The Only Rosé You’ll Need This Year

The Only Rosé You’ll Need This Year

Posted on Mar, 11. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

2009 Domaine Mordorée Tavel Rosé “La Dame Rousse”
Retail price before [member discount|Our members save an average of 25% off the normal retail prices. As a courtesy to the retail wine industry we do not publish our prices.] $24.00 • Buy this wine!

I was going to wait until it was a bit warmer to send out this offer, but I was cautioned by Emily at Kysela not to wait – once the middle of March hits, rosé (especially of this caliber) will suddenly be flying out of their warehouse and we’ll be locked in a battle to secure any little bit we can. So, here it is, and I say this without hyperbole, without irrational giddiness: this is the one and only rosé you will need this season.

I’m talking, of course, about our perennial favorite, 2009 Domaine Mordorée Tavel Rosé “La Dame Rousse”. Year after year, this wine shows up and puts almost every other rosé I taste to shame. Mordorée, by Kysela’s own admission, is one of their top estates, if not the top, and considering the quality of their portfoilio, that says a lot. After experiencing such grand, timeless wines as their Lirac “Reine des Bois” red, their brilliant and brilliantly cheap Cotes du Rhone red, and their unmatches rosés, I tend to agree. Christophe Delorme, one of the brothers who owns the estate, and who is the more hands-on of the two, carries an offputting calmness and intensity with him, and the wines seem to follow. Their philosophy and approach to winegrowing at the estate is exactly what, in my opinion, every single winegrower in the world should be striving for:

We strongly believe the way used to obtain a result is at least as important as the achievement itself. Of course, we aim towards the highest possible quality, but not at any cost : a result alone would by no means suffice.

Our code of ethics is profoundly based on respecting the gifts of nature through our soils and landscapes. This code of ethics is consequently applied to all the stages of production, ensuring that future generations may live in harmony with our heritage. We are but passers-by on Earth, our presence is ephemeral and we are not here to exhaust our resources but to develop our land’s riches.
Our actions are thus continuously guided by environmental awareness. This philosophy has guided us for 15 years. Our efforts have been particularly forceful over the past 5 years, seeking to support tradition with innovative solutions. The key word of this approach, both in definition and spirit, is respect.
Respect for nature, respect for man, respect for our customers and respect for our pledge.

These inviolable rules are the very basis of our estate : the rules that steer our concepts and actions today, and that we hope shall show the way tomorrow.

Okay, so it may sound a touch ephemeral and grandiose, but to me, it’s really a grounded way of approaching the business of making wine…and something that I am happy to support; of course, if the wines sucked, I’d be singing a different tune, but they don’t. They are everything I look for from a Rhone producer, and more. Specifically, the Tavel Rosé that I’m writing you about today strikes a perfect balance between fun-and-easy-drinking gulping rosé, and leaden-serious might-as-well-be-CdP-rouge intellectualized rosé. Both have their place, though most Tavel rosé I encounter tends to fall under the former category, while it often takes a $30 salmon-hued Bandol to hit the latter mark. This stuff, though, is right in the middle…it’s an absolutely stunning strawberry red color, but not to the point of those too-long-on-the-skins Malbecs that are becoming more and more prevalent. It’s brilliant and beautiful in the glass, and just looking at it makes it seem like spring is already here, and that we should all be out on the patio sipping this and laughing at the futility of the last of the melting snow piles.

The nose is bright and floral, what the term “bouquet” was meant for, with subtleties like ripe nectarines, strawberry jam and mulling spices coming and going. The palate has brilliant acidity, very precise but never biting or a detriment…just enough to help it stand up to more serious foods like grilled lamb…limestoney minerality and big red fruit are all over the place too. I think the biggest draw, for me, is the intensity of aroma and flavor, without ever being too weighty or overly serious. A feat for any wine…but especially for a rosé (most, in my experience, are either too gentle or too extracted). We did try their new higher-end Reine des Bois Lirac Rosé at their warehouse tasting, but it almost seemed too heavy handed, while this La Dame Rousse, yet again, struck that chord that makes me buy by the case.

I haven’t encountered another rosé that was this versatile, this balanced…and that’s why it’s likely the only rosé that I’ll be buying this year. It’s inexpensive and it goes with any number of dishes and occasions…what else do you need? The days are getting warmer, and I know that many of us (myself included) will be clambering for some rosé before you know it (actually, I’ve already been through a couple bottles of this stuff…I couldn’t wait), so here it is: your one stop to stock up on the pink juice for the rest of the year. Like I said in the beginning of this e-mail, once the middle of March hits, this stuff will go quickly, so even if you’re not quite ready to uncover the patio furniture yet, don’t wait on this.

2009 Domaine Mordorée Tavel Rosé “La Dame Rousse”
Retail price before [member discount|Our members save an average of 25% off the normal retail prices. As a courtesy to the retail wine industry we do not publish our prices.] $24.00 • Buy this wine!

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