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2009 Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé

So pale as to have almost no pink color visible. A beguiling nose of strawberry, peach, and fresh flowers. Very expressive on the palate, with delicate but assertive fresh fruit coming on and the acid kept in check. Finishes with a small flourish, yielding a really lovely wine that is refreshing yet not insipid. Pair with seafood, especially shellfish. Highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2010 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

Another wine, a rosé this time, in Randall Grahm’s own idiosyncratic style. Lovely nose of strawberry, melon, and flowers with a hint of vanilla at the back. Very expressive on the palate, especially for a rosé, with sweet but not cloying fruit notes, with a spine of acid and mineral running through it. Finishes long and clean. Not a wuss rosé and may be just the thing for your summer guests who are rosé-shy (if, like me, they’ve been subjected to too much bad rosé). Try with grilled shrimp. Highly recommended.
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2010 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

Another wine, a rosé this time, in Randall Grahm’s own idiosyncratic style. Lovely nose of strawberry, melon, and flowers with a hint of vanilla at the back. Very expressive on the palate, especially for a rosé, with sweet but not cloying fruit notes, with a spine of acid and mineral running through it. Finishes long and clean. Not a wuss rosé and may be just the thing for your summer guests who are rosé-shy (if, like me, they’ve been subjected to too much bad rosé). Try with grilled shrimp. Highly recommended.
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2008 Château d’Esclans Rosé

Summertime, and the rosé drinkin’ is easy. Very pale pink, with a light floral, plum, and oak on the nose. Drinks as one would expect of a decent rosé, with some vanilla and citrus on the palate, although the acidity strikes me as undernourished. Don’t drink chillingly cold as it does seem to tamp down the wine; let it warm up a bit first. Finishes pleasantly but not long. Not terribly striking, but does seem to compel one to reach for the phone to order Thai or Indian carryout. Recommended.
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2007 Les Breteches du Château Kefraya

A slightly dusty-looking brickish red. Aroma is of brick dust and freshly tilled earth, dried cherries, and cocoa powder. Rough tannins hover across the early- and mid-palate and linger on the (moderately long) finish. Beneath the tannins, dried cherry and clove notes add to a profile that is surprisingly light and freshened by plenty of acidity. Overall impression is raspy and astringent, but flavorful and reasonably well-rounded. This would be splendid with smoked trout or a substantial grilled fish like mahi or swordfish, or with a vegetarian entree laden with lots of garlic and a bit of cream.
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2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Clos de Gilroy Grenache

Lively, translucent, light purple color. Gorgeous nose of strawberry and blueberry, pepper, slight smoke, meat, and that classic Grenache hint of hard candy. The red fruit continues on the palate with delightful notes of strawberry, rhubarb, and cranberry, that shine through the oak. Silky in the mouth, excellent body, and delivers front and mid-palate, with a pleasant, lingering finish. Very versatile food pairings—poultry, pasta, grilled veggies.