Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé
Wine: Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé
Region: Coteaux d'Aix en Provence
Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle (aka Vermentino)
The appellation of Provence in the south of France is known as quintessential rosé land. The pink wines make up an estimated 75% of total wine production, with red wine coming in second. The Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, from whence this wine hails, is actually more noted for its reds. All the same, many of us - especially we dedicated pink drinkers - associate the Mediterranean influenced vines and vibe with light, elegant quaffs. As summer nears its end and temperatures remain in the high 80s here in the South, we're still in full-on rosé season and patio drinking.
The Commanderie, which I've taken to calling the "Command Me" rosé (probably funny only to me), showed up at The Carriage this week as a feature pour at the bar. It is one of the most appropriate wines I've had on the patio all summer. Made from a blend of 36% grenache, 26% cinsault, 21% syrah, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 7% rolle, the wine is pale pink and far closer to a white in body and acid than its red grape cohorts offer in their fully macerated states.
The Commanderie estate's website is a little entertaining with a design intimating of a sizable marketing budget. New bottlings are displayed in a gallery slider suggestive of a luxury brand parfume, complete with models wearing luring expressions in grave attempts at sensuality. (check it out here) Their bottles don't look like ours; the special editions and prestige cuvées favor liquor bottles over traditional wine bottles. I've noticed in recent years more and more Provençal wines showing up in glass rectangles or even fish-shaped vessels. It's all marketing. I suppose it appeals to a certain whimsical breed of drinker and college students in search of inexpensive, multi-use kitchen adornments. But more important, the "Command Me" Commanderie that hits stateside lines up shoulder to shoulder on retail shelves and stack easily in their appropriate bins. And of course the "nectar" itself is mighty tasty.
Wild strawberry, floral notes give way to more strawberry on the palate, with good clean acidity and light body. A decent finish and just enough delicious to reach for the bottle and another pour. Patios and backyard decks, salty cheese, charcuterie, steamed mussels with fresh diced tomatoes and garlic and white wine broth.