A French journalist once described Mas Champart as “discreet excellence,” and I couldn’t agree more. Long before it became a trend (a trend, by the way, that I support wholeheartedly!), Mas Champart was doing what we love most in a rosé: fermenting with native yeasts, using little to no sulfur in the winemaking, and allowing the malolactic fermentation to occur. If all you need is a cold rosé for ice cubes and the beach, none of the above steps are really that important. But if you like your rosé to be real, to show a sense of place, and to drink like a wine instead of a beverage, these steps are essential. This rosé is intensely aromatic, round yet airy, with a strong southern French identity. For those of you who are familiar with this rosé from past vintages, be prepared for a nice surprise this year. There’s more Mourvèdre in the mix, from more serious terroir (usually reserved for their rouge), which makes this about as serious and real a rosé as you can get. It might be the only year this happens, so enjoy while you can.
Would you consider going out to dinner only in spring? Limiting your bike riding to the summer months? Hanging out with friends just in autumn? Of course not! There’s a place for seasonality in our lives, but not for such enjoyable pursuits as these, and certainly not for exceptional rosé–and the Bandol from Domaine de Terrebrune is nothing short of exceptional. Vigneron Reynald Delille is a rosé master and revered by his Provençal peers for the complexity and age-worthiness of his bottling each year. He’d be the first to tell you to drink it year-round, or perhaps even in five years. While a cool glass of Terrebrune’s dry, peach-scented Bandol rosé is the bee’s knees on a warm summer afternoon, it’s also deliciously bracing with oysters on a blustery winter day, delightful with a salad made from spring’s first produce, and the perfect complement to your Thanksgiving feast. So what if it’s cold and gray outside? Don’t let something as arbitrary as the weather or the tilt of the Earth’s axis keep you from a cool glass of this Provençal classic.
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