The Tasting Panel magazine

February 2014

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E very year, just before the holidays, THE TASTING PANEL throws a party. We invite about ifty of our friends to taste sparkling wines, mostly Champagnes. We alternate the focus each year and this time, much to the delight of those on hand, the theme was sparkling rosé. Most rosé Champagnes are made by adding a measure of still Pinot Noir produced from fruit grown within the Champagne region, usually in the village of Bouzy. Rosé is a relatively recent development in Champagne, having begun to appear toward the end of the 20th century. Some were made by leav- ing the skins in the fermenter long enough to tint the wine, but most use an addition of Pinot between 5% and 20%. This method, most vintners say, makes it easier to control color and lavor. Speaking of colors, they ranged from pale pink to rich ruby, with all the stops in between. Tasting through the wines, it is hard to understand why American consumers, in particular, were so slow to embrace these delightful wines. Right now rosé sparklers are riding a wave of popularity, although success is limited since rosés still account for less than 5% of the wines made in Champagne. Here, in alphabetical order, are my tasting notes: Berlucchi NV Cuvée '61 Rosé, Franciacorta, Italy ($35) Pale pink; crisp, citrus nose; juicy and tangy with lively acidity and snappy style; good depth, balance and inesse. 90 TERLATO WINES Boisset NV JCB No. 69, Burgundy, France ($25) Pale pink; fresh raspberry nose; smooth, bright and juicy with ripe raspberry and citrus; crisp, racy with good length. 88 BOISSET USA Buglioni 2011 Il Vigliacco Brut Rosé Spumante, Italy ($30) Deep pink; spicy nose; rich, dense and meaty; ripe and juicy with rasp- berry notes; smooth and long. 100% Molinara. 88 WILSON DANIELS Delamotte NV Rosé Champagne, France ($90) Salmon color; juicy and crisp with elegant structure and reined style; pure, focused, smooth and long. 93 WILSON DANIELS Deutz NV Brut Rosé Champagne, France ($58) Light salmon color; soft raspberry nose; crisp, juicy and long; elegant, fresh and nicely balanced; stylish and lovely. 93 MAISONS MARQUES & DOMAINES Dom Pérignon 2003 Brut Rosé Champagne, France ($300) Exquisite rose-colored wine with a nose of cherry and soft citrus; it is creamy textured and precise with lavors that are at once complex and rich yet delicate and pure; focused and elegant with subtlety and depth; graceful, balanced and astonishingly beautiful. 96 MOËT- HENNESSY USA EVENT WRAP-UP Rosé Round-Up A LOOK AT OUR 2013 YEAR-END CHAMPANGE AND SPARKLING WINE TASTING by Anthony Dias Blue 50 / the tasting panel / february 2014

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