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Wine of the Week: 2011 Chateau de Pampelonne Rosé, Côtes de Provence

It’s rosé time folks. Spring is in the air, baseball season in full swing (or for Europe sports it’s the semi finals of the Champions League for soccer), and hefty winter stews are making way for lovely salade niçoises. This is the time we drink rosé.

This new offering from the largest appellation in Provence at 50,000 acres, with vineyards creating some of the greatest rosés in the world. The famed Bandol, makers of possibly the finest rosé, are nearby but their own appellation.

This young 2011 made from a grenache blend is a perfect calm pink-salmon color, almost the hue of a sunset’s rays about ten minutes before sunset. The tastes are in that rosé strike zone, where slight sweetness from the ripe strawberry mingles with a touch of bitter melon. It’s a thirst-quenching wine like a rosé should be that also demands to be savored. The depth lacks a but, which probably will grow over three or four years. It would be perfect today with a young, creamy goat’s milk cheese, or even better this time of the year, with that smoked fish tartine or salade niçoise.

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