The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2016

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22  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2016 NYC SIPS I f we believed that April showers bring May flowers, then we'd publish our rosé roundup next month. But various rosé rovers arrived this month, and in the spirit of there's no time like the present, we present the "Ready for Rosé" edition. Wines of Provence made a local stop on its U.S. tour, hosting a media lunch at Claudette, the Provençal restaurant in Greenwich Village. Rosés ranging from pale shell-pink to a strawberry-colored style were paired with regional dishes such as roasted vegetable aioli, grilled sardines and pork cheek Provençal. Rosé not only seriously stands up to Provence's rustic cuisine, it is serious business. Wines of Provence President Alain Baccino said it was the most difficult wine to make because saignée and pressing requires precision to preserve freshness and the hallmark color. "Provence is a traditional land but also an innovative land," he said, citing the region's Rosé Wine Experimentation and Research Center, a 20-year-old institution that analyzes more than 1,000 samples annually and provides technical assistance to winemakers. The story of the McBride sisters is both quirky and heartening. The two women shared a biological father and upbringings in wine country. But reared separately, they didn't know about each other (think 1996: pre-Facebook). Andréa hailed from New Zealand, Robin from California. Fast-forward through manual records searches (think: pre-Google search) and a letter campaign. The sisters met for the first time in 1999 and created McBride Sisters wine company. Last year they launched Truvée (French for "found") sourced from Central Coast grapes for a Chardonnay, a red blend, and now a rosé, made from Rhone variet- ies sourced from Paso Robles. At $15 SRP, it's an off-dry pleaser with a pretty party-ready label. In case you think pink is just for girls, Elia Pellegrini, a professional football (that's soccer to you Americans) player turned wine geek, was in town to introduce Solidio Rosato, the first rosé in the portfolio of Aia Vecchia, the family winery in Tuscany's coastal region. Reds from the indigenous Morellino di Scansano grape (a local clone of Sangiovese) anchor the up-and-coming Maremma region, but Aia Vecchia instead presents a Sangiovese-based rosato. It's a variance for the family who, known for their Super Tuscans, started the winery in 1996 with the help of famed Hungarian winemaker Tibor Gal. But Pellegrini says, "We don't want to compete with the big names; we want to make the wines that are on everyone's table every day." Solidio Rosato delivers crisp and tart cranberries with a hint of saline, we imagine extracted from the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea. The Rosé Edition story and photos by Lana Bortolot From Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (left to right): Eric Dufavet, Director, Valérie Lelong, Marketing & Communications; President Alain Baccino; and Claudette Chef Cedric Tovar. Robin McBride (left) and sister Andréa take Manhattan, starting at Charlie Palmer's Auerole restaurant in Times Square. Elia Pellegrini of Aia Vecchia in the wine room at Maialino.

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