Posted by: tomciocco | May 25, 2011


It’s very difficult if not impossible to say where the modern rose` wine style began, but conventional wisdom holds that that place was sunny, Mediterranean Provence, and while there are pronouncements I’ll buck, this isn’t one of them. The consistent winemaking skill and taste that I’ve noted in so many Provencal roses can’t be underestimated, and because of their consistency as well as stylistic variety, they’re still my favorite.

Take for example the fact that very few Provencal rose` wines are made with any white grapes at all, but rather are august but finessed assemblages of multiple big, red Mediterranean grapes (this one is 6o% Grenache and 40% Syrah) made using the saignee method.  The word saignee means “bled” which is a figurative description of a technique used to make these wines. Upon harvesting the (red) grapes, they are quickly and lightly crushed, and the skins are left to macerate in the juice for a brief time, and then a certain amount of this lightly colored juice is “bled” off to then undergo fermentation. The now more concentrated juice and pomace is left to fully macerate and produce the powerful and dense Provencal reds.

These light but still very substantial wines go with anything but the deepest, darkest red meat stews, but they really excel with fish dishes of any kind, especially ones that are fried or eaten cold. So since today was quite warm and sunny here in Jersey City, I opted for the manufacture and assembly of a classic Salade Nicoise – tuna, hard-boiled eggs, boiled young green beans and potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and anchovies composed on a bed of greens dressed with a lemon, olive oil, and basil dressing, with slices of crusty bread.

Chateau du Rouet Cotes de Provence Cuvee Reservee Tradition Rose` 2010

Ever so slightly purple pale salmon color. Elegant but intense nose of briny plum and blackberry fruit, fresh cream, toasted almond, cracked black pepper, and burnt twigs. In the mouth, the wine is big and fairly rich, but still very fresh with defined flavors of black cherry, lavender, pine needles, and touch of pink grapefruit. The finish is very clean and round with a lovely lingering bitterness. 


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