Here in Burgundy, we’re officially post-lockdown. People are starting to get out and about again, cautiously accepting dinner invitations, and inevitably wondering if it’s okay to exchange la bise—even, if it will ever be okay again. Impossible to imagine the French doing away with something so typically theirs as the “air kiss.” What would replace it? A nod? An awkward wave? Non, non, non. I have seen far too many clandestine bises to believe the ritual might be on its way out. Wherever you are in these hot days of summer, I hope you will join me in opening some rosé and raising a glass to hope, to joy, to the promise of gatherings yet to come. Bon courage!
Last year, when she introduced this wine, Ghislaine Dupeuble recommended serving it in a carafe with a handful of fresh strawberries. This year, there’s no need. The perfectly pink wine is already bursting with wild strawberry aromas and flavors, and a lively mineral backbone keeps it crisp. Straightforward, easygoing, delicious.
Owing to its almost transparent hue, you could easily mistake this rosé for a vin blanc. But which? So much spice to go with as much fruit, and a touch of herbal complexity. The attack is subtle, but many, many layers lead to a powerful crescendo and a long finish. Pleasant and mysterious, impossible to categorize.
Curiously, rosé often seems to be subject to different standards of judgment than white and red wines. Whereas wine lovers typically place value in terroir and in a grower’s approach to farming and winemaking, when it comes to rosé, many tend to instead fixate on color (the paler, the better), name, or the shape of the bottle (because ornate, flashy recipients undoubtedly contain better wine). But why should we judge pink wine differently than wine of any other color? Rosé, too, can be a dignified, skillfully crafted expression of place, and the very best examples will provide the joy and refreshment we seek, all while alluding to a great site through the hands of a talented artisan. Pic Saint Loup, for instance, is one of the top grape-growing areas in the Languedoc. Its high-elevation limestone slopes and proximity to the Cévennes Mountains make it one of the coolest parts of the region, endowing Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cinsault with exceptional elegance, minerality, and vividly pure, bright aromatics. These factors, of course, translate perfectly to the realm of rosé. Rather than manipulating their rosé to fit a predetermined flavor profile, the Ravaille brothers of Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup usher the wine along its path without intervening: no inoculation, full malolactic, and sulfur only at bottling. As a result, the vibrant aromas of their biodynamically farmed grapes shine through unimpeded. Deeply vinous, yet immensely refreshing, it delivers the brambly garrigue and earthy, peppery spice of these brush-covered bluffs, plus a juicy burst of wild strawberry and lingering salinity that inspire sip after sip. I urge you, then, to think of this rosé not as a pink wine that happens to come from Pic Saint Loup. Instead, consider it a terroir-driven wine that just happens to be pink.
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