Friday, June 21, 2013

Two Rosés

The brutal summer weather has arrived in full force here in the Crescent City.  No surprise, but it always shocks my system for a while.  A sure cure for this depressing assault of sauna heat is blasting the A/C or rushing to the pool after a rain storm (otherwise the water is too reminiscent of a bathtub for me) with a cool, refreshing glass of rosé.  These two were consumed in more reasonable temperatures much farther north.
Fritz Hasselbach makes some great rieslings and has garnered plenty of fawning attention from critics.  I found a lone bottle of the 2011 vintage left in the cooler at a local shop in Columbus, IN.  The proprietor had no idea what grapes were inside but I decided to try it.  The consensus on the web says pinot meunier (the other red grape, along with pinot noir, in Champagne) and "a blend of Portugese grapes" from the Rheinhessen, in Germany.  Regardless, the wine was still fresh and tasty, tending more to the fruity side of things but with gentle firmness on the finish.  Bright, red berry fruit burst from the glass and the just off-dry palate made for a great sipping wine.  I wanted another bottle for poolside slurping.  (Shame on me, I forgot to check the importer label before recycling the bottle, but it appears Rudi Weist brings the wines to the states, though they do not list the rosé as one of them.  $13-$15).
When I walked out of Cork Liquors (on 46 in Columbus, IN) with the Fritz, I had this one as backup, just in case.  My touchstone for rosé will always be the south of France and I was confident this would deliver if the German didn't.  The Chateau is located in Sommieres, just west of Nimes in the Languedoc (west of Marseilles).  The little-known aramon grape is the sole variety in the bottle but the wine is classic: great texture, almost thick in the mid-palate but bright and fresh and lively and even slightly earthy.  The color and nose speaks to me of the romantic land of Provence, displaying the orange, peach, and strawberry notes expected of rosés from the area - even though this is not really from Provence or the classic grenache, cinsault, syrah blend (even though the website says it is).  It lacks some minerality and depth but the wine is delicious and a steal at the price I paid!  It is still a good deal at the $15 quoted locally in New Orleans, but I prefer the $11.29 I paid).  Gambit agrees about the wine.  Imported by Fruit of the Vines, Inc.  Driving up north had some advantages, bringing back a mixed case of wine was one of them.

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