Gérard Bertrand ‘Cote des Roses’ Rosé Languedoc 2016

Estate: Gérard Bertrand grew up assisting his father on the family’s estate in the sub-appellation of Corbiѐres in the Languedoc Roussillon. He took over the domaine upon his father’s death in 1987, and today presides over nearly 1000 acres of vineyards across the varying Languedoc Roussillon terroirs. He also heads a négociant business that partners with local growers and co-ops. A well-known proponent of sustainable farming, he is one of the largest producers of organic wine in Southern France. His flagship estate Château l’Hospitalet is carbon neutral, and many of his vineyards follow biodynamic practices and are certified by DEMETER. In addition to being recognized for his fantastic wines at excellent prices, Wine Enthusiast bestowed him with the European Winery of the Year award in 2011, stating “He fully understands the movement toward expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines that remain accessible and affordable.”

The cross on the label is a Visigoth cross dating back to the 7th century, which evolved into the Languedoc Cross. For a detailed explanation of its iconography, click here. Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the village of Gruissan.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from varied soils, but predominately hard limestone and schist, “but also gravel transported by the rivers of the Languedoc region”.

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, cherry and rain washed slate. Mineral driven, with red fruits and a hint of spice, finishing zippy and dry. Simple and summery, accented by a fun rose cut into the bottom of the bottle. {The bottle is an original design created by a young designer from the Ecole Boulle.]

Enjoy at 50°F [10°C]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Ideal as an aperitif or with subtly spiced dishes and shellfish.

Blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Languedoc
France
Shipped and Bottled by Gérard Bertrand
12.5% Alcohol
$15
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Domaine de la Patience ‘From the Tank’ Rosé 2016

Brand: ‘From the Tank’ is a collaboration between Jenny & François Selections and various small, natural artisan winemakers that focus on expressing their terroir. Jenny & François Selections is a New York based wine distributor founded in 2000. They feature small vineyard wines and “winemakers who work like artisans, crafting a different wine each year. They do not impose a preconceived taste on their wines, but look to be surprised by what nature gives”. The concept ‘From the Tank’ hails from traditional wine culture in France, “of going to the local winery with a big empty jug to fill up with easy-drinking juice”.

Philosophy: “High quality natural wine at a very low price that’s good for the planet too!”

Estate: ‘From the Tank’ Rosé was made exclusively for Jenny & François Selections by Domaine de la Patience, located in the Costières de Nîmes in southeastern France. The family estate takes its name from “La Patience”, a wild aromatic herb that makes its home in the vineyards. Christophe Aguilar farms the 60 hectares of vines, the very same soil that his grandfather respectfully farmed 50 years ago.

Winemaking: The vineyards are certified organic. Grapes were sourced from 20+ year old Syrah vines and 40 year old Grenache vines, then aged in concrete vats with minimum sulfur added.

Tasting Notes: Light coral pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, watermelon and a hint of tropical coconut and banana. Tasting similar to the aromas, with strawberry and mango glazing traces of banana and coconut. Fresh acidity, a streak of minerality and zippy citrus zest on the crisp, dry finish. A fantastic summer sip, a steal at $20!

80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Vin de Pays du Pont du Gard
France
[Bottling information not available]
12-14% Alcohol
$20 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
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Dave Phinney D66 ‘Fragile’ Rosé Vin de Pays Des Cotes Catalanes 2016

Estate: Progressive, rebel winemaker Dave Phinney owns 300 acres [120 hectares] of vineyards in the Cotes Catalanes, a sub-appellation of the Roussillon in southern France. The vineyards are in the Pyrénées-Orientales mountain range, two hours east of Barcelona, Spain and thirty minutes from the ancient Roman port city of Perpignan. Falling in love with the area and vines, Phinney built a winery in 2009, followed by a home for him and his family. The inspiration for the brand name ‘Dept 66’ is derived from the administrative department that covers the southwest corner of France that the estate is in [Department 66].

Philosophy: “I am so lucky to have been introduced to this amazing area and so proud to share its wines with you.”

Tasting Notes: Deep coppery pink in colour with exuberant aromas of strawberry, raspberry, wild flowers, rain washed rocks and spice. Super fruity, with succulent strawberry, raspberry and peach. Pink pepper dusted cherry on the silky finish seamlessly melts away. More fruit and alcohol then your typical Rosé, not an everyday sipper for me, but definately a fun time and perfect with summer festivities.

“Grenache with small percentages of Syrah, and Carignan”
Vin de Pays Des Cotes Catalanes
France
Produced and Bottled by Dept. 66
15% Alcohol
$19
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Domaine Les Aphillanthes Rosé Côtes du Rhône 2016

Estate: Located in the Rhône Valley close to Gigondas, Domaine Les Aphillanthes is headed by 4th generation winemaker Daniel Boulle along with his wife Hélène. When Daniel took over the family estate in 1987 they were only selling grapes to cooperatives; by 1999 he was producing his own estate wines and farming biodynamically. Certified biodynamic and organic since 2007, Boulle is known for his terroir drives wines.

Philosophy: “To focus on the quality of the fruit in the vineyards together with minimal intervention in the winery.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vines with an average age of 25 years. Fermentation takes place in concrete vats, the wine is moved by gravity feed and is left unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: Deep orange-red in colour with aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry and rain washed slate minerals. Silky red fruits drape over a mineral core, with racy acidity and a bit of grapefruit zest on the crisp, fruity finish. A good companion with summery dishes.

50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 7% Mourvèdre, 3% Counoise
Côtes du Rhône
France
Estate Bottled
12.5% Alcohol
$13
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Domaine Lafage ‘Nicolas’ Grenache Noir Côtes Catalanes IGP 2014

Estate: Domaine Lafage was officially established by Jean-Marc along with his wife, winemaker Eliane Lafage in 1996, however Jean-Marc Lafage’s family have been growing grapes in the Roussillon for 6 generations. The estate encompasses more than 200 hectares in the Roussillon, 138 hectares of which are vineyards. Jean-Marc transformed the family vineyards into a domaine and began estate bottling the grapes. Jean-Marc Lafage’s wines have gained such notoriety that he is now one of “the most sought-after winemakers of Europe”. He consults at several of the top estates in both France and Spain, and crafts ‘Las Rocas’ wines with renowned importer Eric Solomon.

Philosophy: “A healthy form of viticulture that respects the environment through a sound culture”.

Winemaking: Focusing on their old vines, they employ both recent technology such as foliage analysis and field monitoring, along with traditional methods such as organic and sustainable farming, hand harvesting and only minimal intervention during production.

Grapes are sourced from terraced vineyards surrounded by garrigue at the foot of the Pyrenees. Soils are a mix of “schisto-marbreux” gravel. 20% of the wine was aged for 10 months in Burgundian barrels of French wood.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour with inviting aromas of cherry, raspberry, black pepper, earth and traces of cigar box. Silky tannins wrap around cherry, black currant, black cherry and crushed black peppercorn. Fruit and clove notes linger between each sip. A great value, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. [It was excellent with faux sausage, basil, ricotta pizza.]

100% Grenache
Côtes Catalanes IGP
France
Mis en Bouteille au Domaine [front label] Bottled by S.C.E.A. Maison Lafage Mas Miraflors [back label]
15% Alcohol
$12

Rated 92 points by Wine Advocate