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french wine

pining for provence: rosé…and friends.

Sorry for the lengthy interlude between posts.  Life happens sometimes.  But it seemed sacrilegious to pine for Provence and omit an ode to rosé.

I simply cannot conjure the words to pair with my memory of this pristine place—the bumpy backroads, the stillness of twilight, the weightless gravity of time and the absence of it all at once.  Provence has my heart.

When I think of the wine here, what comes to mind first—almost solely—is the languid, melodic rosés, sitting quietly within glasses that wear robes of beaded condensation on a hot, summer day.  Really the mecca of rosé, Provence produces some of the most delicate, thought-provoking pinks I’ve ever had.   In the summertime, try to find anything else in the hands of the French when the sun is high.  In fact, they consume more pink than even white in a given year.

My favorite, from the province of Bandol, is the famed Domaine Tempier.  There’s purpose behind that $35 price tag.  Another annual gem comes from Domaine Triennes on the other side of the hill from Bandol—a joint effort of three partners (hence ‘tri’), one of whom is the highly revered Burgundian producer Domaine Dujac.  When told no ageworthy, notable reds could come of Provence, Domaine Triennes sought to turn this notion on its side.  And they have.  We carry three more than noteworthy wines from this estate (all $17.99): a red blend of Cab, Syrah and Merlot, a floral Viognier white, and, of course, their unmistakable rosé that stumbles onto the stage—a grown girl still half sure, smelling of bubble gum but tasting of wisdom.

Others from Provence include my favorites 2008 Chateau Miraval Pink Floyd rosé and their white ‘Clara Lua’ made from the obscure Rolle varietal (both $17.99), as well as the 2009 Foquette rosé ($15.99), the classic 2009 Commanderie de la Bargemone ($16.99) and the inexpensive but oh so tasty 2009 Bieler rosé ($10.99). One little understated gem we love is the soft-spoken 2008 Secret de Campagne red at only $10.99.  For something a little left of center, give Bandol a try with the 2005 Le Galantin Rouge ($22.99)—a muscular, tannic, herbaceously wild, tough-talking red.

And so concludes this segment on Provence…at least, that is, until I return from this mystical place in a couple weeks.  I shall report back–in a  more condensed fashion…

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About mistralwine1982

Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to Colorado in 2005 in order to get closer to the mountains and rock climb. When it occurred to me that I would never make money with that hobby, I went to grad school. I received a masters in English and American Literature from New York University in May of 2009. I have since then opted not to pursue a PhD, for studying and writing about wine is far more fascinating (well, perhaps not moreso than Virginia Woolf, but still… for the long haul?). My favorite wines come from the old world, especially the Rhone, Burgundy, Rioja, Piedmont, and Tuscany. I am also smitten with roses, Italian hard-to-pronounce white varietals, and dessert wines from around the world. By day I run a wine shop. By nite, I sip and tell. It’s rough… but someone must do this.

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