Monday, April 25, 2022

2 Roses Not to Miss---Their Origin Will Surprise!

                                                 Think out of the Provence box for Rosés !

Summer is just around the corner.  This means it’s time now to restock our wine cellar with plenty of Rosé.  I’ll be in Provence this September at Julia Child's villa* so I’ve spent the winter & spring searching for the best Provençal Rosés.   I've tasted several that received high-scores from esteemed critics, and spending as much as $30 a bottle.  I was disappointed in all of them.  The good news is that I have two magnifique Rosés for you. Neither of them, however, is from Provence.  In fact, neither is from France.

Both of these well-crafted Rosés, however, are from Europe and I sampled each one in their respective countries last autumn.  After my discouraging tasting of Provençal Rosés, I turned again to the internet for help in locating the two memorable Rosés from my latest trip.  Fortunately, I was able to locate both on the East Coast.  After allowing a couple of months to recover from shipping across the USA, another tasting was conducted to see if these two stunners were as good as I remembered.  They were.

                                       Muga's Rosado deserves one resounding Olé !

So what are the two Rosés that were heads above some of the most highly touted Provençal Rosés?   The first is made by one of Spain’s mover-and-shaker wineries,  Muga.   (Do note that Muga makes two different Rosés and it’s their Rosado that I’m speaking of, not Flor de Rosé).  Wine Knows has been fortunate to visit Bodegas Muga in the Rioja several times.  This winery has received just about every award there is.  In fact, James Suckling (Wine Spectator) has given some of Muga's wines a perfect 100 score.  

We had our first sip of Muga's Rosado at an impressively located seaside restaurant near Gibraltar---the Mediterranean was just to our left and the Atlantic immediately to the right.  The Rosé was so compelling that we returned to the same restaurant to dine three days in a row.  Muga's Rosado is made from Garnacha (Grenache) and Viura grapes, the latter being a white grape. We have tried their 2019 and 2020 vintages and both were noteworthy.  Purchased online in a case, count on less than $25 per bottle including shipping and tax.  A real steal.

                                    Even Dionysus would love Gaia's 14-18h Rosé

The other outstanding Rosé is Greek and produced by Gaia.   Wine-Knows groups have visited Gaia several times.  Last September I was on Aegina island (an hour's ferry ride from Athens) when I spotted Gaia’s Rosé in a wine shop.  I immediately bought a bottle and opened it to serve with dinner that night.  It was stunning.  The next day we returned to the shop and bought every bottle they had. 

Gaia is one of the top quality wine producers of Greece.  The winery pushes the envelope by experimenting with different varietals and even has conducted research on aging wine on the ocean floor.   This wine is named 14-18h Rosé because the Agiorgitiko grapes are kept in contact with their skins for 14-18 hours.  We have tried both the 2019 and 2020 vintages---both were superb.   A case of this remarkable wine with shipping and tax is a phenomenal bargain at about $20 per bottle.

Highly recommend at least a case of both of these well crafted Rosés for your summer stash.   Be sure to order them well before the heat of summer arrives.

* There is ONE opening in the Julia Child Week in Provence due to an unexpected surgery.








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