While a bunch of my Twitter/blogger friends were up at the annual Hospice du Rhone celebration in Paso Robles these past few days, those of us who didn't/couldn't go had to make do with what was in our own cellars. Since the weather has been beautiful and only promises to get better over the next week, today seemed like a wonderful day to open another rosé. I chose the 2009 Chateau de Nages from the Costieres de Nimes appellation in the Rhone Valley.
The 2009 Chateau de Nages was made with 70% grenache and 30% syrah, a fairly standard blend and proportion for Rhone rosé wines. Sometimes you'll see a bit of cinsault and counoise tucked in there too. If you happen to be a big fan of rosé then by all means keep your eyes open for wines from Tavel or Bandol, as they're reputed to produce the best examples on the planet. I don't disagree..
First off I look at the color, it's like a piece of fresh salmon, absolutely gorgeous! Not light like a Silverbrite, but dark like Coho or King Salmon. Why, you ask, might I know about fish coloration? It's where I work that does this to me. Granted, it also drives me to drink..The workplace, not the fish coloration..
Anyways! On to the "sniffy-sniff" as Gary Vaynerchuk calls it. Nice bit of herb, red berries, river stone, grapefruit, and a hint of fresh melon. Before sipping the 09 Chateau de Nages, I predict it'll have some bright acidity and be very dry. Or am I projecting my desires onto this wine? You tell me!
Well I was right..sort of..Bright acidity pops right away, lip-smackin' good..The ripe strawberries and melon come along right behind that opening volley of acid, to give the wine a sense of depth and structure. I picked up a dollop of ruby red grapefruit too, so that balance of sweet and acid is there throughout the wine. This is very good, each flavor is blending together seamlessly for me. There's a sense of depth and weight here but it leaves so quickly that you retain the refreshing quality which makes rosé so alluring. At 13.5% alcohol, it sure isn't a lightweight for a rosé but that's hidden fairly nicely. You get a bit of heat through the finish but it's barely there. I would say that it prevents this wine from getting an A-, truth be told. On a warm, sunny day like today, this is something to enjoy while sitting on your patio reading or hanging out with your friends.
I gave 2009 Chateau de Nages a B+ and a STRONG BUY especially since it lists at under $15, but I bought it for $7 at San Diego Wine Company. Are you freakin' kidding me?! $6.99 to be precise, and it's worth every single penny. I'm going back to buy more bottles. You should too, especially if you live in San Diego.