Provence Alert

Côtes de Provence is a grape growing region that stretches along the otherwise
famed Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) from Marseille to Nice. Several low mountain
ranges, particularly the Massif de la Sainte-Baume and the Massif des Maures,
act to partition its geographic zones. Currently, about 50% of all France’s rosé
originates from this DOC and it remains widely recognized, deservedly, as the
global gold standard of this wine style. Greeks were first to introduce wine to the
area around 600 BC and over the millennia, in the long lead up to the last several
centuries, fashioning Rosé has now become the primary focus and distinction.

In 1964, eight vineyard owners from the Saint-Tropez Peninsula elected to form
the Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’île de Saint Tropez brand. Setting out to be
much more than simply a marketing tool, the group benefits from the sharing of
resources such as production facilities and grape-growing advisement provided
by the staff of viticulturists. The shareholding vintners continue to cultivate and
vinify their own, terroir specific wines, but distribute their finished offerings under
this highly successful, cooperative umbrella.

This fresh and crisp rosé is truly a Provençal wine, blending 90% Grenache and
a small, 10% splash of Cinsault. As is typical for the vintners here, grapes are
harvested from multiple growths, with each batch made into individual wine that
then is selectively combined to achieve the desired balances. Fairly rounded and
reasonably weighty, this week’s DéClassé recommendation will complement and
keep up with a range of food flavours from the delicate to the barbecued and the
spicy. It’s a well-made, textbook version to introduce to guests who aren’t familiar
with the charms of dry rosé. The shapely, amphora-like bottle is also expressive
of the South of France and graces the best-laid tables; soon, perhaps yours also!

Carte Noir

CARTE NOIRE ROSÉ 2014
VINTAGES – Product #319384 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 17.95
Wine, Rosé Wine
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content : XD

Made in: Provence, France
By: Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’île de Saint-Tropez
Release Date: June 13, 2015

Tasting Note:
With aromas of cherry, red pepper and rose petals, this consistently well-made,
holiday in-a-glass, is a wonderfully delicate sipper but also an excellent match for
ratatouille, Nicoise salad, squash gratin or herbed, grilled fish and chicken.

Cabernet Rosé Alert

A designated coastal wine region and historic town, Stellenbosch lies 50km east
of Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Three centuries onward
in time and toil from the first vine stock having been planted by European settlers
in 1690, a small, under-developed plot of land that local farmers had dismissed
as vuilplasie (dirty little farm) was gradually converted to a vineyard. Having begun
with a fledgling white wine vintage, the still-evolving Mulderbosch winery has seen
a number of development phases of both its properties and wine crafting talent.
Star vintner Mike Dubrovnic led the enterprise through a noteworthy period of
expanded profile for the brand and now under Adam Mason’s creative guidance,
it continues its significant contribution to South Africa’s revived reputation as a
reliable source of very affordable, terroir-distinctive, world-class wine.

This varietal Rosé is made from the so-called Don of red grapes – the compact,
black berries of the thick-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon. Harvested somewhat
earlier than if destined to be finished as a full red wine, this particular practice
of fashioning Rosé yields naturally high levels of acidity, minerality and brightness
to the bottled aromas of the fruit. Exploiting a geographic advantage, the vines
are planted in well-drained terrain lying in sheltered valleys below the Cape Fold
mountain range. Cooled by a wind tunnel effect between the surrounding hills,
the resulting breezes guard against the potentially, grape-wilting summer heat.

This very dynamic 78-hectare farm has come a long way in a quarter century.
Along with attaining critical and commercial success, the eco-friendly farming
strategies employed qualify it as Certified Sustainable. Moreover, sections of the
property have been dedicated to nature conservancy that includes rehabilitation
of wetlands – better ensuring that the biodiversity of indigenous vegetation and
wildlife will also continue to thrive.

Local rumor has it that only Mozart was played in the winemaking cellar during
the cool fermentation process of the grapes, perhaps imparting some layered
finesse and playful sophistication into the developing wine! True or not, a great
deal of investment by the vintner has been directed into this attractively priced
bottling, which should translate into you thinking of picking up at least 3!

Mulderbosch

MULDERBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROSÉ 2014
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #999821 | 750 ml bottle
Price $ 12.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Coastal Region, South Africa
By: Mulderbosch
Release Date: May 30, 2015

Tasting Note
This is a dry Rosé that’s medium-bodied, full of lip-smacking acidity with ripe
apple, watermelon, strawberry flavours and aromas. Serve this well chilled to
preserve its crispness as an apéritif or alongside summer salads, vegetable
spring rolls, sushi or quiche.

Rhône Rosé Alert

The historical vineyards of Costières de Nîmes roll out on a landscape framed
between the towns of Nimes and Arles. The Rhône’s most southerly appellation
produces consistently well-made, rich, fruity red and Rosés and has done so for
a very long time. With tales of the elixir being consumed by the ancient Greeks,
these may be among the world’s oldest known varieties of grape vines. The local
variants from this French region continue to thrive and the winemaking business
remains enduringly renowned and strong.

Acting as a geographic divide between Languedoc to the west and Provence to
the east, the Rhône delta region is the meeting of the Rhône, Durance and Gard
rivers before their combined flow spills outward into the blue Mediterranean Sea.
Sandy alluvial soils mixed with red shale contributes to the unique character of
these classic Rosés with their blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Grenache
provides the raspberry and earthen aromas; Syrah typically adds structure with
its tannins and dark fruit flavours such as blueberries and blackberries, while the
Cinsault, with its soft, fragrant characteristics, lifts the aromatics of the wine.

Located 35 miles from famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Mas Des Bressades
estate is also considered a premier producer, though its offerings are available
at far more modest price-points. Under the enthusiastic guidance of the current
vintner Cyril Marès, 6 generations of vinicultural practices continue to evolve. To
fashion this particular form of finished wine, a so-called Saignée method is used.
Literally meaning “bleeding” in French, it involves making the light coloured wine
as a by-product of red wine fermentation, where a portion of the pink juice from
the grape must is removed earlier on, then fermented separately as Rosé.

As many DéClassé readers have come to appreciate, Rosé from the regions in
South-eastern France are very dry, food-friendly wines that are far more delicate
and rounded than many of the sweeter, less-dimensional new-world versions. If
you still need additional motivation to revisit this woefully under-appreciated style,
then dare try this as a delightful contribution to your Mothers’ Day celebrations!

Mas Des Bressades

MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2014
VINTAGES – Product #950576 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 15.95
Wine, Rosé Wine
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: XD – Extra Dry

Made in: Rhône, France
By: Cyril Marès, Vign.
Release Date: May 2, 2015

Tasting Note
Bright pink/orange in colour with aromas of cherry, strawberry preserves and
melon. Dry, fresh and fruity with a surprisingly plump structure. Moderate acidity
and a medium-long finish. Try matching it to pan-fried scallops, or a herb chicken
stuffed with feta cheese and olives.

Rosé Alert

Stellenbosch is both a designated wine-producing district and historic town in
South Africa’s Western Cape Province. About 50km east of Cape Town, it dates
back to 1679 when it was founded by the Dutch governor of the Cape Colony
Simon van der Stel. The vines here are planted in well-drained hilly terrain, with
most vineyards lying in sheltered valleys below the Cape Fold mountain range.
The first of this regions vine stock was planted by Huguenot settlers in 1690.
Three centuries later in 1989, an unassuming plot of land that the locals had
dismissed as being ‘vuilplasie’ (dirty little farm) was gradually converted. From
its fledgling vintage of white wines onward, the Mulderbosch winery under the
creative guidance of Mike Dobrovic, has significantly contributed to developing
South Africa’s reputation as a source of world-class wine.

This varietal Rosé is made from the so-called ‘Don’ of red grapes – the compact
black berries of the thick-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon (89%) with small dashes
of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Harvested somewhat earlier than if destined to
be finished as full red wine, this practice imparts naturally higher levels of acidity,
minerality and brightness to the aromas of the fruit. These resulting qualities
also benefit from a geographic advantage whereby the vines are cooled by a
wind tunnel effect between the surrounding hills, offsetting the often wilting
summer climate. Undoubtedly though, this very dynamic 48 hectare farm has
come a long way in a mere quarter century. Along with attaining critical and
commercial success, the eco-friendly farming strategies employed qualify it as
Certified Sustainable. Moreover, 25% of the property has been dedicated to a
nature conservancy, ensuring that the bio-diversity of indigenous vegetation and
wildlife also continue to thrive.

Apparently, local rumor has it that only Mozart is played in the wine-making cellar
during the cool fermentation process – perhaps imparting some added finesse
and sophistication! All in all, a great deal of investment has been directed into
this modestly priced bottling, which should translate into getting at least 2 – as a
colourful contribution to your upcoming Mothers’ Day celebrations!

Mulderbosch

MULDERBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROSÉ 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #999821 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 12.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Coastal Region, South Africa
By: Mulderbosch
Release Date: May 10, 2014

Tasting Note
This is a dry Rosé that’s medium-bodied, full of lip-smacking acidity with ripe
apple, watermelon, strawberry flavours and aromas. Serve this well-chilled to
preserve its crispness as an apéritif or alongside salads, quiche, vegetable
spring rolls and sushi.