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Pascal Pibaleau Rosé

Pascal Pibaleau Rosé

Close to the town of Tours in the heart of the Loire Valley, Domaine Pibaleau sits nestled between two of the region’s historic Châteaux: Azay-le-Rideau and Langeais. The 12 hectare Domaine Pibaleau has been family owned and operated since 1886. Here Chenin Blanc, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Grolleau are grown on organically farmed sandy-clay soil near the banks of the river L’Indre. Domaine Pibaleau has organic certification, and they work according to biodynamic principles.

Pascal Pibaleau’s rosé is made from 100% old vine Grolleau. This uncommon varietal is named for the French word for crow, a name that describes its characteristic black color. Even in the brief time that the wine is exposed to the grape skin when making a rosé, Grolleau’s dark skins impart a striking, deep ruby hue. With juicy red fruit and racy acidity, this wine pairs perfectly with the soft-ripened goat cheeses traditionally produced in the Loire region. Try it with a young, tangy Valençay to bring out a cherry fruitiness in the wine, or choose a stronger, aged Couronne de Touraine for a more complex, fascinating pairing. We also love this rosé with a simple Galet du Cher or Selles sur Cher and a drizzle of strong chestnut or buckwheat honey. Herbaceous notes and a zesty, mineral backbone also make this wine a great companion for charcuterie and grilled chicken or pork.

Although it is quite dry, the Grolleau is a mouth-filling delight of texture. It’s supremely thirst quenching and excellent for these muggy, stormy September nights. Serve this lovely rosé well-chilled and if it’s not too rainy sip it on your back porch or in a lawn chair!

 

Rory Stamp is a classroom instructor, Wine Buyer, and cheese monger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.

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Vinho Verde: Dom Diogo Padeiro from Quinta da Raza

Dom Diogo Padeiro from Quinta da Raza

Even though it’s designated as a “Vinho Verde”, the Dom Diogo Padeiro from Quinta da Raza is not green or even white – it’s pink!

The Minho province is home to the crisp, dry white Vinho Verde we love to sip in the summertime, but folks there also make pink and red wines from local grapes. Most Vinho Verde rosé is mass-produced, simple and refreshing but not all that interesting. Quinta da Raza is a small winery run by Jose Diogo Teixeria and his wife Mafalda. The winery has been in Jose’s family since the 1800s. The climate and soil in this area are unique in the Vinho Verde, as the soils are rich with granite and schist, and there is less rainfall and more sun than in other Vinho Verde sub-zones. Jose farms organically, growing his grapes for quality, and his wines are more complex than most Vinho Verdes. They are also also more expensive than most, but at $11.95 a bottle for the rosé and $9.95 for the white that’s not really saying much. There are two grapes commonly used in in Vinho Verde rosé but Jose uses just one: Padeiro. Padeiro is an early-ripening grape with a wonderful aroma of ripe, red cherries.

Like his white Vinho Verde, this rosé has a perky little effervescence. From the dark color you can tell that there’s a good amount of body to this wine. It’s not sweet, but it has a ripe fruitiness reminiscent of cherries, plums and berries. Despite a rich body the abundant acidity and fizz make for a clean, refreshing finish.

Sip this tasty rose on the last warm days of summer, preferably outdoors in the sunshine! It’s fine as an aperitif on its own, but makes a great food wine as well. The combination of fruit and acidity here makes the Jose’s rosé a great companion to classic American cook-out foods like grilled burgers and dogs, creamy potato salad and coleslaw.

Julie Cappellano is the General Manager and Wine Buyer at Formaggio Kitchen South End, Boston.

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The Sintra Coastline

The Sintra coastline

Like everything born of Sintra, the Arenae Colares Malvasia is of and from the sea.

I had the good fortune to spend several weeks last summer exploring Lisbon and its surrounding environs, including an unforgettable day in Sintra, guided by two friends of mine who grew up there.

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Mottura Vineyard

Porcupine’s eye view of the Mottura Vineyard

This past April the Formaggio Wine Team took a pleasant trip to visit Sergio Mottura’s estate on our way to VinItaly 2014. We flew into Rome’s Fiumicino airport early in the morning and drove north-east towards Umbria. We eventually split off from the crazy A1 autostrada onto small, one-lane roads. Just along the northern border of Lazio we reached the medieval hamlet of Civitella d’Agliano, and the home, hotel and cantina of the Mottura family.

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Farmers Jane Field Blend WhiteIn celebration of Independence Day weekend, we’re featuring one delicious American wine. The Farmers Jane project is run by friends and wine lovers Angela and Faith in southern California. This tasty white is made from grapes purchased from a Santa Ynez valley vineyard belonging to the Native American Chamush tribe. In this vineyard Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Roussane grow together, and the grapes are harvested, pressed and fermented all together at the same time, old-school style. (more…)

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Reuilly Rosé perfect for summer sipping!Reuilly is a wine growing appellation in the eastern Loire Valley, not far from Sancerre. The three main grapes grown there are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and a tiny amount of Pinot Gris (also known as Pinot Grigio). Pinot Gris is a sub-clone of Pinot Noir that has a very pale, blueish-grey skin. Much of the soil in Reuilly consists of Kimmeridgian marl, a type of limestone perfect for the production of aromatic, delicate wines.

Domaine de Reuilly is a 17 hectare organic estate in the heart of this commune. Denis Jamain’s grandfather first planted vines here in 1935, when he also purchased a small parcel in the local forest. Denis has been managing the estate since 1990 and has the luck of being able to select oak trees from his grandfather’s forest to be made into barrels for aging his own wines! (more…)

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Schloss Gobelsburger Rose with ChevreFor the past few years, Gobelsburger Cistercian Rosé has been one of our bestselling, most loved rosés, and a consistent favorite at staff tastings. This past weekend, my neighbors and I shared our first bottle of the new 2013 vintage at the end of a long, humid day. The cramped apartment was hot and the kids were sticky and grumpy, but as soon as we tasted that cool, crisp wine we all sighed and relaxed into our seats. It didn’t hurt that on the first pour there was a bright little bit of effervescence to perk up tired taste buds! (more…)

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