27 July 2006

TN: Under the pink

[ Commanderie de la Bargemone]Rozan “Commanderie de la Bargemone” 2005 Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé (Provence) – Sticky strawberry and raspberry with thick white apricot and a dense, mildly sweet texture. It’s flavorful, if a bit heavy, but it’s not at all refreshing. (7/06)

50% grenache, 30% cinsault, 15% syrah and 5% carignan. This is produced at an absolutely beautiful property in St-Cannat, created by the Knights Templar and admired by Cézanne. It’s a shame the wine doesn’t quite live up to its place of origin. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: extruded synthetic. Importer: Hand Picked Selections. Web: http://commanderie-bargemone.com/.

JM Raffault 2004 Chinon Rosé (Loire) – Much better than the previous wine. Strawberry is only the top layer here, with chalky-dusty white mushrooms forming a core around which are wrapped light fruit and gentle spring leaf aromas. A light, somewhat mysterious rosé that needs careful attention to draw forth its nuances. (7/06)

Cabernet franc, which lends itself to light-bodied rosés (more extracted versions are possible, but often unwise), is not a grape that’s much used for pink wines anywhere outside the Loire. And, as with the often brilliant nebbiolo rosatos of the Piedmont, I’m somewhat at a loss to understand why. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: extruded synthetic. Importer: Carolina.

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