2010 Quinson Fils Rose

Long a fan of rosé from Provence not only was I curious but just had to see what this one could deliver for a five spot…

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Latitude Wines

What They Said:

2010 Quinson Fils RoseHmmm… Not a word to be found. Guess you’ll just have to trust me…

What I Think:

(12.5%) Nice pale salmon pink color (not dyed). Medium bodied, pleasant Grenache like strawberry and watermelon fruit. Spiced minerality. Dry, crisp and pleasing. Perhaps a bit faint or simple on the back of the palate but no flaws here. Still delivers for the price point despite the strange bottle. If you are looking for a rose this is as good as it is going to get for $5 (unless you can grab the 2009 Domaine Sainte Leocadie Minervois Rosé at K&L Wines).

Rating: Buy It (if you’re a rosé fan…)

2008 Domaine de la Fouquette Rosee d’Aurore

Price: $14.99 @ Vintage Wine & Spirits imported by Wine Agencies

What They Said:

2008 Domaine de la Fouquette Rosee d'AurorePer K&L Wines “A lovely wine from a beautiful part of France, the 35-acre Domaine de la Fouquette sits at the heart of the Cotes de Provence appellation. This is an environmentally friendly estate that works without chemicals and hand harvests entirely. The cepage is 65% Grenache and 30% Cinsault. A small amount of the white grape Rolle (5% – aka Vermentino in Italy) is added, elevating the citrus aromatics and acidity.”

What I Think:

I’m still searching for my summer Rose. With none in the house I decided to stop by Vintage Wine & Spirits, one of my local shops here in Mill Valley, and this was their pick. A bit pricey for an every weekend sipper for me but given it was from Provence I was willing to give it a try.

I’d normally call this salmon but it was amazingly pale in color (which I hope I captured in the picture). Loads of delicate strawberry notes on an aromatic nose rolled out the welcome mat. Though the color was light the body was medium. The strawberries were joined by citrus notes early on the palate before they were met with a bracing, refreshing acidity. Mineral notes shined through on a dry crisp finish. A nice bottle for sure but not worthy of splurging on all summer long. Anyone have any Rose recommendations around $10 for me?

Rating: Pricey

2004 Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhône Marselan Domaine l’Attilon

Price: $8.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Premier Wine Company

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “Marselan, a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, is a new grape variety being developed in the Aude and Bouches du Rhone areas of southern France. Vinified for the first time in 2002, Marselan has quickly become a darling of many French wine professionals and consumers. Domaine l’Attilon’s organic version of this new cepage is bursting with bright, crunchy black currant and cherry fruit balanced by violet floramatics and a vibrant acidity. This deliciously user friendly red is a wine you can feel good about on all levels, as it delivers delicious enjoyment at a fantastic price! Another terrific value from the South of France!”

They also said this in the May 2007 newsletter, “A dichotomy on the palate. Initially you get the levity and light temper of the grenache followed by the stern gravity of the cabernet. Overall this marriage is pleasing. Pronounced violets on the nose next to a mouthful of lively and snappy fruit with fresh, deep black currant flavors. There is nothing gushy or goopy about this wine. It’s got a strong acidic presence that mingles with dusty tannins. Enjoy this “little big guy” with bistro fare.”

What I Think:

A new grape, as usual, right up my alley. Anything to keep it interesting. As mentioned above this grape is a cross between cab and grenache mix. I had this one a few weeks back with steak while my wife was out of town. I sampled this side by side with the recently posted Guigal. My notes for this were more plentiful than for the other. Does that a winner make?

On the nose you were greeted with aromas that tended towards barnyard and dust. On the palate the fruit was subtle. Overall I would say the wine has sturdy flavors and dry overtones. The finish was a bit on the tart side. Given the uniqueness factor perhaps this wine may have seemed more compelling than it otherwise could have been. I am guessing the second bottle I have will tell the story. For now I will remain on the fence.

Rating: Pricey

2004 Chateau de la Galiniere Cotes de Provence Rouge

Price: $5.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Latitude Wines

What They Said:

Per the bottle “The Chateau and its vineyards are situated at the foothills of the majestic Cengle de la Sainte Victoire range of hills in the village of Chateauneuf-le-Rouge. From hand-picked grapes, this elegant wine reveals a complex bouquet of plums, aniseed and violets and rick, silky flavours.”

What I Think:

Can this really be hand picked at this price point? If so it must be the seconds or thirds of something much better. Before I get too much further I should explain that I have somewhat of an infatuation with wines from the Provencal region so keep that in mind as you read on..

On pulling the cork the first thing you get is something barnyard-ish on the nose. Not in a bad way, or a great one either. It was kind of dry and dusty with hints of flower and spice. On the palate you get some light fruit, perhaps plums, which quickly fade leading to a slightly tart, tongue smacking dry finish. On the second day it started to open up a bit more and there was more dark fruit noticeable. Given my relationship with this region I will be giving it another try, whether you do or not is your call.

Rating: 12th Bottle