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Three French Rosés

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There’s nothing quite like drinking good French rosé in Napa Valley in the springtime. I don’t mean that in a smarmy thumb-your-nose-at-Napa-because-the-French-make-better-rosé-than-the-locals-do kind o’ way, because that’s not necessarily true. It’s just that there’s something amusingly ironic about going to the heart of California wine country, only to drink French wine as the weather warms and the growing season starts to get into full swing. It also bears pointing out that these three cost less than anything made locally that we happened to run into, not that we searched every nook and cranny in a quest to price comparatively. These three are simply the ones that looked the best to us in our travels, so they’re the ones we bought, and as it turns out, all were quite satisfying, starting with a producer that’s new to us.

2009 Chateau du Rouet Cotes de Provence Rosé Cuvee Reservée Tradition, 12.5% alc., $16.00: Pale salmon pink color, with appealing flavors and aromas of strawberry and peach laced with nice minerality; more fruit forward than I might have expected, but not excessively so. Medium-full bodied, with good acids and a smooth, rich texture. Good, but not exceptional. Find this wine

Imported by Vigneron Imports, Oakland, CA

We always make a point of stopping into Kermit Lynch’s place in Berkeley when we’re in the neighborhood, and there we found the following two. We’ve mostly enjoyed the reds from Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue Coteaux du Languedoc, particularly their Bronzinelle bottling, but this is the first rosé we’ve had from them.

2009 Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé, 13.5% alc., $12: This watermelon pink colored wine is an unspecified percentage blend of Cinsault and Grenache, offering straightforward strawberry, watermelon and mineral flavors and aromas. Medium to medium-full bodied and totally dry, with nice intensity, good acids and decent length. This delivers more than these brief notes might indicate, does everything a good dry rose should for a fair price and is more to my liking than the Chateau du Rouet. Another glass please? Find this wine

Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA

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The 2007 Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé was a favorite at our house a few years back, so we needed little coaxing to see what the ’09 has going for it.

2009 Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé, 13.5% alc., $17: Strawberry pink, with strawberry, raspberry and mineral flavors and aromas; medium-to-medium-full bodied, with nice acidity and intensity and good length on the finish. Allan Bree remarks upon some RS (residual sugar) that is a “distraction” for him, but I get none of that. It is a little more fruit forward than the St. Martin de la Garrigue, but the minerality counterbalances that nicely, and like the Languedoc Rosé, for me, this is preferable to the one from Provence. Find this wine

Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA

Reporting from Day-twah,

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