For those of you reading from outside of Minnesota, let us give you a hint of why we love rose’ so much in our state. From November 2013 to April 2014 we had (if you add up all the hours) 25.1 DAYS of sub-zero weather in the Twin Cities. From December to February our average temperature was 9.7 degrees fahrenheit, the ninth coldest on record. In Duluth, 150 miles north of the Twin Cities, they had 62 days with temperatures below zero.

We could go on and on, but suffice to say it was a miserable six months of weather between November and April.

Then the magic happens.

The snow melts away. The birds return. The grass starts growing again. Minnesotans, en masse, start wearing shorts and t-shirts even though the temperature is barely in the 40’s. And the rose’ starts flowing.

After a winter as intense as 2013-2014, finally sitting on the patio and popping a bottle of fresh rose’ signals renewed hope, optimism, and a brighter future. This, in a nutshell, is why we love rose’ so much.

The new rose’ arrivals are coming in every week, and we just completed a fantastic rose’ tasting for the local trade. Below you will find our notes on rose’ selections for this year. If you are trying to find any wines in particular, tweet us @WineCoMN or call our offices at 651-487-1212.

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FRANCE | Rosés françaises de 2013

La Vieille Ferme Rosé, Rhone
From chalky Mt Ventoux, slow ripening Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah combine to yield a richly structured rosé made in the saignée method of bleeding off early fermenting wine from a batch of red before extracting too much color -which is full and fragrant as a result.

Guigal Côtes du Rhone Rosé, Rhone
60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 7% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre from vines averaging 25 years and planted to the alluvia and pebbles typical of the southern Rhône. Drawn off the skins after a brief maceration and long temperature controlled fermentation, this rosé is clear, brilliant and fresh with an expressive nose of red fruits and citrus and a palate expressing raspberry and redcurrant making a well-balanced elegant wine overall that’s fruity, fine and round. A tasty rosé that is versatile at the table matching starters, Grilled fish, white meat, poultry.

Carteresses Tavel, Rhone
(50% Grenache + 15% Mourvèdre + 13% Clairette + 12% Picpoul + 10% Syrah) + TAVEL TERROIR = an outstanding rosé from a land devoted to making serious full bodied rosé. Just across the River Rhone from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Tavel is an appellation wholly devoted to rosé and was the favorite of Phillip Le Bel, the Popes of Avignon (just south of Tavel), the 19th century novelist, Honoré de Balzac, the 20th century writer, Ernest Hemingway. Among the few rosés  that can age, Tavel is lovely in its youth so good luck keeping your hands off of it. A rich nose full of fruit (cherries and plums) opens onto a vinous palate that in terms of body and texture is more akin to the red end of the spectrum.

Chateau l’Ermitage Rosé, Costières de Nimes
40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 20% Mourvèdre | From 25 year old vines planted to the rolled Durance pebbles (the Durance river flowed through the valley well before the Rhône) this rosé hails from Saint-Gilles’ south facing slopes of the Costières de Nîmes. The Costières de Nîmes are situated in the Rhône valley’s most southern part, on the opposite bank of the Rhône with regards to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Jérôme Castillon bleeds off the rosé to concentrate his reds and calms them down during a brief aging in stainless steel yielding this beautiful intense color with an explosion of fruit in the nose and on the palate. Stylistically one might say this wine is situated between a Tavel and a Côte de Provence which is why it lends so much to spicy or exotic cuisine, Bouillabaisse, lamb chops with Provence herbs but while this wine is sufficiently fresh to be served on its own as an aperitif, it does not lack in fleshiness to accompany your summer meals. A great success.

Campuget Rosé Costières de Nimes
70% Syrah 30% Grenache | Pale and perfect. Mineral and crisp. Invigorating red fruit and fragrant with texture and body but kept bright and light and refreshing all the way along. From the alluvial gress soils of the Rhône Valley, the Syrah and Grenache at Chateau du Campuget hail from Costières de Nimes south of Nimes and West of Avignon. The fruit is picked at prime maturity while ripe but retaining plenty of lift and texture and in order to form this delicious these are crushed to begin the red wine of the house but is “bled” off after extracting only a pale color and gentle texture in this process the French call Saignée. “Bleeding” off rosés from the reds not only imparts a bit of texture and grip but further concentrates the remaining red wine because it then has a greater skin to juice ratio imparting all the more character to the final red. An absolute charm, Campuget 2013 Rosé proves a lifted and invigorating variety in a world of its own.

Rosé d’Acanthes Pays du Gard
Grenache (50%, fullness), Carignan (30%, fruit), Syrah (20%, spices) from 15 year old vines planted to the clay and limestone soils of the Gard region within Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France, this rosé is clean and crisp, fair and fragrant with an elegant floral character and a quenching structure bearing a bright and polished mouthful of pale, red fruit that makes for an engaging, refreshing and uplifting rosé of outstanding value.  Enjoyable as an aperitif, for a picnic, grilled meat, and exotic cooking. This pleasure wine will be appreciated with friends.

Figueirasse Gris de Gris rosé, Provence
Made from Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan by gently pressing these grapes immediately after a night harvest ensures a fair and very pale rosé of lifted fragrance and mouthwatering structure. White cherries, snappy kumquats and floral heights lend much to this tactile and bright rosé; with its chirping mouthfeel and beguiling aroma, this always stays lofty and lifted. Vin de Sables is named for wine of the sand because this is in fact a rosé made from vines planted in the sands of Camargue –the little pocket betwixt the Mediterranean and two gores of the Rhône Delta. It is unique in all the world though more known for its ancient breed of semi feral horses that roam wild about the Camargue marshlands or else renowned for its Fleur de Sel salts which the ladies there harvest by lifting their aprons up and away from them. Stunning and fair this rosé proves 2013 yet another absolute cracking vintage and that perhaps the region’s real calling could just well be Gris de Gris.

Chateau Riotor Rosé, Provence
Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah from the very heart of Côte d’Azur, where the estate stretches over 118 acres not far from Saint-Tropez on sandy red sandstone soils. Blended from local grape varieties that express floral aromas and wild forest berries, their Côtes de Provence is a lovely pale rosé color with violet highlights. This is an elegant, balanced rosé with fine length on the palate and a fresh, crisp finish.

Caves de Saumur Cabernet Rosé de Saumur, Loire
100% Cabernet Franc from the chalky tuffeau of Saumur of the Loire Valley.  One of our perennial favorites around the office, we’ve found the spicy/herbal qualities of Cabernet Franc lend themselves perfectly to a beautiful and bright glass of dry pink wine. Enjoyable and playful in the nose, with grapefruit meets wild strawberry aromas bursting forth even in this early stage of its life. The smell begs for a summertime evening on a dock in far northern Minnesota, with loons on the water and children canon balling into the cold water. The mouthfeel is dramatic: grippy acids that enter bright and sexy but quickly turn a corner and bring forth juicy goodness causing your sense of taste to beg for more. Can you tell I like it?

A wine like this loves seafood, especially shrimp on the grill or seafood skewers with a range of veggies. Don’t be afraid of a bit of pepper spice, but avoid hotter Thai-like spice or red hot chilies … those can be wine killers in a big way, chemically altering the flavors. Another fine choice for this wine would be anything involving trout or salmon. Want to make a whole night of it? Do a surf and turf evening with this rose’ next to their Cabernet Franc and compare the wines side by side.

Coteaux de Vendemois Cocagne Rosé Loire
Northwest of Tours above Vouvray, Coteaux de Vendomois gives the central Loire this bracing mineral rosé that’s both fair and fresh. Made from 100% Pineau d’Aunis (also known as Chenin Noir), this was the favorite of Henry Plantagenet, is a lovely variety unique to the Loire and is charming for a minerality that persists through all its high toned fruit.

ITALY | Rosati italiani del 2013

Alois Lageder Lagrein Rosé, Alto Adige
Lagrein is a grape that makes tannic red wines high in the elevations of Alto Adige, Italy (the region between Verona and the Swiss border). There are few of the classic red Lagrein wines that I would personally seek out or suggest. Their tannin levels are often much too high for drinking enjoyment, unless you are having the hearty central European foods of that region (think hams, krauts, potatoes, roasted meats of all sorts, lots of gravy and sauce). However, one great purpose for this grape is dry rosé.

The color of this is darker than many rosé, a dark strawberry/crimson color with a vibrant hue. The aromas are very varietally driven: concentrated cranberry and strawberry with no sense of plushness but rather a concentrated spike of aromas that shows a serious style (and this seriousness is contained in a 12.5% alcohol package … lovely!). Having recently arrived at our warehouse, the aromas and flavors are tight and are bound to loosen up a touch in the upcoming months. Firm mouthfeel with the natural tannin of Lagrein standing tall, this is a hearty and serious rosé for hearty and serious food. Pick up some artisanal sausages and fire them over hardwood charcoal. Don’t forget the mustard! This wine can handle it!

Morisfarms Mandriolo Rosé Tuscany
A fresh and frisky rosé made from 100% Sangiovese, this is a welcomed return after its popular debut last year from Morisfarms, the renowned pioneer of Morellino. This charms for being a pale rosé that is light and nimble but a compelling example of what sets the Morisfarms apart from their other Tuscan neighbors.

GERMANY | Deutsch Rosé 2013

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé, Pfalz 
The Pfalz is a very warm and sunny region, often called “the Tuscany of Germany,” so all of the Pinot varieties do well here. The Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé is a true rosé, made with a brief maceration before pressing to extract color. It is light and refreshing, with deliciously bright berry and fruit flavors and a clean, zippy finish. It’s perfect for holiday meals, especially when ham is involved. At 11% alcohol and perlant upon first tasting it, this is a thirst slaking session-wine for the patio for sure!

SPAIN | Los rosados ​​españoles de 2013

Borsao Rosé, Campo de Borja
We love their Tres Picos WE LOVE their rosado! Borsao is renowned for having the best Garnacha rose in all of Aragon. Coming from Spain’s Campo de Borja appellation of Aragón, this is clean and crisp, with bright red fruit like wild strawberries. On the palate it makes quite the impression as a easy drinking, dry rosé: snappy, fair, polished, and bright, this is an engaging to the last drop.

Protocolo Rosé, Castilla
50% Tempranillo, 50% Bobal grown in La Tierra de Castilla in La Mancha in central Spain, this rosado is the easy drinking rosé made by the talented Eguren family -famous for a number of estates including Sierra Cantabria, San Vicente, and Teso la Monja among others. Tempranillo imparts the ripe fruit we love but its the Bobal (incidentally among the grapes with the highest levels of resveratrol) that bears its fresh scents and juicy acids -yielding a rosé with notes of raspberry, strawberry and citrus fruit all coming together into a fresh glass of wine.

Marques de Caceres Rosé, Rioja
100% Tempranillo | 100% stainless steel | This has a pale coral pink color and notes of redcurrants anise and flowers (lilies). Deliciously full in the mouth, where this wine delivers its fleshy, juicy and versatile character that is also very refreshing. This rosé has becomes a reference amongst others in its category. True class and elegance.  Generally speaking, 2013 was a cold, damp year with very little sunshine and rainfall way above the usual levels. This delayed the budding and caused irregularities in the flowering and the setting of the berries. Following an unusually wet winter, the almost wintry temperatures in March and April delayed the budding by about three weeks. Summer, however, was very favorable with many sunny days, pleasant temperatures and not too much heat. In spite of this, the delay in the vegetative cycle continued throughout and set back the harvest until the month of October. Even so, patience pulled it off and the result: an ideal match for Mediterranean cuisine, barbecues and open-air parties, vegetables sautéed in olive oil, paella, pasta, and lightly spiced dishes (thyme, laurel, oregano, etc.). The perfect rosé for fish, pork and chicken. Surprisingly fresh, this is a versatile rosé that marries superbly with all kinds of food.

Rio Madre Rosé, Rioja
100% Graciano (the rare and colorful, aromatically expressive, seasonal red of Rioja) – hand harvested and fermented under indigenous yeasts, this shows fresh and fragrant red fruit -chiefly strawberries where the pronounced scents on the nose carry over onto a juicy, refreshing palate with strawberries coming to the fore and a nuance of tangy saltwater taffy to the finish.

ARGENTINA | Rosados ​​argentinas de 2013

NV Bianchi New Age Rosé, Mendoza
This truly Argentine, semisweet, slightly sparkling rosé is made of 50% Malbec and 50% Merlot from the Bianchi vineyards in San Rafael, Mendoza. Fresh and floral it offers sweet scents of wild raspberries, a little kiss of sweetness and a pleasantly effervescent finish that is so nice served chilled as an aperitif or a light dessert wine.

Cuvelier Los Andes Malbec Rosé, Mendoza
From 1,000 foot vineyards in Mendoza’s Uco Valley, Vista Flores, and Tunuyán this 100% Malbec rosé is a directly press rosé whose maceration with the skins extracted color over the six hours in the tank and at press. Stainless steel keeps all its buoyant and fruity charms intact and pure. The wine has a light, attractive and delicate pink salmon color. Its nose is intense and complex with fresh plum and floral notes. Very refreshing in the mouth with a crisp natural acidity, it is tasty and with a long and delicate finish.

SOUTH AFRICA | Suid-Afrikaanse rose van 2013

Goats do Roam Rosé, Stellenbosch
Most elegant yet – Made from 45% Shiraz 20% Grenache 19% Mourvèdre and 16% Gamay Noir from their sustainably farmed Paarl and Stellenbosch vineyards, these were harvested ripe and then lightly crushed. After 6 – 12 hours of skin contact, depending on the color extracted from each variety, the juice was removed from the skins. Most of the fruit is sourced from trellised vineyards on the Fairview estate with supplementary drip irrigation which is planted on decomposed granite soils. Some parcels of Mourvèdre were harvested from their cooler Stellenbosch farm. This is an immense improvement on previous years –both brighter and paler with a salmon pink color and strawberry and rose notes. Red berries wash over the palate and on through its fresh, elegant finish. Great with prawn salad, canapés, paella and spicy cape Malay dishes.

CALIFORNIA | Californian rosés of 2013

Pedroncelli Zinfandel Rosé, Dry Creek
Crafting rosé since 1954, Pedroncelli chose to make a point on the label that theirs was Dry Zinfandel to make it crystal clear that this was not the White Zinfandel crime committed elsewhere. No. This instead is home grown Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. It showcases the best of this land and its favored variety –making this an all American classic all its own. This rosé is especially engaging both in fragrance and texture because it is a blend of 50% free-run juice and 50% rosé de saignée then married in stainless steel to keep its edge and flex –truly dynamic and one-of-a-kind. As our dear friends in the Pedroncelli family tell us, “fresh aromas of rose petals and sweet strawberry jam meet in the bouquet. Cherry, vanilla and red berry flavors are highlighted in our Rosé. The wine is balanced with crispness and a refreshing fruity finish.” Trustworthy palates are worth relaying in turn in kind. Hats off to improving on high standards.

Cline Mourvèdre Rosé, Sonoma
A lovely rosé made from Mourvèdre planted over a century ago to Contra Costa County (named for being the coast opposite the bay from San Francisco), this maybe the closest California gets to the great rosés of Bandol –France’s great spiritual home of the Mourvèdre variety and in the 2013 vintage in particular the closest in terms of fragrance and character. Tangy red cherries and those tiny, aromatic alpen strawberries are the voices that propel past the chorus of its floral fragrance while a low note of anise blooming in a hot pan throws these further into relief. Drier and more dynamic than previous years, this rosé is all the better for food pairings with enough acidity to make a nice match for charcuterie or rillettes but with a plush and polished texture this is such an easy rosé to sip here and now without any food at all. It is a beautiful pink rose-petal rosé with just enough pomegranate sort of tannin to lend grip without rocking this perfect little boat –an excellent chilled accompaniment for spicy foods, chicken Provencal, salmon or Teriyaki.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Sangiovese Rosé, Sonoma
100% Sangiovese | No oak | Winemaker’s comments: “Wine drinkers love this wine, but few realize how much work is involved. The fruit arrives at the winery, goes into the tanks and a few hours later our staff has to drain off the juice and dig out the wet heavy skins. It is no fun for the staff, but it is how we achieve the perfect color, aromatics and flavor! 2013 was another vintage for the record books. While this was an almost perfect growing season, it started with one of the driest springs on record. Throughout the summer we had a warm growing season and as a result the Sangiovese for our Rosé reached peak maturity about a week earlier than in 2012. Our Rosé is recognized by critics and wine lovers as one of the best in the country. This vintage is similar in color to the 2012 with a light pink/salmon hue. Aromas of wild strawberry, watermelon, raspberry and mint explode out of the glass. The flavors of strawberry, peach, berry and a hint of minerality keep you coming back for another sip. The 2013 is a rich Rosé with a very long aftertaste and is sure to be a hit in warm weather!”

Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé, Paso Robles
73% Grenache 22% Mourvedre 5% Counoise | In the Provençal tradition, this is a blend of three Rhône varieties Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise planted to the limestone rich parcels of Paso Robles. Like most rosé wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the bright strawberry fruit and fresh acidity of Grenache, with additions of darker fruit, structure and spice from Mourvèdre and Counoise.

Grapes for the Patelin de Tablas Rosé are sourced from three limestone-rich regions of Paso Robles: the warmer, higher-elevation Adelaida Hills near Tablas Creek, the cool, coastal-influenced Templeton Gap to our south, and the moderate, hilly El Pomar to our south-east.  These regions provide structured, mineral-laced fruit and excellent acidity.

The 2013 vintage was our earliest harvest on record, accelerated by the low yields from our second consecutive drought year and a consistently warm summer without the heat spikes or cold stretches that can delay ripening.  The net result was a blockbuster vintage, with excellent concentration, refined tannins and good freshness: a vintage that should be impressive and approachable young, but with the stuffing to age.

The bulk of the Patelin de Tablas Rosé is Grenache, picked and direct-pressed into stainless steel tanks with minimum skin contact.  This was supplemented with saignée lots (bleedings) from Mourvèdre and Counoise in the cellar to provide some color and structure.  Only native yeasts were used in the fermentation. After fermentation, the wines were blended and cold-stabilized, and bottled in February 2014.

Lioco Indica Rosé, Mendocino
Aromas of rose water, candied orange peel, and crushed chalk lead to flavors of red currant, key lime, and pickled watermelon. FOOD PAIRINGS might include fish stew, fresh oysters, chicken sausages. This is a deliberate rosé from vineyard to glass. The fruit was hand harvested and the berries purposely “broken” before being whole-cluster pressed to a stainless steel tank. The wine was fermented cool and finished bone dry. It completed a long, slow malolactic fermentation which balanced the naturally high acidity. A gentle filtration was done prior to bottling. From a mid-century planting of dry-farmed, head-pruned Carignan in the township of Talmage, this rosé expresses itself as a product of place as severe diurnal shifts support gradual and often late ripening. The soil is red clay strewn with fist sized rocks. The combination of vine age, an extended growing season, and tougher soil conspire to produce wines of intrigue.

The 2013 vintage marks the fourth consecutive harvest of what avid fans deemed “Strawberry diesel.” Lioco has dialed in the vineyard for this “intentional Rosé.” The vines seem to possess the knowledge that they will be relieved of their fruit early. For the last two years the sugar/acid balance has been spot on for making Rose. Given the early September harvest date, things were “eerily slow” around the winery allowing Lioco to baby this fruit a bit more. They crushed the clusters before loading them into the press, then initiated a long, slow press cycle. The result was akin to a vin gris wine as all of the wine’s color—that captivating hue they call “penny”—happened during the pressing. Because they at Lioco like Rosé to be clean and snappy, they tank fermented the wine and filtered it before bottling. It speaks for itself!

MINNESOTA | Minnesotan rosé

NV Alexis Bailly Rosé Noir Hiawatha Valley
From Minnesota’s very own Hiawatha Valley this is a deeply colored off-dry rosé (noir means black) which fits perfectly between a white and red wine. Light and flavorful, bursting with cherry fruit, the grapes are Foch and de Chaunac, two red grapes pulled off their skins quickly at harvest to minimize both the color and intensity. Delightful on its own, or match it with equally light and lovely foods. Serve chilled.

OREGON | Oregonian rosé of 2013

Left Coast Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette
A welcomed change back to the drier and snappier and paler –almost Provençal pale pink. Chalky mineral and bright strawberry fruit. Lovely texture and uplifting throughout and into the finish. So much more French at every turn! Perhaps because it the 20% that isn’t fermented in stainless steel is given that sangfroid from time spent neutral French oak barrels. Perhaps it is that 80% of the Pinot Noir fruit is of the Dijon (667) clone? Perhaps it is 2013 was a vintage born for rosé? One thing is sure: this is the best rosé I’ve yet tried from Left Coast Cellars for its lift, minerality, dynamic fruit and toe tapping texture –a real pleasure start to finish.

SPARKLING | Effervescent rosés from around the world

NV Riondo Prosecco Rosé, Veneto
This delicious light pink colored sparkler displays fine bubbles loaded with aromas and flavors of sweet cherries and fresh picked strawberries. It is light to medium bodied, lively, fresh and explosively fruity. This is a great crowd pleaser made from the Raboso variety unique to the Veneto region

NV Il Follo Prosecco Rosé, Veneto
85% Glera (the variety formerly known as Prosecco which is now strictly speaking an appellation among the DOCG) & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon these varieties benefit from the cool Mediterranean climate and planted to the calcareous clay slopes around Conegliano among the renowned Valdobbidene Hills which keep the wine fresh and mineral despite its fragrant fruit. From its beautiful gemstone pink color to its nose of strawberries and that crucial wisp of yeast, this is a delight. There’s bright yet sweet cherry hard candy on the palate that’s perfectly balanced by its acidity and fine mousse. Charmat method.

NV Chiarli Brut de Noir Rosé, Emilia-Romagna
Gently pressed from Grasparossa and Pinot Noir, this brilliant rose from Emilia Romagna spends six months in cuve close to yield a delightful glass of sparkling rose. A gentle mousse bearing a gentle rose with the soft spoken charm of leesy strawberries, faint mint and cider apples opens onto a creamy textured bubbly that is perfectly balanced with the acidity of fresh fruit and a dry snap that I could drink all day long. One ought to spend many a weekend brunching over this wine -when throughout the mid-morning meal you simply pop into more of the same sparkler until your lifestyle seems defined by leisure. An absolute delight of a dry, sparkling rose that pours over the palate and washes away the tarnish of the world, Chiarli makes effervescent wine both interesting and playful. 12% alcohol by volume

Baumard Carte Corail Cremant, Loire
100% Cabernet Franc. This is was a surprise addition to our offering of Baumard wines, one day it just appeared in the inventory. One of our favorite sparkling wines is the Cremant Brut from Baumard, cremant meaning lightly effervescent. So on their last visit to the winery its no surprise that the rose struck a harmonic cord with our staff. Really pretty in the glass, its equally attractive in the mouth. Suggestive of strawberry and rhubarb pie with melting vanilla ice cream. A total charmer! -LAC

NV Baron de Seillac Rosé, Provence
This Provençal rose is a great follow through to Baron de Seillac’s Blanc de Blancs’ 1-2 punch proving Laurent Breban makes top notch sparkling wine. 100% Grenache lends a fresh, floral fragrance and a dry palate replete with white cherries, a faint mandarin acidity, and a fine mousse. At 11.5% alcohol, this wine is a dreamy option as a ready aperitif, a delightful bruncheon wine, or a terrific vin de soif! Buy it by the case and keep one in the ice box at all times. Baron de Seillac is a shining example that shows sparkling wine should be a daily affair -adding joy and panache to each and every day.

NV Jansz Brut Rosé, Tasmania
Northeastern Tasmania’s cool climate and Pinot Noir combine to great effect.  In the Tamar Valley of the Pipers River region the basaltic soil slowly ripens the fruit and with the moderating effect of the Bass Strait nearby, they preserve the acidity in this sparkling rose. With its secondary fermentation in bottle, this combines rose petals with turkish delight, that strawberry fruit from the Pinot Noir and a creamy texture that provides balance and length to its refreshing finish. Jansz was Tasmania’s first sparkling wine to be made according to the traditional méthod champenoise which they like to call the Méthode Tasmanoise.

2010 Argyle Rosé, Oregon
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At the tip-top of Knudsen Vineyards, at nearly 950 feet of elevation, is where you’ll find their small planting of Pinot Meunier. Being inherently lower in acid as compared to its partners in bubbly-crime, Pinot Meunier benefits form the extra advantage of late-season ripening to retain bright, fresh acidity and mineral edge. This year’s blend is 30% Pinot Meunier and 70% Pinot Noir, allowing for true rose petal shimmer, whilst underneath, faint star anise, cardamom, and bay leaf linger. Clean and long, delicate and nimble, the creaminess is accentuated with food…smoked pork rillettes, marmalade & toast.

NV Haton Rosé, Champagne
A fourth generation Champagne house of premier quality and astounding value, Haton is now run by Jean-Noël and his son Sébastien out of the family property in the Marne Valley.  Comprised of 30% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, and the addition of reserve wines to round it out, Haton’s Rosé is made from the family holdings in Damery within the Marne which I guess makes this Grower Champagne.  The color is a pink with salmon pink shades, enhancing the white and creamy head. The fruitiness of the nose is mostly based on red berry aromas conveyed on a full-bodied that finishes soft.

NV Hebrart Rosé, Champagne
Our dear man in the throes of Champagne and all it evokes puts it best: ”Exceptional even for this wine; the gushing ripeness of ‘09 offers a rich chord of murmury savor, even as the fruit runs its delicate scales above. I always think of this wine as a lady librarian, who wears her hair in a bun to go with her scrupulously professional work attire. She’s smart and correct, but when she gets home and shakes out her hair, she changes completely, and if we’re permitted to keep spying, we’ll learn she has ooh-la-la taste in desous. With this wine she’s in afterglow, but the conversation she and her lover have isn’t baby-talk and isn’t even tender; it’s simple and truthful and trusting. Then, in a while, they kiss again.

They’re a thousand miles away from thinking that this wine is 50% Mareuil CH and 42% Mareuil PN or that the still red is also Mareuil. October 15 ‘11 disgorgement is far from their minds. Nor do they attend to the vintages in the cuvée – the CH is all ‘09, the PN is ‘08 and ‘09 and the still red is ‘08. Sip the wine, and taste the kiss.”

NV Ayala Rosé, Champagne
Ah! This new addition to our peerless Champagne portfolio has us all astir. Based in Aÿ since it was founded over 150 years ago in 1860, Ayala remained independently owned since its establishment but has belonged to the Bollinger family since 2005. In terms of its equipoise and nimble weightlessness Ayala is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Bollinger’s rich baritone masculinity. Instead we marvel at its ethereal charm at the opposite end of the world in terms of style. It was one of the first houses to embrace a respect for the clarity of dry Champagne and remains in the realm of such as the great but remotely priced Billecart Salmon but within a far more appealing reach considering its quality. …but how do they at Ayala put this graceful glass to words? “The elegance of a rosé made predominantly from Chardonnay. Rosé Majeur is the perfect embodiment of the originality and finesse of the House’s wines. Made predominantly from Chardonnay it is crafted with the addition of a small proportion of Pinot Noir from the best crus of the Montagne de Reims. A low dosage – only 7g per litre – enables it to express the House style, both feminine and generous with great elegance.”

Contact us if you want to find any of these wines!

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