Hecht & Bannier Cotes de Provence Rose 2017
The goal of Hecht & Bannier is to essentialize the purest expression of the terroir of Southern France. In other words, Gregory Hecht and Francois Bannier wanted to create wines that would not be possible with the fruit of just a few vineyards clumped together, and thus they decided that the domaine model of wine production was not ideal for their project. Instead, in 2001, they founded a negociant firm with the core principles of blending fruit from the best growers across an appellation, and using the capital freed up from not needing to own land in order to invest in aging their wines and creating superbly balanced, ideal expressions of each region.
Their 2017 Cotes de Provence is a testament to the success of their project, with grapes plucked from cooler areas across the region, allowing them to create a ripely textured yet delicately dry expression of rose that perfectly captures the subtle berries and quiet herbal notes that typifies the Provencal style. When one dreams of a refreshing glass of rose during the cold and dark winter (or spring) months, this is the wine you imagine.
Château Gassier La Pas Du Moine Cotes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Rose 2017
Chateau Gassier is one of the oldest continually operating estates in Provence, founded in 1892 by Anthony Gassier, and now, five generations later, managed by Georges Gassier. Over that time, Gassier has become one of the most respected estates in Provence, and one of the most respected Rose houses in all of France. What makes this estate special, beyond the consistency and quality of their winemaking, is that it sits upon some of the most renowned terroir in southern France, Le Grand Site Sainte Victoire. In 2004 Sainte Victoire was one of the first areas in France to be awarded the status of Le Grand Site, recognizing its geological and biological importance to both the past and future of sustainability in France. This award was both a testament to the quality of Gassier’s practices and respect it had shown to the region over the course of the last century, and an opportunity to continue to improve and set the standard for sustainable winemaking across France. Working with the French Government, Chateau Gassier has worked to continually improve and integrate its farming practices into the surrounding natural environment, and the care it has taken with its land has undeniable emerged in the quality of their wines.
Le Du’s has worked with Chateau Gassier in previous years, but this is the first year that we have carried their Grand Vin, “La Pas du Moine.” The grapes for this wine are taken purely from their top vineyards on the southern slope of the Sainte Victoire Mountain Range, expressing an intense mineral palate, with a delicate yet ripe berry and garriga nose.
Chateau des Marres Prestige Rose 2017
Chateau des Marres is considered the pearl of Saint Tropez, one of the most famous regions of Provence for wine production. Saint Tropez is a sunnier, warmer area of Provence compared to Sainte Victoire or the areas where Hecht & Bannier source their Rose grapes, and as a result the wines of Chateau des Marres take on a more lush, luxurious expression than the wines above. This is especially true of their “Prestige” bottling, which is harvested from only the estates best plots and is made with a slightly extended maceration. This does not express itself in any overt fruitiness or darkness in color, but rather in a texture that creates a more substantial wine that, while still dangerously refreshing, makes this wine more flexible than just as an aperitif, and can easily take you into a meal without being overwhelmed.
Von Winning Pinot Noir Rose 2017
Von Winning is one of the most exciting estates in all of Germany. With vineyards located among the top sites of the Pfalz (essentially the German side of the Alsatian Valley) and led by the ambitious young winemaker Stephan Altman, the estate has become known for synthesizing a more French inspired winemaking regime, including very densely planted vineyards and aging of their top wines in in new french oak, with the traditional grape varieties of the region: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir. Specifically for their Pinot Noir, Von Winning has introduced another French tradition in its wine making regimen, “bleeding” off some of the juice after pressing the Pinot Noir grapes in order to concentrate the wine, and using the bled off juice to make Rose! This is only the third vintage that they have made this wine, but it has quickly become one of my absolute favorite Pinot Noir Roses made anywhere in the world. Gushing with vibrant acidity, the wine is devilishly refreshing with tons of tart red berry fruit and just a touch of sweetness. The wine is totally delicious to throw back by itself, but I especially love it with some spicy Thai food.
Feudo Montoni Nerello Mascalese Rose di Adele 2016
Feudo Montoni is known as the estate “on an island within an island.” Sicily is an island shaped like a triangle, with the major winemaking regions at each point. Etna in the north east, Vittoria in the south east, and Marsala in the west. Feudo Montoni, however, is located in the mountainous heart of Sicily, making singularly mineral driven wines in one of the driest parts of the island. While Feudo Montoni may be unique in its current position as a winemaking estate, however, it is a position with a great history of winemaking. Indeed, the cellars that Feudo Montoni make their wine were built in 1469, and their vineyards planted on the same land that grew those wine grapes almost 600 years ago.
Feudo Montoni’s Rose is the quintessential rosato wine, showing a darker, more extracted complection than one might expect to find out of provence, yet made with such a delicate grape as to still render the wine easy and refreshing. I am not using easy synonymously with simple, however. Nerello Mascalese is the same grape that is making all of the heralded wines coming off of Mount Etna these days, and the Rose di Adele shows off all of the floral and herbal nuance that many have come to expect from the grape. The extra year of bottle age has only added depth and intensity and, more so than any others mentioned thus far, it is a wine that can easily stand up to more substantial foods. Take this wine to your first spring BBQ, or your favorite patio eatery, I promise it will be the star of the meal.
Bedrock Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rose 2016
Bedrock Winery was first and foremost founded as a mission-driven operation dedicated to preserving and rehabilitating old vineyards around California. These vineyards were planted by California’s viticultural pioneers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and have survived two world wars, Prohibition and a constantly changing marketplace. In the eyes of Bedrock, if something has been growing for over 100 years it not only deserves the respect of us humans, but it probably makes some darn good wine too.
Oftentimes these vineyards are planted with Zinfandel, but plantings of Mataro (Mourvedre), Carignan, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Sémillon, Gewurztraminer, Trousseau Gris and Riesling and dozens of others have appeared as well. While some might see the diversity of these vineyards as a challenge, given the prevalence of single variety wines in the California marketplace, Bedrock has taken it upon itself to champion these old vine field blends. The Ode to Lulu Rose meets that challenge head on, and makes one of the most compelling American Roses we at Le Du’s have ever tried. Made primarily from centenarian Mourvedre and Grenache vines, this Rose has an explosive nose that is dark and mineral driven. This is great wine in every sense of the word, it just happens to be pink and delicious.
|Dimensions||24 x 15 x 15 in|