Drink a toast to National Rosé Day
In 2014, National Rosé Day was established to celebrate what is probably our world’s oldest known type of wine.
It’s now done every year on the second Saturday in June, which just happens to be tomorrow.
Although I wrote about rosé a couple of weeks ago, with such an occasion before us, here are a few more very special ones to consider.
Château D’Esclans Les Clans 2017 Rosé is beyond what most of us would expect in a rosé and its base is grenache from 80-year-old vines, along with some vermintino and syrah. Originally, Sasha Lichine of this property was striving to create the finest rosé of them all and, as with all great wines, only the most perfect grapes were selected, in this case by optical sorting.
When deciding to release a “second” wine made from grapes not used for Les Clans, someone came up with the bright idea of calling it Whispering Angel!
James Suckling gives the 2017 Les Clans a 95/100 and writes: “Intense aromas of dried strawberries and peaches with chalk and stone follow through to a full body that is dense and powerful yet always fruity and vivid. Layers of flavours and intensity. Best Clans ever?”
The Drinks Business awarded it 97/100 and Wine Spectator wrote of “a beautiful enveloping texture and fresh but detailed notes of peach purée and mango”.
This may sound a little strange, but I would put it in the class of a very fine white burgundy. I love it! $60.45; stock #8116.
Château D’Eslans 2018 rosé is a new wine from this estate that is part barrel fermented to give it a very full and flavourful profile. The grapes are harvested between dawn and noon to assure very best balance and they are sorted by optical eye electronically and manually three times. Only free-run juice and a first, slight pressing is used. $46.95; Stock #8103.
Domaine Tempier 2018 Bandol Rosé is produced from a blend of 55 per cent mourvedre, 28 per cent grenache, 20 per cent cinsault and 2 per cent carignan that are all grown organically.
This is the most respected estate in the area of Bandol, that is known for its fine rosé. Wines from this region have unique aromatic properties, which many claim are from the dry Provencal herbs which cover the hillsides: thyme, savory, rosemary, wild mint and fennel.
Robert Parker rates it 92/100 and comments: “Tempier’s 2018 rosé marks another successful vintage for this consistent standout. It’s light to medium bodied, not overly ripe or rich, but all about balance and refreshment. Tangerine and melon aromas and flavours hit all the right notes, lingering on the already elegant finish.” $36.55; Stock #7076.
Next we go to the heart of the Languedoc in the South of France, on the historic terroir of Cabrières, the cradle of rosé wines. From 1357, these wines were served at the official banquets and consecrated on the Sun King’s tables.
It is here that Gérard Bertrand created his Clos du Temple 2018 rosé and his team created a special bottle that is a “geometric representation of the temple, whose elegant proportions are inspired by the golden number, the Phi: the square base, symbol of the earth, representing the foundations, the elevation in cylinder, an evocation of the connection between earth and celestial forces; the dome, a perfect circle at the shoulders of the bottle, whose decoration underlines the soft curves of the hills surrounding Clos du Temple”.
Maybe you have caught on to the fact that Clos du Temple is farmed biodynamically! Grenache, cinsault, syrah, mourvedre and viognier grow in peace with Mother Nature.
The grapes are picked at sunrise by hand and the resulting juice is racked and clarified by gravity (no pumping) without the addition of any sulphur and the final touch is ageing in new French barrels.
Reviews call it a truly exquisite rosé and mention precise aromas of ripe apricot, peach, delicate floral notes, spice, hints of tobacco.
Decanter awards it a close to perfect 96/100, Wine Enthusiast calls it “lovely and complex” and the Wine Spectator finds “white raspberry, melon, baking spice and white tea”. The very few bottles that we have of this wine can be found at our Harbour Road store and Discovery Wines. $189; Stock #7286.
It would also be appropriate to enjoy National Rosé Day with the most-asked-for rosé champagne and this happens to be our Laurent Perrier brut rosé champagne that is 100 per cent pinot noir. It evolves gently — from a pretty raspberry tint to a hint of salmon — and in this colour range, the brightest is a pink with subtle shades of melon and raspberry.
It owes its quaint name, cuisse de nymphe émue, to a rose bush. The bead is so fine that it seems to dance in the glass and then on the palate. Subtle, forthright, and very fresh on the nose.
Cuvée rosé Laurent-Perrier suggests a basketful of small berry fruits: strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberries, redcurrants, and morello and black cherries.
The overwhelming sensation is one of freshness. It is a lively, well-rounded wine which combines structure and freshness. The forthright, slightly sharp attack is like breathing the heady aromas of a freshly picked basket of berry fruits — a symphony of aromas with a gently rounded, tender finish. $98; Stock #7168.
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George’s (York Street, 297-0409). Visit wineonline.bm
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