The right Rosés make fine summer sippers

July 14, 2014

I had a bang-up Fourth. Busy at Grove Market, house full of family and a couple of outdoor grilling days. Missed the fireworks due to work schedule, but the family said those in Rehoboth Beach were well done. Congrats and thank you to all those who worked diligently to raise money and coordinate the event.

For the great, QPR-conscious red wine readers, look into Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica Old Vines 2010 to accompany your Cro-Magnoned meat. I’m tickled whenever I read the label of this perennially well-made baby Priorat due to the mixed use of Spanglish. The 2010 are blended of 85 percent Garnacha (70-year-old Grenache) and 15 percent Syrah (30-year-old). It is aged nine months in new and older American and French oak. Dark ruby color with rose petal, mixed berry and mineral aromas. On the palate medium bodied with raspberry, cherry, blackberry, barrel-driven spices and mineral notes supported by supple tannins; 90 points, it can be purchased under $13. There are some 2007 and 2008 out there; both are also rated in the 89-90 range. Folks who enjoy grillin' and chillin' with winos could order in a mixed case of 2007, '08, '09 '10, '11 and '12 (two each) for $156 or less and wow 12-16 of your very best friends with burgers, dogs and a very instructive vertical wine tasting of 3-oz. servings. Parker gave the 2012 94 points and was a tad effusive, spiking the price, which has settled back.

An American blend of 53 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 34 percent Merlot and 13 percent Cabernet Franc from the Columbia Valley in Washington is Sleight of Hand Cellars the Conjurer 2011. When priced under $25 they are 90 points. The 2012 are 42 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 34 percent Cabernet Franc and 24 percent Merlot. Full-bodied wth proper acidity supporting cherries and pomegranate undergirded by herbal notes from the Cabernet Franc. Finish repeats fruit flavors and exhibits well-integrated, fine tannins. Both are drinking well now and should cellar seven years easily.

Brangelina - I can’t believe I’m touting these two actors for their Rosé but it is quite good. You see, Angie and Brad bought Miraval in 2008 and are restoring Chateau Miraval by teaming with the Perrins, owners of Chateau Beaucastel. Old-time hippies may recall Pink Floyd recorded “The Wall” at Miraval and subsequently such musicians as AC/DC, The Cure, Muse, Wham!, Sade, the Go-Betweens, Steve Winwood, Yes, UB40, Shirley Bassey, and the Gipsy Kings took advantage of a recording studio at the site. Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé 2013 can be had under $25.. Pale rose-tinted, it opens to cherry notes, rolls into rose petal and strawberry, minerals and herbs. A fine acid balance cleans up a relatively long finish, 90 points. As you may suspect its is organic and a fine summer sipper.

Remember “Davy Crockett” on TV? Like well-made Cali Chardonnay? Look into Fess Parker Ashley’s Vineyard Chardonnay. Anything from 2009/$30 through 2012/$27 is worth buying. Mr. Parker died in 2010 but son Eli has ably taken a hand. Parker was one of the early Santa Rita Hills (back then, early '80s, known as Santa Ynez Valley) wine guys who recognized that Burgundian varietal grapes might thrive there. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are usually quite good. There are plenty of the 90-point Chardonnay 2011 around priced under $26/bottle. The 2012 Ashley's are 94 points priced in the low $30s. These are food wines, lean and crisp, not fat and buttery. Dry and tart in acidity and minerality. The nose is Meyer lemon, pear, lime, and green apples. Try with grilled salmon, tuna, sword, crab cakes or roast fowl.

From hope and change to “So sue me.” I hope those of you who read this column recognize that it is not Congress that is failing to act but almost entirely due to Harry Reid and the Dem Senate majority, who won’t even allow GOP House-passed bills to committee in the Senate for discussion, let alone bringing them to a vote. The mainstream news is in the pocket of Mr. Obama, allowing him to level these slanted charges. “Within each untruth lies a kernel of truth, and within each truth lies a kernel of untruth.” - Don DeLillo, An Upturned Soul.