as well, which is in line with Rosenthal’s overall portfolio, at times expensive (especially on the west coast) but almost always of excellent quality and the worth the cost. This ’07 Pradeaux shows a really intense, bright character, with a touch of orange peel and a ridiculously long finish which is a bit spicy as well. Generally I’m not much of a Bandol rose person, but this is truly terrific. At $25 it’s not inexpensive, but I’ll still probably get a few to cellar for several years.
2007 Domaine de la Petite Mairie Bourgueil Rosé
I was so disappointed with the one cab franc rose I tried last year, a Chinon rose from Clos l’Echo. It was dark, clumsy, and well, overly cabby (as in cab family green vegetal flavors). This cabernet franc rose from Bourgueil is more like it: pink onion skin color, delicate aromas merely suggesting, not screaming, the herbal qualities of Cabernet franc, and lots of bright raspberry flavors, which were crisp and really cut through the palate.
2007 Lazy Creek Pinot Noir Rose Anderson Valley
Here I go again recommending a California wine. Oh well, I guess I’ll continue to lose wine geek points for writing about good CA wine (as well as Spanish for that matter) instead of a Beaujolais rose or Pineau d’aunis rose or something. But this is another rosé that is of extremely high quality, albeit at a price - $25. Produced from pinot noir selected especially for rosé production, and of course fermented with indigenous yeasts, this is my favorite kind of rosé: a rosé that tastes every bit like a lighter version of the varietal(s) and the winery’s estate offering (other examples: Tondonia rosado, Musar rose, Joseph Roty Marsannay rose) The Lazy Creek estate pinot noir typically is big, broad, spicy and dark fruited, a masculine style but seriously dry for CA pinot. All of this comes across in this delicious rosé, just in a more refreshing and transparent style.
So that's the latest pink report, with I'm sure more rosé notes to come over the proceeding summer months. Will be even happier when my slowly, ever so slowly growing roma tomato plant bears fruit for gazapacho, spaghetti a la trapanese (uncooked tomato sauce with chopped almonds), and all kinds of other uses.