Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Domaine de la Laidière, Bandol rosé

Dwayne Perreault − In this time of rosé confusion, let's make it a point to drink quality rosé.

By confusion, I'm referring to the recent decision in Brussels to allow EU wine producers to make rosé simply by mixing red and white wines. Bah. I'm sure there are people somewhere who've been doing this at home for years. Thankfully, this ridiculous legislation has been rescinded.

But by quality I could be talking about rosés from a wide range of regions, as quality rosés are made everywhere from Rioja to Hungary (and strangely, not so very many in Italy).

But if I think of top rosé, I think of wines from the Loire, Bordeaux and Provence. I've previously posted on an elegant rosé from the Loire with some (limited) ageing potential, Reuilly, François Charpentier and I recently tasted a beautiful, more fleshy rosé from Bordeaux which David wrote about, le Rosé de Soutard. So now a wine from Provence, where a great many rosés are made, including some of the best like this Bandol, Domaine de la Laidière 2007.

Bandol is primarily Mourvèdre country, which makes for dark, earthy and tannic reds such as the excellent Domaine Tempier 'Cabassaou' 2000 and 1998, which I both recently tasted. But this rosé also contains some Grenache and Cinsault, which results in a highly refined, very pale rosé with a mineral structure and extremely well-balanced acidity. This wine is not nervous, but very firm. A solid, dry rosé with practically no sweetness, other than a fleeting hint of strawberry. A perfect wine for a Mediterranean fish like a Dorado, which due to global warming is now showing up in North European waters. I baked one in the oven with Italian herbs and sun-dried tomatoes, and added a splash of the Bandol. Yum. While drinking the wine I could smell the fish on my fingers, and it felt for a moment I was in Bandol itself, sitting on a terrace near the sea. Instead I'm just sitting in Amsterdam, smelling my fingers. But I'm drinking excellent wine.

But speaking of rosés with ageing potential, this article claims this wine can age for 20 years.

Domaine de la Laidière is normally available only in the better restaurants in Holland, but if you live in Amsterdam you can also order it here: www.wineontime.nl.

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