Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Journalist, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant

Drinking out loud. 

Filtering by Tag: Rose

Tavel Rose Rounds Out the Summer

Summer is still lingering, but there is a softness in the air that hints at the coolness that is fast approaching.  We are all hanging on to the last gasps of warmth and embracing the finale of the season. 

On one such night, I opened this Chateau de Trinquevedel, Tavel Rose, France, 2013. Tavel is a town very close to Avignon in the Rhone Valley and is unique in that it only produces rose. It was also the first region to be granted AOC status for the pink sipper, meaning rose is serious business. In other parts of the world, where rose is sometimes produced as an afterthought or as a "casual" wine in a producer's portfolio, Tavel winemakers must meet strict requirements to ensure they are creating quality quaffers. 

With this particular bottle, the winemaker's great-grandfather fortuitously purchased the chateau in 1936, the same year Tavel was granted AOC status. However, he wasn't profitable immediately as the vineyard was in rough shape; "rough" as in it took until 1960 for them to release wines that upheld the governing regulations. Talk about gumption.  

The soil, most interestingly, is comprised of sand and galets (round stones), which are a signature characteristic of Chateauneuf du Pape, which obviously peaked my CdP-loving self's interest.   So, how did this wine fare?

 

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The color was a deep rose, which immediately gave the visual impression of power.  On the nose, field ripe strawberries, bright cherries and a strong floral tone, almost that of a rose (funny how that works) came through. The palate showcased a lot of the same strawberry notes, ripe raspberries and blackberries yet there was a savory quality, almost like licking a rock, and a spiciness that came through as well.  Medium acid and medium plus-bodied, it was a rich rose.

 

Keep tasting, friends.... 

Rose's Last Call

Not to be a downer, but.... I'm going to be anyway. Summer is coming to a close.  You need to get your rose on.  Now.  Here are a few new ones I discovered at a recent tasting.  

Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Bubbles! This Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV, had a lot of fresh strawberry on the nose but was beautifully balanced with a brioche toastiness on the palate.  

 

Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

A bit of Finger Lakes history for you.  Charles Fournier was one of the pioneering winemakers in this northern New York region and is credited with moving the industry forward.  In the 1950s he brought Dr. Konstantin Frank over and together they revolutionized FInger Lakes wines.  The Dr. Konstantin Frank label is fairly well known but there hasn't been a Fournier Private label for a while.  The Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013, was somewhat Provencal in style with the lighter body but it showcased more New World style fruitiness. 

 

Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

And then, there was this awesomeness. Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013, was a Bordeaux blend rose.  Fuller in body, it was rich in fruit but what was most interesting was a bit of creaminess and a slight dairy tang.  Yep, this rose was treated with a bit of malo.  

Finally, with the cooler weather coming, I recommend these two Rosato-style roses. Heftier in body and juicy beyond all belief, they are the sweatercoats of Rose: Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013  and Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. 

 

Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

I'm gunning for Endless Summer....

Journey to the North Fork

I've waxed poetic about Finger Lakes wines for a while now, but New York State also houses a large area of viticulture on Long Island, especially on the North Fork. It's an interesting wine culture where many wineries take their vinicultural cues from other parts of the world, yet international grape varietals are also given a distinct local treatment.  On a recent trip, I felt as if I was exploring Champagne and Provence, yet still encountered wines that were uniquely New York. 

The first winery we stopped at was Sparkling Pointe, an aptly named place that produces sparkling wine. If you can get past the numerous marriage proposals (two that occurred nearly simultaneously) and bachelorette parties (I counted about 5 "Bachelorette!" sashes), it's interesting to experience the gamut of sparkling wines being produced out here.  What I found most notable is that most of the wines are of a specific vintage and not a cuvee. What's the difference, you ask? Cuvees, which are blends made from various vintages, are created to ensure a consistent house style and quality. When a winery creates a bubbly based on a vintage, they are paying more attention to the weather and other climate factors that will affect their final product. I'm not sure why this is the path Sparkling Pointe has chosen; it could be they are still building their reserves, or perhaps they like the subtle variations in the vintages.  

Sparkling Pointe Brut, 2010.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Sparkling Pointe Brut, 2010.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

The Sparkling Pointe Brut, 2010 was an easy drinking bubbly with lots of pear notes up front and a little bit of baking bread on the palate. The texture was soft with very fine bubbles, slightly mousse-y on the tongue.  It was simple yet perfect for a summer patio situation.

Next in the flight was the Sparkling Pointe Brut, 2007 (not pictured). The aging on this one gave more noticeable yeasty, savory tones to the wine  and was a bit more complex and refined than the 2010.  

Sparking Point Brut Seduction, 2005.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Sparking Point Brut Seduction, 2005.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Because sex sells, we were treated to the cheesily named Sparkling Pointe Brut Seduction, 2005.  Luckily, the wine fared way better than its label name; complex toast notes met with floral sweetness and subtle fruit, creating a elegant bubbly.  

Sparkling Pointe Cuvee Carnaval Blanc, NV.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Sparkling Pointe Cuvee Carnaval Blanc, NV.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

The final wine was the sole cuvee, the Sparkling Pointe Cuvee Carnaval Blanc, NV.  The sweetest of the bunch, the residual sugar lingered on the palate and the flavor profile immediately brought to mind a Moscato d'Asti.  I could see this as a great pairing for dessert. 

We hit the road and headed over to what promised to be my Nirvana: Croteaux, which is all rose, all the time.  

 

Provence via Long Island.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Provence via Long Island.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

The beautiful Provencal-inspired patio was the perfect venue to taste through six of their roses.  

 

The rose lineup.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine. 

The rose lineup.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine. 

The Provence aesthetic clearly extended to the wines as most were in the light and crisp spectrum of roses, perfect for summer day drinking.  I found most to be rather simple, but I did favor the Croteaux Merlot 3 Rose Cuvee, which was softer and a bit richer than the others, as well as the Croteaux Jolie, which was in an Italian rosato style, meaning a fuller body and richer fruits. 

The final stop was to Corey Creek, an offshoot of the North Fork stalwart Bedell. 

 

Can't beat that view.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Can't beat that view.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

 

If this isn't the essence of summer, I don't know what is. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

If this isn't the essence of summer, I don't know what is. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

The Corey Creek lineup.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

The Corey Creek lineup.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Here, I found myself drawn to their reds a bit more over their whites, including their Corey Creek Cabernet Franc, 2012, which is not normally in my wheelhouse.  However, theirs was a bit rounder and softer than the underripe pepper and vegetal notes I often associate with Cab Franc.  Their Corey Creek Merlot, 2012, too, avoided its soft fruit bomb association with a balance of soft tannins and spice. 

While the North Fork is still working to stake its claim as  a major player in the wine world, it's definitely worth a trip to seek out some of these hidden gems.  

Keep tasting, friends....