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The Cellar: Last Chance for Rosé

Friday, September 12, 2014


2013 Vinha Da Defesa Rosé

Summer is sadly coming to an end and with it so are the availability of Rosé wine. This is unfortunate as Rosés in my opinion is the most versatile wines around; great for sipping by themselves but also often a great pairing wine for all kinds of food. I always use the dying days of summer to shop for Rosés. The following are examples of two great, yet very different, ‘fresh off the bottling line’ 2013s that I will be stocking up on for the winter.

2013 Domaine Le Murmurium, Rosé, Cotes Du Ventoux, France

Cotes Du Ventoux

This week’s first featured wine is from a French wine region located around the Mont Ventoux. Cotes Du Ventoux (as the wine region is called) covers around 51 towns and villages and is located in southeastern France between the Rhone Valley and Provence. The Red, White and Rosé wines produced in this area are similar to the ones made in Cote-du-Rhone, which are based primarily on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre with smaller amounts of Cinsaut and Carignan.

The current owner of Domaine le Murmurium, Marc Pichon, purchased the now 50 acre estate in 2008. 35 of those acres are planted with Grenache and Syrah, but Marc also grows Merlot, Carignan, Roussanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Bourboulenc. All the vineyards are harvested by hand and are cultivated using 100% organic practices without the use of any chemicals or pesticides. In making his blends Marc vinifies (makes into wine) each varietal separately and blends after that. The Cotes Du Ventoux was my favorite in a recent blind rosé tasting I hosted. The ’13 is fresh and light, yet is has a dense core of delicious fruit. Strawberries and watermelon comes to mind with lingering red apples skin.

2013 Herdade do Esporao, Vinha de Defesa Rose, Alentejo, Portugal

This week’s second featured wine is a Rosé from Portugal. More specifically, it’s the 2013 Vinha Da Defesa Rosé from Herdade Do Esporao – an Estate that dates back to 1267! Esporao is arguably the most famous winery in Alentejo; a region that has led the way in Portugal's international reemergence over the past few decades. And while wine production in Alentejo used to be dominated by a handful of government-supported co-operatives, the majority of the premium wines produced today come from independent producers like Esporao.

I have been a huge fan of winemaker David Baverstock’s wines for several years and the ’13 Rosé does not disappoint. This is a bigger wine than the Cotes Du Ventoux – darker in color, heavier on the palate and richer in flavor. This is one of those ‘food Rosés’ I spoke about earlier. Made from Syrah and Aragonês – the Portuguese name for Tempranillo - this wine boasts rich red cherries alongside a touch of spice. It has really nice lingering ripe strawberries.


Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question or learn about wine in person by signing up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.


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