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A Few Favorite Rosé, All Under 20 Bucks

Ahhhhhh, it is that time of year again. Nope, scratch that, as a good rosé is really quite lovely any time, but this time of year it is much more abundantly available. Rosé can range considerably in quality and price. This group hits the sweet spot for under $20 a bottle, which always make me quite happy when we are hosting a large dinner or party. All French and all the palest of pink, which always tickles me. There really are so many yummy rosé out there, but it can be overwhelming. Keep in mind AIX, Domaine de Fontsainte and Triennes. A winning trio!



House Wine Rosé

As mentioned a few weeks ago, I am a purist, and Summer is not officially over for a few more weeks and I am going to savor every last drop of the season. While many think of rosé as the drink of the sunny months, we, along with many others enjoy it year round. Enjoying a roast chicken while it snows outside having a glass of rosé is pretty poetic. I digress, as the pink wine has a very special place in my heart. Now onto Wine Wednesday and this very clever can of rosé from House Wine. I mean seriously, how fabulous is that? My love of high/low is showing, as this quite yummy wine is housed in a can, making it easy to pack up on ice for a picnic or swell to serve for a beach gathering where you might not want to have glassware. Or fab when you are only wanting a glass and don’t want to open a bottle. To say I am tickled pink is a slight understatement. 

From the maker: Created in 2004 by acclaimed winemaker Charles Smith, House Wine was designed with the goal of providing maximum value and quality in an iconic minimalist package. House Wine brings great wine, at a great price, to any great occasion.

Tasting Notes: Fresh and fragrant aromas lead to a wonderfully bright palate. Flavors of juicy citrus and ripe strawberry are rounded out by a refreshingly crisp finish.



Season Ending Rosé Tasting

I am a bit of a season purist, preferring to enjoy each right up until the day of the change as the calendar represents it. But I also know many folks head right into Autumn mode the day after Labor Day and say ‘so long’ to Summmaaa, and I get that too. This Wine Wednesday post is for both mindsets, one just gets a few more options to offer this rosé tasting. The rosé sections at most wine shops & grocery sections is looking pretty depleted at this point in the season. Now is the time to pick up those singular bottles that have been catching your eye, but you pass on it as you had been seeing your favorite, up until now. We did this on Sunday with a bunch of our nieces at Hawthorne, where we were hosting a slumber party. Starting at lunch, working through supper on into the eve and board games. We all tried a bit from each and our niece Haley took notes along the way on each bottle, so when next year rolls around, we might have a new favorite. It was fun to chat about likes/dislikes and hear how each person described the wine. Our oldest Sive niece Caitlin is an accomplished chef, having prepared a dinner at The James Beard House (sort of a big deal in the foodie world, and I am a super proud Uncle, so thought worth the mention…), so it was a huge learning lesson for us all hearing her describe each wine. Big gathering or small, this is a fun time of year to give this a go. Cheers to Summer, whenever it ends!



Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé, For The Win

It is fun to look back at past posts and see what was rolling through my mind at the time. I wrote about this extraordinary rosé a few years ago, and I would not change a word. See next paragraph below. We shared a bottle the other evening–a relaxing meal up in the studio treehouse, just us two, watching the boats sail on by. We have been having a long streak of crazy good Summer weather so we have been grabbing every chance possible to revel in it. 

There are tons of lovely bottles of rosé out there, but if pushed to say what my absolute favorite is for my “Wine Wednesday” pick, I would have to say Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé. I get that same elated feeling when opening a bottle of Veuve. It has a specialness to it. It would not be something consumed often, so there is just a festive feel when you get to enjoy a bottle. Brought to the States by the esteemed Kermit Lynch out of Berkeley. Produced in the Bandol region by the now world famous Peyraud family. Opening a bottle of this is pure sunshine. Their rosé is 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 20% Cinsault. It has that lighter pink color that I always strive to match when choosing a rosé by other makers, as Domaine Tempier is the benchmark I hold for all others. I don’t really believe in saving things for ‘special’ occasions, as I think that diminishes the specialness of every day. So the next time you want a serious treat (sitting with a friend catching up, seeing a loved one you have missed, or you just want to celebrate the day) and you are looking for a rosé, hands down this is what I would grab.



Les Gardettes Rosé

Wine Wednesday brings a new rosé to my ever-expanding roster of French varieties. My eye went right to that label, being a lover of all things crown related, which was the first thing that grabbed me. Our island grocer stocks wines both high & low, but there is always a heavy concentration of rosé this time of year under $20, which is hits the sweet spot for me for the beloved pink. So in the basket it went to be enjoyed for a dinner for two under the umbrellas on what has turned out to be a stupendous city and island July.

From the maker: Named after the two guardian towers of the castle, Les Gardettes is the entrance to the castle and to the Montfaucon range of wines. Concentrated in both color and flavor, the Les Gardettes rosé delivers a healthy dose of French relaxation just like good rosé should. This blend of Cinsault, Counoise and Grenache is a true rosé de saignée (French for “bleed”) where some of the wine is removed from the vat leaving a smaller amount of wine left to bleed with the skins which intensifies color, tannins and concentration. Les Gardettes is full of strawberry, peach and other stone fruit flavors supported by good acidity and freshness.



A Stellar Rosé Trio, All Under $20

Wine Wednesday is a trio of rosé that are the top of my list when I am looking for bottles under 20 bucks. So often we are serving rosé for a crowd, so it is nice to able to get a nice assortment without breaking the bank. The above three never disappoint. French rosé has a special place in my heart, especially when it is pale, pale pink. I have written about each of these three singly but wanted to give them a shout-out again, this time as a grouping. They make for a festive little wine tasting at your next gathering. Nothing overly serious, just a fun way for folks to mingle, pour themselves a glass, and mingle some more. It is also a great way to keep guests quite happy if you need to step away to tend to further meal prep. Triennes, Domaine de Fontsainte (brought into the States by Kermit Lynch of Berkeley, of which I am a huge fan), and AIX. When in doubt if you are standing in the wine aisle, grab one or all three of these bottles for an exceptionally good pink option/options.



La Bastide Blanche Bandol Rosé 2015

It may be after Labor Day, for many of us the white shoes get put away but not the rosé.  It is such a versatile wine that pairs beautifully with food.  The Wine Wednesday post is about this lovely La Bastide Blanche Bandol.  Easily drinks like a rosé twice the price.  I found a bottle on our stay at Hawthorne in August and was again super impressed by it.  We enjoyed it on our last eve there with dinner outside under the stars.

From a little web searching on this tasty wine:  The limestone rich soils of St. Anne de Castellet provide a taut mineral framework and juicy acidity, while the high proportion of Mourvèdre in this traditional Provençal blend offers an intense fruit core of ripe strawberry laced with grapefruit and tangerine zest accented by pungent herbs and a touch of spice. This is the classic Bandol rosé by which all others ought to be judged.  

This elegant, powerful rosé comes from one of the producers who put Bandol on the map as a truly great wine region in the early 1990s. La Bastide Blanche’s success rests on extremely low yields and impeccable conditions in the cellar. 

A complex, perfectly balanced wine with lovely aromas of red-currant, peach, blood orange, rose and spice. The palate is dense with creamy berry fruit, citrus and stone flavors, ripe and full with bright balancing acidity with terrific density and length. Delicious now, this will improve over the next few years.



Domaine Guizard Rosé

As the rosé season soon comes to a close for some, I know many of you enjoy it year round.  So I thought I would highlight the bottles in the next few weeks, that were enjoyed at the rosé tasting that occured at the shop last month when we had the Jeanne McKay Hartmann trunk show.  It was such a fun eve with customers milling about shopping, sipping rosé and Jeanne painting up a storm while Arielle Dombasle played in the background.  We served a variety of wine from one of my favorite Seattle importers, Precept.  The Domaine Guizard rosé from the Languedoc Appelation was loved by all, so I thought it would be the Wine Wednesday choice of the week.  

From the vintner’s site:  “On those warm lands, the dominating Grenache combines well with the Mourvèdre. After nightly harvesting and direct pressing, the wine displays a light, orange salmon, robe, and delivers soft but elegant aromas of white flowers, hardly peppered. More expressive, the mouth is supple, round and slim.”

The kind folks at Precept have offered my blog readers the ‘Friends and Family’ discount, which is 25% off of the retail price.  If so incline contact them at Precept Wine and be sure to tell them you read about it on the daily blog post or were lucky enough to try this yummy French rosé the night of the tasting at the shop.



Domaines Ott Clos Mireille Rosé Côtes de Provence

Entertaining guests from near & far plays a big part of our stay at Hawthorne.  A combination of friends and family, it is something we both cherish about our time there.  This Wine Wednesday post is about an exceptionally divine bottle of rosé that was a gift to us from our friend Elizabeth when she stayed a night, that we popped open and enjoyed a few nights later at dinner at the picnic table out back under the stars with our friends Mimi & Richard from Little Ghent Farm. Domaines Ott Clos Mireille rosé is a wine I have seen mentioned in articles and occasionally had seen on shelves at wine selling establishments, but had never grabbed a bottle.  Silly me.  It was heavenly.  It will be a bottle we will seek out again & again.

From a little searching around on the web: Overlooking the sea, Clos Mireille is in Londe les Maures close to Brégançon. The broad sea-facing facade provides Clos Mireille wines their inimitable character. The microclimate and the sea spray create the perfect conditions for producing subtle and distinctive wines. The wine consists of a beautiful blend of grape varieties: grenache, cinsault and syrah. The bouquet consists of white fruits and strawberry aromas with a hint of citrus accents. Fruity notes on the palate segue into a smooth and firm structure.



Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé

Rosé has been the libation of choice for guests this visit. The heat makes it a welcome choice.  It is always fun to check out the different varieties at wine shops & the grocery store when we are out shopping.  Different regions with different wine distributors makes the mix always interesting to peruse.  This Commanderie de Peyrassol rosé is a Provençal wine I have seen in the past but have never tried.  I am so often drawn to and like quite a bit, wines from Provence.  This most certainly did not disappoint, and was quite tasty with a tomato sandwich. 

From the maker:  Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache make a balanced trio full of fruity flavours, nicely sharpened with a touch of Mourvèdre. Its rosy appearance is soft as a dream, and an expressive, gourmet nose lends charm to this blend dominated by wild berries: gooseberry and raspberry reveal themselves in a crisp, silky palate enhanced with an elegant touch of minerality.  Ideal as an aperitif, to accompany tapas, but also goes well with all varieties of grilled fish, beef or fish tartare and fresh berry desserts.