Selections for October 2017

Au Revoir Provence, for the time being!

2016 SAINT-ROCH ‘Les Vignes’ ROSÉ – Cotes de Provence, France

I confess!

Earlier this year we stated our admiration for dry pink wine qualifies it for one white wine club intrusion each year.  Well, this is the second 2016 Rosé intrusion - due to our weakness for the type AND an irresistible discount opportunity.  One of our fave rosés, Saint-Roch, is happening at much lower end-of-season wholesale rate for us.  During a recent re-tasting we felt it was still valid, choosing it as our pink wine “swan song” for 2016.  It comes to your club for two reasons:  The nicely lowered price and a teaching moment:  Dry rosé isn’t just for summer sipping any more.

In the realm of rosé, the renditions of Provence (Bandol notwithstanding) are known for “crashing” a mere eight or so months after release.  This blend of 50% Cinsault and 50% Grenache will almost certainly lose its best features sooner than later, but right now you’re in for a delicious experience.  The watermelon and cherry fruit is settling down, soon to leave the building.  What’s taking its place is a more savory sense of fresh herb, fennel, and brine.  The fruit of ‘Phase 1’ can still be identified but it’s in the process of passing the baton to secondary elements.  Should you wait too long to drink this, ‘Phase 3’ will reprimand your tardiness with less-attractive, oxidative flavors. 

So here’s to living in the moment, as dry rosé’s fragility encourages.  Drink this chilled with quality tuna and your garden’s last tomatoes on a bed of lettuce – or grilled salmon.  – And do it soon! 


The first of its kind at TWS!

2016 ADEGA MARIA ALTA ‘Zoe’ – Rias Baixas, Spain

Many of you know this region as we do:  Rias Baixas, Spain is famous for its 100% Albariños.  This Albariño-based BLEND is a first-time occurrence in my mouth and – no doubt – in yours.  Here, western Galicia’s best-known white grape is joined by Caiño Blanco, Treixadura, Loureiro, and Godello.  How fun is that?!

It’s impossible to know what each of the extra ingredients contributes to ZOE, but there’s certainly more richness and complexity happening here than you’d find in a 100% Albariño.  With no use of barrels impeding the fruit message, the thoughtful taster can identify all sorts of things in the perfume and flavor.  Fruit happens specifically as lemon, nectarine, and pear.  Fresh-cut grass, white pepper, and basil might be found.  A savory briney-ness tells you you’re near the sea and suggests what to do about that:

This misty part of Spain provides a bounty of fish and shellfish.  My two visits there have had me eating hake, barnacles, salt cod, octopus, scallops, oysters, mussels, and many other seafood types I can’t recall or properly name.  Wines like ZOE were always on the table, and agreed perfectly with this fare.  I suggest you emulate!