Sun 15 Jun 2008
The longest river in France defines the country’s largest and most varied winemaking appellation. It’s fortunate for the summertime wine consumer that in addition to its celebrated white and red wines, its dessert wines and sparkling wines, the region produces a wide range of delightful rosés, generally from cabernet franc and pinot noir grapes. Here are three examples.
*The Domaine des Nouelles Rosé d’Anjou 2007, produced by B. Chereau, is simple, direct and delicious, offering a bouquet that flaunts orange blossom, orange zest and red currants with a hint of strawberry and limestone. A touch of sweetness in the front of the mouth is balanced by crisp acid, prominent mineral elements and a dry finish. The color is pale salmon/coral. The vineyards from which the cabernet franc and grolleau grapes derive lie southwest of the city of Angers, a charming town that boasts a picturesque medieval section and a formidable castle, once the seat of a powerful dukedom. I rate the wine Very Good. About $10 and Good Value. Imported by Monsieur Touton, New York.
*Here’s a Great Bargain. The Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon Rosé 2007 delivers amazing style and substance for the price. Made from cabernet franc grapes, the wine shimmers in its light salmon-dark peach color. Spiced apple and pear meet red currant and strawberry in the bouquet, while in the mouth, the wine is almost opulent in weight, dynamic in texture, yet crisp, close to tart in acidic properties, and quite earthy and minerally. Don’t waste this as an aperitif; drink with picnic fare like fried chicken or with Asian food like spring rolls or mild curries. Very Good+. About $14. Imported by VOS Selections, New York.
*Made completely from pinot noir grapes, the Lucien Crochet Sancerre Rosé 2007 sports a lovely bright onion skin color and equally lovely aromas of spiced peach, pear and melon with a touch of dried strawberry. This crisp and refreshing wine is very stony and minerally and combines hints of dried thyme and tarragon with strawberry-melon flavors, a hint of dried cranberry and its tartness with a limestone element that burgeons through the finish. Very Good+. About $22 (though I have seen this on the Internet as high as $32). Imported by Neal Rosenthal, New York.