Time for one more Rosé! Raffault Chinon Rosé, 13 France

It’s. Still. Summer. Yeesh. 

This is the time of year when I notice that our Rosé sales, which are steady all Summer, tend to dip off. My personal belief for this? People are just so over the heat that they drink beer. I know I do. As much as I love a refreshing glass of white wine or Rosé, when its 100 degrees and 100% humidity, the simplicity of an ice cold beer is sometimes all I can handle. So here’s a reminder that there’s STILL TIME to enjoy a Rosé!

Anyway! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s called SEPTEMBER! It’ll be here in NINE DAYS! And even though September is still pretty hot, it never feels as bad, mentally, as August. Because we’re almost there.

Side note- I realized the other day that I haven’t written about a red wine since March- eep! I tried to come up with one to write about, but I just can’t. It’s too hot. So I’m going with one more Rosé to finish up the Summer series. And it’s a good one!

photo 1 (15)Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon Rosé is a sturdier Rosé, built for a somewhat serious Rosé drinker. Remember my BFF, the Charles Bove Vouvray? This wine comes from the Loire Valley too, but from an AOC a little Southwest of Vouvray called Chinon. Chinon is known for its Cabernet Franc, which is what this Rosé is made from. This area is steeply elevated and has rocky soil. Reds from Chinon are also a favorite of mine, although they sometimes require one to enjoy a bit of austerity and tannin.

This Rosé is dear to my heart because, as I mentioned before, it has a nice weight and sturdiness to it. It isn’t frivolous, and though it would make a nice mid-day quaffer like almost all Rosés do, it can be taken seriously enough to pair with dinner. Excellent food wine. Charcuterie, herbed goat cheese, a light chicken or quail preparation would all be stellar. photo 2 (15)

When this wine reaches close to room temperature is actually when its aromatics really pop! Too cold, it will certainly refresh, but might not reveal all its lovely flavor components. Tremendous care is taken in the production of this Rosé to preserve all the vivacious fruit and delicate spice. Redcurrant, strawberry, a little bit of cherry and pomegranate are accentuated by a hint of orange peel, Asian five spice and fresh red flowers. Excellent minerality and a taut, bitey finish. I don’t think bitey is actually a word, but this wine bites a little, so therefore bitey seems appropriate. The finish lasts an awfully long time for a reasonably priced wine!

Speaking of- you’ll be glad to know that this wine is an awesome $15 to take home! And you can try it at tomorrow’s (August 23rd) WINE SALE from 12-2! There will be, as always, discounted prices, smiling faces and air conditioning. Do you have a better way to spend your Saturday morning? I didn’t think so.

I’m heading up to DC next weekend to attend Epicurience Virginia with this guy:

How could you not love this guy.

How could you not love this guy.

I hope to return with tales of all the awesome wine that is being made in Virginia- and no, that’s not tongue-in-cheek; there really is awesome wine being made in Virginia. Until then, happy drinking and see you at the sale tomorrow!

 

 

 

Cyber Tuesday: Snowpocalypse Edition!

Well, it’s noon and I haven’t seen a snowflake yet… But the lists of cancellations and closings just keeps on coming!  What better time to surf the interwebs and check out some new wines!  Here’s some fuel for your fodder- in another brush with internet fame (err.. it’s my second), these two wines were submitted as samples from www.winechateau.com.  They’ve certainly made my weekend a little brighter…

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Castello Banfi Belnero, 2010 Italy, Tuscany

The first thing that puzzled me about this wine was that on the website, a customer has posted an (although very favorable) review, referring to it as a Chianti.  I would not call this a Chianti.  Not to nitpick.  This borders on Super-Tuscan status.  Which is great!  It’s a fun category.  I’ve always respected the idea of a Super-Tuscan- I like the “eff this noise, we’re gonna put whatever grapes we want in our wine and DOC/DOCG be damned!” mentality.  How can you not?

It’s a dark, rich wine that has a giant nose of vanilla and dark fruit upon opening.  It shows nice depth, color concentration and will definitely fill your “big red” niche.  Additional layers of tobacco, coffee and mocha offer complexity, followed closely by luscious black cherry, blackberry, fruit compote, roasted herbs and maybe a hint of balsamic.  A pleasant grip of acid reminds you that this baby is all Italian.  I dig it.  It’s one of those New-meets-Old-World styles that accomplishes it’s mission quite deftly.  Furthermore, it’s a definite overachiever for the $19.99 pricetag.  *please note- as of 1.28.14 this wine is sold out via winechateau.com, but they expect to re-up very soon.*

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Fratelli Recchia Ca’ Bertoldi Amarone della Valpolicella, 2005 Italy, Veneto

I was looking forward to this one for two reasons; 1.) it got a 92-point rating from Wine Spectator and 2.) it’s $24!  These two reasons in and of themselves are not earth-shattering, but combine them AND consider that this is an Amarone?  Cha-ching!!  For those that don’t know, Amarone can often be a verrry spendy category.  It’s also an interesting style of wine because it can be a bit divisive.  There are plenty of people out there who might never like Amarone, stylistically.  Speaking personally, I’ve had some that I didn’t care for despite the fact that I recognized them as “good wine.”  However… I can say that one of the most, if not *the* most, knee-buckling wines I have ever tasted was an Amarone.  Granted, it was a $400+ retail bottle of 2006 Dal Forno.  Sort of like saying, “Yeah, I was never the same after I drove that Lamborghini.”  Duh.

So what’s the deal with Amarone?  Why do I call it divisive?  Well, they are made in a specific style- appassimento– in which the grapes (Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara) are allowed to partially dry.  This causes them to lose a large portion of their weight, and concentrates their sugar content.  Hence, the resulting wine is almost always rich, heady, and just plain intense.  And some people just aren’t into that…

But I’ll tellya- you find a good one and it’ll just plain blow. you. the. eff. away.  Like seriously, you’ll feel as if one of the secrets of the universe has been revealed to you.  In one moment, you’ll comprehend why so many have chased the dream of winemaking like Captain Ahab for so many years.  I’m not even exaggerating.

Alright, so that was a fun trip down memory lane, but now on to this wine!  And let me start by saying I’ve tasted this wine over the course of three days, and it is still freaking beautiful on day three.  Upon first open it was maybe a little restrained; the nose showed typical notes of preserved/dried fruit, cocoa, some nuttiness (nut brittle, even), anise and figs.  The palate isn’t weighed down or clumsy in it’s fruit/alcohol content.  It’s really a perfect introduction to this style of wine; it doesn’t break the bank and it’s balanced enough to appeal to a broad wine-drinking audience.  On day two the wine seemed to relax significantly, and bloomed with some additional spicy notes and fruity finesse.  All-in-all, I’d call this wine darn good.

One cool perk about Wine Chateau is that on your first order, you get a coupon for $10 off shipping.  Additionally, they offer a Mix-&-Match free shipping on many (not all) wines.  As I maintained on my last post that involved wines available for internet purchase- I can’t see myself as someone who would purchase wine online that often, but once and a while it’s fun to mix it up.  And sometimes online retailers do offer very competitive pricing, and occasionally exclusives on wines you might not find elsewhere.  In the case of one particular wine that comes to mind, it has actually become easier in the last few years to find online than it is for (at least in SC) on-premise accounts to get it.  So, I’d be remiss if I did not say- don’t forget about your small, local wine store!!; but there’s room in the wine world for more than one way to purchase.

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Alright so that’s it for Snowmageddon morning!  Best of luck to y’all in the impending doom.  I hope you have enough wine.  I sure do!