Fri 1 Apr 2011
Had to, had to start April — oh cruelest month! — with a rosé wine. I chose the Mas de la Dame Rosé du Mas 2010, from Les Baux de Provence appellation down in the South of France, tasting, sipping, guzzling! — just kidding! — with a slice of really good crusty bread doused in olive oil and a few nibbles of Comté cheese. The ancient village of Baux, often called one of the most beautiful villages in La Belle France, perches atop a promontory in the far west of the Provence region and dominates a wine area upon which was bestowed AOC status in 1995. Very unusually, later amendments to the AOC rules stipulated that all estates within the Baux de Provence region must operate on biodynamic principles, an intriguing and perplexing and perhaps disturbing example of government control. This property dates back to the 16th Century and is owned and operated by sisters Anne Poniatowski and Caroline Missoffe, with the aid of ubiquitous Rhone-and-points-east-and-south consultant Jean-Luc Colombo.
The wine offers the classic rosé color dubbed either onion skin or “eye of the partridge,” which is to say very very pale copper with a tinge of pale melon and faint salmon. Mas de la Dame Rosé du Mas 2010 — in the parlance of south-eastern France a mas is more than a farm but less than a grand plantation — made, of course, all in stainless steel, is a blend of grenache (50%), syrah (30%) and cinsault (20%). Aromas of orange zest, jasmine, dried red currants and melon with hints of spiced peaches and pears distinguish the seductive yet spare and elegant bouquet. In the mouth, the wine is very dry, quite crisp with pert acidity and water-etched limestone, delicately imbued with flavors of dried currants, a touch of rhubarb, a hint of dried Provencal herbs, and a pass at lavender-permeated potpourri, strawberry and tarragon. Completely delightful, and a Platonic ideal of a rosé wine. Now through 2012. Alcohol content is 13 percent. Excellent (and I don’t give out many Excellent rating for rosé wines). About $15, representing Great Value.
Palm Bay Imports, Boca Raton, Fla. A sample for review.