My Pink Heaven

img_5726First, let me get past the myth that have so many of you as Pink Haters.  There wasn’t one sweet wine among the twenty or thirty that I tasted.   Sweet pink existed!  There was pink Moscato.  But sweet pink was not on my radar.  I was looking for dry pink.  Pink with some bubbles.   Pink with a little tannin (that’s right!).  Pink with a little attitude.  I found all the pink I could possibly love and I left a swath of iced down, delicious pink still untasted… being enjoyed by other pink lovers…who had more time than I did.  It hurt to leave.  But the effort of leaving just kept me wanting more.  God, I really do love good Rosé!!  I admit… I  even like medicore rosé.

Yesterday, Houston was home to pink.  A treasure trove of Rosé (thank you Southern Glazers) put out for buyers to sip through and determine what pinks should grace their wine list for the summer…or even all year through.  I was lucky to be there.  What is my favorite Rosé?  I’m still enjoying the looking, but here are a few that talked to me.

Casata Monfort Pinot  Grigio Romato.  This is an Italian Rosé made from a grape we consider to be a white wine grape–Pinot Grigio.  However, Pinot Grigio grapes have a lot of color in their skin and this wine was created to be a Rosé.  Skin contact with the juice gives the wine its coppery color and also some  unique complexity.  $20-ish

Palmer Brut Rose. Amazing.  Bubbles.  Could not spit this!  $75(?).  Spendy but so worth it.

Paul Cheneau Brut Rose.  This was the most unique of the pink bubbles I tried because it was dry and loaded with, of all things, dark fruit flavor.  Blackberry  and dark cherry bubbles.  Who knew? Lots of fun.    $15.

Pleasant Hill Sangiovese Rose.  This 2016 Rose hails from Brenham, Texas.  Pink is even better when its local and this local is great.

Lageder Lagrein Rosato from Alto Adige.   Another excellent Italian Rosé  $18-ish.

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Moet and Veuve Cliquot had a great presence… but I never made it to that side of the room.  Whispering Angel and Miravel showed up, too.  But you have already heard about them, I’m sure.  They are top sellers in the United States, respectively.  They have helped put Rosé in your shopping cart.  You are putting Rosé in your shopping cart??!!

To add icing to my pretty pink cake, the Southern Glazers offered up a Rosé Master Class led by Gillian Balance, Master Sommlier.  It was an Old World vs. New World tasting and both came up as winners.  Three tiers of Chateau Minuty rosés Cote de Provence) made up the Old World entrants.    The Chatea Minuty 281 retails for over $60.  Talk about a serious Rosé!!  And it was awesome!!  Matua Pinot Noir Rosé (Marlborough, New Zealand), Chateau St. Jean Bijou Rosé (California)  and A by Acacia Rosé (Napa Valley) were the New World offerings.  Slightly darker in color.  A bit less acidity.  All the wines were fresh, dry, enjoyable and lovable.

 

Chablis…The Other Chardonnay!!

I have a difficult time finding a Chardonnay that I like.  They are often too round, too full bodied and taste too much like Butterscotch, or, if from Burgundy, they are too expensive.   Very lovable, but expensive.
Chablis hits the right summer notes EVERY time.  Crisp, lemony melon.   Long finish.  Perfect with seafood, salads with chicken, oysters     And I get excited when I find a half bottle on a restaurant wine list.  Perfect to share with a good friend over a summer lunch.  Benjy’s on Washington Avenue has a nice half bottle list.  My friend, Melone is going to enjoy being introduced to this wine!  She always lets me choose, because she knows I’m  a little adventurous!

So when you go to your wine store, look for a Chablis or Premiere Cru Chablis. NO Petite Chablis–despite sounding small and boutique, Petite Chabis is the bottom of the barrel, so to speak.

Grand Cru Chablis is the pinnacle of Chabli.  It comes from ONE perfect 250 acre parcel of southwest facing hillside,  that is divided into seven vineyards —  Les Clos, Blanchot, Bougros, Valmur, Valdesir, Preuses and Grenouilles.   The soils in this parcel are comprised of ancient marine fossils, and mineral rich clay.  This lime studded (Kimmeridgian Clay) soil gives wine a chalky minerality that sets it apart from lesser quality Chablis.  Some of these Grand Cru wines may age in oak, but it will never be overwhelming.  Grand Cru vineyards make fabulous wines that are typically  not for everyday consumption pricing.  At least not at my house.

The William Fevre 2014  basic Chablis that I enjoyed with lunch is $22-27 a bottle.   And in between, you have the William Fevre Premier Cru ‘Les Lys’ for $30-33.  (Premier Cru is also seen as 1er Cru). The pinnacle William Fevre Grand Cru ‘Les Clos’ is typically $50-65.

I  can’t encourage you enough to add Chablis to your wine drinking repertoire.  It’s typically un-Oaked (or only lightly Oaked) flavor is taut and it thrums with fresh, clean minerality. Big flavors but still polite and delicate.  It really is the other Chardonnay.  The precise, trim, angular sister to anything you’ve tried from California.