Monday, July 5, 2010

Wines I'm Drinking: Two More Languedoc Rosés

Last night I tried two more local rosés, again from the expensive end of the spectrum. Domaine de L'Arjolle has the best reputation of any of the wineries in the immediate area, and its prices are three to four times higher than any one else's. Having tasted what must be about the least expensive rosé in the area early in my stay (five liters for €6), I thought it would give me some perspective to try one of the most expensive (€11, or about $12 for a standard 750ml bottle). I also tasted a mid-range wine (for this area, that is) from St. Chinian. Tasting notes follow.

2009 Domaine de L'Arjolle Méridienne Vin de Pays des Cotes de Thongue Rosé
The label offers no information about the grapes used, but this is likely a blend of the usual red grapes of the area, such as Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, or Mourvedre. The wine was a medium-deep orange-pink, very pretty to look at. It had distinctive citrus rind scents. I was put in mind of orange marmalade. There were also floral scents--rose water, maybe. Fruity on the palate, suggestive of raspberries. Generally, round and generous. Smooth and easy to drink. No rough edges, but with a little attractive bitterness on the mid-palate followed by a lingering, toasty finish. Fairly low in acid. I would have preferred a bit more crispness. Still, this is very well made wine. Delicious, but I'm not sure it's worth two to three times the best values I've come across so far (the following wine, for example). I little bit too round and neat, perhaps.

2008 Les Hauts de Coulinié Saint-Chinian Rosé
A blend of Syrah (60%) and Grenache (40%). From Cave de Roquebrun. A very pretty, medium-deep orange pink--a pale burnt sienna color. Fairly light on the nose but with a hint of strawberries laced with caramel. Clean and crisp on the palate. Compared with the above wine, this seemed just a little rough, but, in the end I preferred its crispness and edge. A hint of tannin. Fruity and light but good body and length and an attractive, toasty mid-palate again suggestive of caramel (although the wine is quite dry). Delicious and reasonably priced. At only €4.50 a bottle (less than $5), perhaps the best value I've encountered so far. If I were living here permanently, I'd go back for a case or two of this.

To read other wine reviews, use the "Wines I'm Drinking" tab to the right.

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