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WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Hoke » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:00 pm

Another one of my articles. This time on one of my fave wine styles: rose'. Enjoy.

If you think rosé is an insipid and pale pink little wine that lacks body, character, aroma and flavor, something you’d drink only on a warm summer day---then you’ve been drinking the wrong rosé.

Oh, sure, some rosé wines fit that description. Many of them, in fact. But if you think that’s all rosé can be, you have some surprises in store.

For your first surprise, uncork a bottle of 2011 Chateau La Rouvière Rosé from Bandol.

Bandol is a tiny but powerful appellation on the rugged coast of Provence that makes distinctive red and rosé wines. Bandol specializes in the Mourvedre grape, which reaches levels of intensity and depth rarely found anywhere else. The reds are massively concentrated, big and brooding and earthy, sometimes almost to a barnyardy fault.

Bandol rosés share as much popularity as their red brethren however. This is rosé at its most perfumed and powerful. Chateau La Rouviére rosé is a hearty blend of about 50% Mourvedre, with the remainder Grenache and Cinsault. The nose is an enticing combination of citrus fruits, cantaloupe and a tinge of red fruit---fresh cherries and tart strawberries come to mind---and all those flavors follow seamlessly into the flavor.

There’s a crisp, snappy, crackling edge of acidity here and a body that is more substantial than some light red wines. Not at all faint or understated, this rosé would step up to a hearty piece of beefsteak just as easily as it would accompany a winter pork roast with root vegetables. Or you could serve it with a plank of rich, oily salmon. And it would be ideal with a hearty fisherman’s stew or San Francisco-style cioppino.

The other surprise from La Rouviére is that it demolishes the myth of rosé not aging well. On the contrary: it’s obvious with this wine that, as tasty as it is, it could easily benefit from some cellar time to allow the rich, concentrated flavors to mellow and ripen even further.

Note that the proprietor, Domaines Bunan, also releases a Mas de la Rouviére Rosé. This is designed more as an “entry level” or easy-drinking style, with less Mourvedre (and therefore less intensity and depth) and more focus on the Cinsault.

Surprise yourself and try the Chateau La Rouviére rosé, or the Mas de la Rouviére, or the astonishing big brother from a nearby estate and a more exalted price range, Domaine Tempier Bandol. Try them this winter, with some hearty and robust foods on the table. You’ll be surprised, and you’ll be pleased.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by David M. Bueker » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:05 pm

Wow - what a coincidence. I literally was writing up a rosé note when you posted this. Was sipping from my last bottle of 2009 ESJ Bone-Jolly Rosé, and getting a little liquid sunshine on a cold, dreary day.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Steve Edmunds » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:28 pm

Hoke; if the Mas de La Rouviere has a Bandol AOC, I believe it actually has to have 50% Mourvedre. Maybe it's younger vines?
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:44 pm

Big Bunan fan here, one of the best Bandol domaines out there.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Hoke » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:44 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:Hoke; if the Mas de La Rouviere has a Bandol AOC, I believe it actually has to have 50% Mourvedre. Maybe it's younger vines?


I think the stipulation is that if it is a red wine from Bandol it has to be at least 50% Mourvedre, Steve.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Victorwine » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:06 pm

Hi Steve,
Does the 50% apply to rose wines? I believe the 50% Mourvedre (18 months (plus) in bulk prior to bottling) applies only to Bandol Red Wine AOC.

Salute
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Victorwine » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:07 pm

Sorry Hoke!

Salute
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Hoke » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:15 am

Nada problem, Victor.

Steve and Victor: when I got home I did as much intertoobz research as I could. What I found was an awful lot of conflicting information. Yes, several sources said that Bandol, both red and rose, had a 50% mourvedre requirement. Also found several sources that did not specify, or cited red wine only for that requirement. Even found one writeup from none other than the esteeed Chris Kissack that definitely said there was not anywhere near 50% mourvedre, but that the cinsault was seriously upped for the Mas.

I'll keep looking, of course. But it may well be that you're right and I'm wrong. Considering taste, I don't know: the Mas is noticeably lighter in flavor than the Chateau, but that could be because of the variety blend, or it could be any number of other things...different press times, younger vines, etc.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Hoke » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:33 am

The importer says this about the Mas Rose:

ROSÉ : Mourvèdre 33 % ; Cinsault 33 % ; Grenache 33%
Salmon pink hue and fine yet distinct nose characterized by aromas of exotic fruits. Very rounded taste with a generosity
predominating over the acidity : a pleasant hint of CO2. To be drunk young, between 3 - 5 years old, at 12 to 14° C with
charcuterie, grilled seafood and summer salads.


Chris Kissack says this about the Chateau La Rouviere---which, by the way, I don't think is correct...

Mourvèdre plays a lesser role in the rosé, where it accounts for about 30%, with 30% Cinsault and 40% Grenache being a typical composition.


And Chris said this about the Mas Rose:

The rosé is dominated by Cinsault, typically 60% with 20% each of Mourvèdre and Grenache,
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Hoke » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:45 am

Vins de Bandol, the official website of the AOC, specifies that the red wines are required to have at least 50% Mourvedre. It doesn't specify anything about the rose however. Nothing, just a blend of Mourvedre, CInsault and Grenache.

Snooth doesn't specify, but they do list Cinsault as the primary or first listed variety in the Mas Rose.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Hoke » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:49 am

Further information from the Bandol AOC site:

As far as rosé wines are concerned, it seems that Grenache and Cinsault should dominate to combine smoothness and a fruity taste to a nice proportion of alcohol, while keeping its lightness.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Victorwine » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:51 pm

b) – Les vins rosés sont issus des cépages suivants: - cépages principaux: cinsaut N, grenache N, mourvèdre N. - cépages accessories: bourboulenc B, carignan N, clairette B, syrah N, ugni blanc B

b) – The rosé wines result from following type of vines: - principal type of vines: cinsaut NR, grenache NR, mourvèdre NR. - additional type of vines: bourboulenc B, carignan NR, clairette B, syrah NR, ugni blanc B

Pour les vins rosés: - La proportion du cépage mourvèdre N est comprise entre 20 p. 100 et 95 p. 100 de l’encépagement. - La proportion de chacun des cépages accessoires ne peut être supérieure à 10 p. 100 de l’encépagement. - La proportion de l’ensemble des cépages accessoires ne peut être supérieure à 20 p. 100 de l’encépagement.

For the rosé wines: - The proportion of the type of vine mourvèdre NR lies between 20 p. 100 (20%) and 95 p. 100 (95%) of encépagement. (There is no stipulation for the other principle grapes). - The proportion of each additional type of vine cannot be higher than 10 p. 100 (10%) of encépagement. - The proportion of the whole of additional type of vines cannot be higher than 20 p. 100 (20%) of encépagement.

I believe “additional type of vine” only applies to “cépages accessories” and not “cépages principaux” (if I am correct the percentage of the other “principle grapes” can be higher than mourvedre). So technically a wine with this composition can be labeled a Bandol Rose AOC wine
4% Ugni Blanc
4% Syrah
4% Clairette
4% Carignan
4% Bourboulenc
20% Mourvedre
30% Cinsaut
30% Grenache

(Maybe I'm just translating this all wrong)

Salute
Last edited by Victorwine on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Jeff B » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:00 pm

In addition, there are many wonderful Rosé Champagnes as well. Although, I must admit I have the "blonde" ones more often.

Jeff
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Hoke » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:28 pm

Victorwine wrote:b) – Les vins rosés sont issus des cépages suivants: - cépages principaux: cinsaut N, grenache N, mourvèdre N. - cépages accessories: bourboulenc B, carignan N, clairette B, syrah N, ugni blanc B

b) – The rosé wines result from following type of vines: - principal type of vines: cinsaut NR, grenache NR, mourvèdre NR. - additional type of vines: bourboulenc B, carignan NR, clairette B, syrah NR, ugni blanc B

Pour les vins rosés: - La proportion du cépage mourvèdre N est comprise entre 20 p. 100 et 95 p. 100 de l’encépagement. - La proportion de chacun des cépages accessoires ne peut être supérieure à 10 p. 100 de l’encépagement. - La proportion de l’ensemble des cépages accessoires ne peut être supérieure à 20 p. 100 de l’encépagement.

For the rosé wines: - The proportion of the type of vine mourvèdre NR lies between 20 p. 100 (20%) and 95 p. 100 (95%) of encépagement. - The proportion of each additional type of vine cannot be higher than 10 p. 100 (10%) of encépagement. - The proportion of the whole of additional type of vines cannot be higher than 20 p. 100 (20%) of encépagement.

I believe “additional type of vine” only applies to “cépages accessories” and not “cépages principaux” (if I am correct the percentage of the other “principle grapes” can be higher than mourvedre). So technically a wine with this composition can be labeled a Bandol Rose AOC wine
4% Ugni Blanc
4% Syrah
4% Clairette
4% Carignan
4% Bourboulenc
20% Mourvedre
30% Cinsaut
30% Grenache

(Maybe I'm just translating this all wrong)

Salute


Thank you, Victor. A salute to you for locating and translating this.
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Re: WTN: Rose' in winter? Rose' with steak? Sure

by Jenise » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:02 pm

Good article, and I certainly agree.
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