Des Amis ($14.99)
Napa Valley, California
From the producer:
“Des Amis translates as 'friends.' We chose this name because friends are at the core of our philosophy. Our friendship is the reason we wanted to make a wine together, and we've relied on friends to make this wine a reality. Grapes and juice are sourced from fellow winemakers that we have beers with after work and barbeque with on weekends. In addition to the wine itself, they generously offer use of their cellars and labs, share expertise on the winemaking, and let us use their bottling lines. Without these friends, making Des Amis would not be half as good, nor half as fun. We would like to thank everyone involved in our passionate Rosé project, and hope that anyone enjoying a bottle does so with friends.
Appearance: Des Amis Rosé truly catches your eye with a beautiful French Rose color.
Aroma :On the nose, aromas of peach, watermelon, and tart red plum create a delicate and aromatic bouquet.
Palate: Flavors of summer watermelon continues onto the palate where it is joined with ripe mango and a bright citrus finish of tangerine and grapefruit. This dry style rosé reminds us of a picnic after a refreshing April rain. Enjoy this chilled and among friends.
Varietals: 76% CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 14% MERLOT, 4% CABERNET FRANC, 3% SYRAH, 2% PETIT VERDOT, & 1% MALBEC "
I recently enjoyed Des Amis paired with grilled pork chops and roasted spicy carrots. Its juiciness perfectly balanced the meat, and the fuit-forward palate was an excellent complement to the spicy earthiness of the carrots. This is a unique blend for a rosé, and it shows in its gorgeous color. It is a departure from the style of Southern France, as it has a bit more body and less minerality. Des Amis is a riper wine that can be enjoyed with or without food.
Sables d'Azur Côtes de Provence ($12.99)
From the producer:
"Sables d’Azur blends of the best selection of Rosé wines from interior Valley of Provence and Sainte Victoire Terroir. These Côtes de Provence vineyards benefit fully from the Mediterranean climate: mild winters, early spring and moderate summers, when the sun’s continuous and beneficial rays ensure the vines produce fully mature grapes, oozing ripe juice. A dry fresh and clean rosé wine, with crispy acidity, and a wonderful souvenir of Provence!
Grapes are completely de-stemmed before direct pressing and fermentation at low temperature.
Eye: Pale rosé peach colored .
Nose: Elegant nose with delicate hints of small red fruits (red currant) and sweet citrus fruits (clementine,sweet grapefruit).
Palate: Crispy and fresh mouth with a good balance between alcohol and acidity. A finish with sweet hints.
Best served at 8°-10° C as an aperitif, or accompanying grilled “plancha” fish or dishes with provençal vegetables such as “tian de legumes” or Ratatouille. Also a perfect match with Asian and fusion food and Sushi."
This is the more traditional style of dry rosé from Provence. It ticks all the boxes: light minerality, fresh fruit on the palate, and extremely versatile for food pairings. The bottle is traditional, with its beautiful curves, and the color is delicate and warm.
Naveran Brut Vintage Rosado ($15.99)
From the producer:
"Naveran Brut Rosado is an estate-bottled vintage Cava that sells for a song! Proprietor Michel Guilleron Parellada's goal with this Cava is to show the purity, youth and bright flavor characters of the Pinot Noir and Parellada used to make it. The Naveran family legacy began in 1901. Today the Estate has 110 hectares (272 acres) of vines in the town of Torrelavit located in the Alt (high) Penedés sub-region. Despite the fact that Cava is Spain's largest volume of wine exported to the U.S., Cavas are made utilizing the same methods used in Champagne and have remained Spain's best-kept secret for quality and value in wine. Caves Naveran is a premium Cava producer that uses estate-grown grapes. Naveran Brut Rosado is a grower Cava that spends 18 months on its lees after fermentation in the bottle to achieve greater depth, complexity and the fine, delicate and long lasting bubbles, called mousse by the French, and are an indication of a sparking wine's quality.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
This wine is the least expensive vintage bubbly on the planet (taste it blind against a $40 non-vintage 'big brand' Champagne). Made by the Naveran family since 1901. This bodega has a great tradition of crafting Cavas that are superb expressions of clean, bright, citrus-inflected aromas and flavors with the all-important tiny bubbles.
60% Pinot Noir and 40% Parellada. Organically grown vines planted from 1975-1999. Tended in clay and limestone soil at 400 m (1,312 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
Cavas are very versatile as an apéritif before the meal, to accompany dessert afterwards and (surprise!) to enjoy during the meal. This Naveran Brut Rosado will pair with soft cheeses, fresh fruit, white meats (pork and chicken) and even richly flavored red meats. This Cava is great for sipping on its own, especially for receptions and other 'standing up' events.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Each grape variety is harvested, crushed and fermented separately in stainless steel tanks at low temperature, with coupage in November, tirage and second fermentation in the bottle typical of the méthode Champenoise. Then, disgorgement (deguelle) is followed by dosage. The wine is aged for 18 months on its lees."
This is a brand new product that I will be tasting for the first time with you on Friday! Judging by the quality of the Naveran Brut Nature, I expect nothing less than a beautiful bubble, with complexity and drinkability. I'm very much looking forward to this one!