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Robin Garr

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WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by Robin Garr » Wed May 02, 2007 12:44 pm

In the pink

As I've mentioned before, I'm not the greatest fan of pink wines, generally taking the position that rosé wine is a compromise between red and white and, like all compromises, gives away a little on either side.

But that being said, a <i>good</i> rosé can offer real drinking pleasure, and never more so than when spring and summer weather invite alfresco dining and lighter fare on the table.

I'm not talking about the popular but industrially-made sweetish "blush" wines here, but dry, crisp pink wines made around the world in the Mediterranean tradition of Provence, coastal Italy and Spain. Drunk slightly chilled, young and fresh, they may not be the most <I>serious</i> wines; but they rank high among the most <i>refreshing</i> wines.

Anyway, who wants to be serious all the time? It would be like a constant musical diet of Bach with never a break for Coltrane, John Lee Hooker or the Grateful Dead.

Which brings us around to one of my favorite wine makers, the musician, poet and philosopher Steve Edmunds of California's Edmunds St. John. In any rational world, crowds should be banging down the doors at Steve's Berkeley-based winery to taste his consistently balanced and earth-driven wines.

His lovely new pink wine, bearing his wacky "Bone-Jolly" label, a bad pun on "Beaujolais," offers lip-smacking testimony. Made from true Gamay Noir, the Gamay of Beaujolais, and inspired by an offbeat pink wine made by J.P. Brun, one of my favorite French producers, it ranks among the best rosés I've ever tasted.

Edmunds didn't make very much of it - there are just 340 twelve-bottle cases for us all to share. But his wines are fairly widely distributed, albeit in small allocations, around the U.S. and Canada, and at least to a limited extent in the UK and Japan. See my tasting report below for where-to-buy-it info.

<table border="0" align="right" width="170"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/bone0425.jpg" border="1" align="right"></td></tr></table>Edmunds St. John 2006 "Bone-Jolly" El Dorado County Witters Vineyard Gamay Noir Rosé ($18.99)

Clear and very attractive pink-rose color. Fresh strawberry and delicate floral scent; ripe strawberry flavor, dry and crisp, wrapped up with mouth-watering acidity. A wisp of tannic astringency becomes evident in the finish as the wine warms in the glass. Simply put, this is one of the most enjoyable rosés I've ever tasted. (April 25, 2007)

<B>FOOD MATCH:</b> Great with lighter fare from dinner salads to burgers and fries; I couldn't have asked for a better match with the tuna and shrimp over orzo dish featured in last week's <I>Wine Advisor FoodLetter</I>.

<B>VALUE:</B> The local price was two dollars above the $16 winery price, which is a bit spendy for a rosé. But what a rosé this is! I'm not complaining. In fact, I plan to pick up a couple more myself.

<B>WHEN TO DRINK:</B> It won't die in a few months, but part of the joy of this wine is the remarkable freshness that makes it such a delight for summer sipping. Drink it up this year, then hope Edmunds does it again next year.

<B>PRONUNCIATION</B>
<B>Gamay</b> = "<i>Gam-ay</i>"

<B>WEB LINK:</B>
The "Wines" section on the usually informative Edmunds St. John Website has not yet been updated with details on this new item, but Edmunds has a short, detailed essay about it in a recent online edition of his "Organolepticians" newsletter:
http://www.edmundsstjohn.com/TheNewsletter/Organolepticians73.html

<B>FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:</B>
Distributors in many states of the U.S., Canada, the UK and Japan are listed on this winery page:
http://www.edmundsstjohn.com/WhereToBuy.html

To find other vendors and check prices for Bone-Jolly Gamay and Gamay Rosé on Wine-Searcher.com, click:
[url=http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Edmunds%2bSt.John%2bJolly/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP]http://www.wine-searcher.com/
find/Edmunds%2bSt.John%2bJolly/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP[/url]

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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 02, 2007 12:53 pm

Great report Robin! I've had one of my bottles and ordered a bunch more. It's one of the most satisfying wines I have had in a long time. It fulfills everything it's trying to do.

Bravo to Steve!
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Robin Garr

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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by Robin Garr » Wed May 02, 2007 1:53 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Bravo to Steve!


I agree! If this forum drove the market, we'd be making that guy rich. But at least we can let him know how much we appreciate what he's doing.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 02, 2007 1:54 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Bravo to Steve!


I agree! If this forum drove the market, we'd be making that guy rich. But at least we can let him know how much we appreciate what he's doing.


Maybe help him pay for gas...
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by Steve Edmunds » Wed May 02, 2007 2:18 pm

Thanks, guys. ( Boy, gas is a bad word around here after that tanker-truck explosion the other day.) I'll be in your neighborhood in a couple weeks Robin; hope to see you.
I don't know just how I'm supposed to play this scene, but I ain't afraid to learn...
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed May 02, 2007 2:55 pm

Steve, when are you coming to the outpost up here...Alberta!!!!! No rep, no drinky.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by Steve Edmunds » Wed May 02, 2007 3:06 pm

Bob; I'd love to come to Alberta; we were tempted, a couple years back, to drive over from Okanagan, but it just looked too ambitious. Maybe 30 years ago. I can hear the Blue Canadian Rockies calling out to me, now if I could just find the time to go...
Is wine sold by the government up there?
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by Robin Garr » Wed May 02, 2007 4:26 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:I'll be in your neighborhood in a couple weeks Robin; hope to see you.


Keep me posted, Steve, or if you get busy, I'm usually in touch with the Vintner Select guys, Brett and David in particular.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: In the pink (Edmunds StJohn 06 Gamay Rosé)

by Steve Edmunds » Wed May 02, 2007 10:23 pm

David actually told me today that Brett just had emergency appendectomy. He's apparently fine, thank goodness.
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