We have always had places in our hearts and our business for delicious dry Rosés. Since we first introduced a brilliant range of Provence Rosés from the 2009 vintage to Massachusetts in 2010 Rosés have become an increasingly important part of our portfolio.
Writing these notes at the beginning of February 2014 we can report that the 2013 Calcu Rosé from Chile is here and the 2013 Fleur Pinot Noir Rosé from California’s North Coast is due in any day now.
A small batch of two of our Provence Rosés together with samples of the others should be in by the end of this month. The first major shipment from Provence with all of the selections is due in mid-March.
Other Calfornia Rosés on order are the extra-fine County Line Pinot Noir Rosé from the Elke Vineyard in Anderson Valley,Waterstone’s Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley and Hendry’s Napa Valley Rosé.
We have reserved a good amount of 2013 Valdinera’s Chiaro di Luna 100% Nebbiolo Rosé, Langhe which will come on our first Spring container from Italy. Other Rosés are in our plans as well. Please check with your salesperson for more detail.
Below find supplier profiles of some of the 2013 Rosés here and arriving soon...
Château de Pampelonne Côtes de Provence Rosé
Château de Pampelonne’s 130 acres of vines lie just inland from the famous French Riviera beach of the same name on the Saint Tropez Peninsula. The estate has been in the Gasquet-Pascaud family since 1840 and is now directed by Edgar Pascaud. Monsieur Pascaud’s daughter Marie is proud to release her tenth vintage as winemaker; a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Cinsault 20% Syrah and 10% of the ancient Greek variety, Tibouren, which lends aromatic intensity to some of Provence’s finest rosés.
Domaine d’Eole Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé Six Cépages
A magical spot near St-Rémy-de-Provence at the base of the Alpilles surrounded by an ocean of olive trees and garrigue. This unique terroir has a rocky, rapid-draining mixture of limestone and sand that forces vine roots to extend deep into the subsoil to find nutrients. Abundant sunshine and a low fan setting on the Mistral provide ideal conditions for talented vigneron Matthias Wimmer to farm this 42-acre property organically (certified by Ecocert). Eole’s elegant rosé is a blend of six varieties: 55% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan and 5% Cunoise.
Mas de Pampelonne Côtes de Provence Rosé
Not far from Château de Pampelonne, the Mas de Pampelonne estate borders Saint Tropez’s most famous beach on the plain of Ramatuelle. Founded in 1886 by Henri Florentin Gal, the property was expanded by his grandson Lucien Gal after WWI and now encompasses 37 acres of prime Riviera real estate. In 1964, Lucien joined the Gasquet-Pascaud family and other neighboring growers to create the Maîtres Vignerons de Saint Tropez. Lucien’s daughter Christine Coste Gal assumed control of the family business in the early 1980s and continues her successful guidance of the brand three decades later with the assistance of her son Vincent, a successful architect in Saint Tropez. This is a slightly cooler terroir than that of Château de Pampelonne as the granitic-gneiss sands are deeper and a barrier of pyramidal cypress trees protects the estate’s farmhouse and vineyard from mistral winds while trapping moisture from the Mediterranean. The usual blend is 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 10% Tibouren.
Domaine de la Fouquette Côtes de Provence Rosée d’Aurore
Nestled into a forested plain amid the Massif des Maures mountains, the 35-acre Domaine de la Fouquette sits in the heart of the Côtes de Provence appellation. Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Daziano have instituted a labor intensive, organic regimen (now certified by Ecocert) in the vineyard that includes green harvesting in early summer to limit yields and harvesting by hand. In the cellar, the philosophy is minimal intervention. The Cuvée Rosée d’Aurore, named for the Daziano’s daughter, is comprised of the classic cépages, Grenache (65%) and Cinsault (30%), and accented with the white grape Rolle.
Château Saint-Honoré Côtes de Provence
The 19th Century Château Saint-Honoré is located in the seaside Côtes de Provence sub-appellation of La Londe east of Hyères. The estate’s 160 acres of vines thrive on forested slopes amid oaks, pines and mimosa overlooking the Mediterranean’s Îles d’Or (Golden Islands); Porquerolles, Port Cros, and Le Levant. Schist and sand soils containing significant amounts of quartz dominate the Maures-Esterel coastal range. This unique terroir yields high-toned rosés with floral and citrus aromas and flavors. New owners, the Fabre family, have been vignerons in Provence since 1928.
Saint Roch les Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé
Les Maîtres Vignerons de Saint Tropez is an association of Provence estates headed by the Pascaud family of Château de Pampelonne. It was established to promote the wines of eight distinctive, limited production Saint Tropez Peninsula properties and later spawned this joint venture focused on a unique Provence terroir triangulating the ancient villages of Cuers, Puget-Ville and Pierrefeu northeast of Toulon. Saint Roch’s unadulterated 50%-50% blend of Grenache and Cinsault is the quintessential quaffer and represents one of the best values on the market today.
Château Salettes Bandol
The 17th century Château Salettes is situated on the Mediterranean coast between Toulon and Marseille just outside the hilltop village of La Cadière d’Azur. Its 67 acres of Bandol vines are planted amid olive and pine trees on a gentle slope overlooking the azure waters of the Golfe de Saint-Cyr-les-Lecques. The estate has been in the Ricard-Boyer family for 17 generations, and with the assistance of talented, young University of Montpellier enologist, Alexandre Le Corguillé, longtime steward Jean-Pierre Boyer continues to make the upgrades necessary in both vineyard and cellar to ensure that Château Salettes will still be a leading Bandol estate when his young grandson (also named Alexandre), the 18th generation, is ready to take over. Almost half of Salette’s production is devoted to rosé, typically a blend of 35% Mourvèdre, 35% Cinsault, and 30% Grenache.
Clos Alivu Patrimonio Rosé (Corsica)
Eric Poli tends just under 12 acres of old-vine Niellucio and Vermentino on the terraced Poggio d’Oletta in the heart of Patrimonio, the oldest and arguably best appellation of Corsica. Niellucio, the Corsican descendant of Sangiovese, thrives in this ideally situated inlet at the north end of the island. Protected by the maritime influences of the Golfe de Saint-Florent, vines cultivated on the Petra Bianca soils of Patrimonio’s hillsides rarely require treatments of any kind, and when yields are limited, can produce wines with more freshness and finesse than those made from its Tuscan cousin. 100% Nielluciu.
Waterstone Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine were grown in the Truchard Vineyard in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. The vineyard block was harvested at full ripeness with good acid balance. Made in the saignée method, by “bleeding” juice from our Cabernet Sauvignon tanks prior to fermentation. The juice, pink in color due to its minimal skin contact, is inoculated and fermented to dryness in stainless steel. Prior to bottling, the wine received minimal filtration and fining to preserve the fresh fruit flavors. Perfect for spring and summer sipping, this crisp, fragrant Rosé features fresh strawberry, rose and hibiscus aromas that are mirrored on the palate. With its dry finish and balanced acidity, this Rosé is perfectly suited for al fresco dining and lighter fare.
Fleur Pinot Noir Rosé, North Coast
The 2013 vintage may have been the earliest harvest in 40 plus years of grape growing. A very dry, mild winter gave way to a similarly dry spring that allowed the vines to set an abundant crop load. The mild summer allowed the vines to evenly ripen their fruit, and the early cluster set translated into a harvest that began in late August (about two weeks earlier than normal). The fruit came off the vines in ideal condition with flavors, sugars, and acids in perfect balance. The Fleur Pinot Noir Rosé looks as beautiful as it tastes. Typical Pinot Noir floral and fruit aromas set the stage for a mouthful of fresh strawberry and honeysuckle. Perfectly balanced with fresh fruit and bright acidity, this Rose will leave you with a mouth-watering finish that is very refreshing and palate cleansing. Once again, winemaker Ken Foster has produced a stunner.
County Line Pinot Noir Rosé Elke, Anderson Valley
The Elke Home Ranch in Anderson Valley produced yet another beautifully balanced whole-cluster pressed rose. The peach colored wine radiates perfumed ruby grapefruit, strawberry, and citrus blossom. Vibrant stone fruit flavors explode on the palate, while the fruit remains focused and pure from partial fermentation in stainless steel. Use of neutral French oak barrels nicely rounds out the mid-palate. The tension between electrifying minerality and delicate floral succulence defines the lifting finish.
Our APRIL 2014 UPDATE: RATINGS & REVIEWS page is jam packed with up-to-date notes about our wines from key wine publications. There you will find two useful files that may be downloaded as pdfs. “Quotas vs. Priorities” and “Brands vs. Exclusives” are two parts of a series called “Advantage: The Small Wholesaler.” Here Peter Sagansky compares the focus of independent small wholesale wine distributors to the focus of the large commercial houses in today’s tough economic times. These pieces are in a sense our company’s mission statement. Our “MA Trade Only” page allows our Massachusetts customers to download all of our current Price Lists and our Price List version complete with Ratings from major publications.
The “MA Trade Only” page requires that you enter a “User Name” and “Password” to gain access. Please contact your salesperson or send us a message on our “Contact Our Company” page for details on how to log in.
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Thank you for your interest in Charles River Wine Company!
– Peter Sagansky and the Charles River Wine Company Team