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MWG May 11th tasting: report (3/5)

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Sierra Foothills 2010, Vin Gris d’Amador, Terre Rouge ($22.10, 11629710)
Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, though neither the estate’s website nor the wine’s Quebec rep say in what proportions. This is a saignée method rose, meaning the juice is “bled” from the red wine tanks. Matured in used French oak barrels, like the estate’s white wines.
Dark red-orange-pink. Caramel, dried herbs, spice, nectarine, crab apple. Heavy, cloyingly sweet fruit, insufficient acidity and little depth. Several people around the table were drop-jawed at Phaneuf’s rave (“Sec, minéral, à la fois délicat et persistant et doté d’un très bel équilibre d’ensemble. Bravo !“). (Buy again? Nope.)

Tavel 2011, La Dame Rousse, Domaine de la Mordorée ($24.80, 11629664)
Perhaps the biggest name in the appellation. Grenache (60%), Cinsault (10%), Mourvèdre (10%), Syrah (10%), Bourboulenc (5%) and Clairette (5%) from 40-year-old vines. Cold-macerated for 48 hours before pressing.
Deep pink bordering on light red. Classic Tavel nose of peach/nectarine, strawberry and garrigue. Dense, winey texture. Dry. The fruit sits heavily on the palate. One-dimensional and unrefreshing. Hot finish (14.5% ABV). (Buy again? For Tavel lovers only, i.e. not for me.)

Coteaux du Languedoc  2011, Prestige, Château Puech-Haut ($19.35, 11629891)
Grenache and Cinsault, fermented and matured in stainless steel. Packaged in a frosted bottle with an embossed seal and glass stopper; a few liked the look, others declared it tacky.
Very pale, almost white. Light nectarine and minerals on the nose. More flavourful than expected, with light, pure fruit and refreshing acidity. Alcohol flares a little on the finish. The best of the bunch, which is not saying much. (Buy again? Probably not.)

Bandol 2010, Mas de la Rouvière ($23.10, 11657403)
The estate has been converting to organic farming since 2006. Mourvèdre (40%), Grenache (30%) and Cinsault (30%). Fermented at controlled temperatures for around 30 days.
Intriguing nose of nectarine with herbal (celery, green pepper) notes. Ripe but not heavy fruit. Some minerality. Fair acidity. Falls flat on the finish. Drinkable is about the best you can say for it. (Buy again? No.)

To go by these four Cellier picks, the SAQ is maintaining its dismal track record with rosés. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are fine pink wines being made in France, Spain and even California, but the only way Quebecers can buy them is on a private import basis. Speaking of which…

Corse Calvi 2011, Fiumeseccu rosé, Domaine Alzipratu ($22.05, 12 btls/case, oenopole)
A blend of saignée and directly pressed juice, mostly Sciacarello though a little Nielluccio may also have made its way into the mix.
Tried this at the April Pork Futures event and immediately knew it would be one of the best rosés – if not the best – that I’ll taste this year. It’s true to the house style: light, refreshing, food- and terrace-friendly, with notes of pink grapefruit and nectarine, a whiff of garrigue and vibrant acidity. The 2011 also struck me as the most minerally Fiumeseccu to date.

Written by carswell

May 19, 2012 at 11:51

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