It’s official. Even though here at Chez Manfull, we’ve been enjoying rosé throughout the deep-freeze months of December, January and February, there is something about Memorial Day weekend (in the U.S., at least) that not only ushers in white attire but heralds the start of rosé season.
My email box is filled with links to articles with headlines like “Now is a Fine Time for rosé wine,” “The 25 Best Rosés Under $25,” “Rosé Wine is the Ideal Summer Wine,” “Your Next Lesson: Rosé from Provence.” The shelves at my favorite wine stores are filled with pink wine. The weather is warm (well, warmer than it has been, here in New England). And a week from today, we will be landing in Provence where we will be visiting several châteaux, including Château Saint-Maur Cru Classé. What better time to have our first blind tasting of the latest vintage of rosés?
I was introduced to two of these three rosés in 2015 at a Provence in the City Tasting in New York City. By the time my path crossed with these rosés at the tasting, I had already swilled a lot of wine, almost all of which was pink and most of which I would unhesitatingly add to my cellar. But few of which had stopped my heart. The 2014 vintage of both Clos de Capelune and L’Excellence rosés did.
My pithy notes from that afternoon read, “crisp, fresh, fab minerality, elegant, harmony, complex, second vintage” and an additional notation that the Clos de Capelune was clearly gastronomic, all reflecting what I thought but perhaps not capturing what I felt: I was immediately smitten. The huge hearts and stars on the margins of the Château Saint-Maur page in my tasting notes, however, did sum up my experience. [...]