The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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{ }  83 Paul Altuna, Wine Director at Le Cirque, joined us for the tasting of Château Minuty, whose Prestige Rosé has been a constant on the restaurant's list since it was first imported into the U.S. by Diageo Château & Estate Wines last year. When he came to New York in 1997, there was no rosé on any list, Altuna recalls, noting the American market penchant for white Zinfandel. Now, Le Cirque carries five to six Provençal rosés year-round by the glass, and in the summer, an even greater selection by the bottle. "Every 12 days, we sell through five cases, even in the winter," Altuna says. He remembers the wine from his own childhood in the Basque region in southwest France: "Forty years ago, my father's restaurant was selling this wine; the bottle is classic Provence, unforgettable." Nostalgia aside, he values Minuty for its quality and versatility: "What I like about the Prestige: it has flavor; it's complex, but it's not overpowering. It's easy to make a good pairing, for example with chicken, with a lot of different dishes because the wine is so subtle." Matton explores different points of view on the classic Provençal rosé through each of his wines. Matton notes that 2014 was a par- ticularly good vintage for this pursuit, with perfect growing conditions for rosé: a slow and even ripening for the grapes without too much stress. SIMPLICITY: The Minuty M Rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, marked by its juicy, concentrated flavors. The red fruit is ripe and fresh, and the style is easy and balanced. This is classic, quaffing rosé, meant to please everyone with its simplicity and balance (50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 10% Syrah). MINERALITY: More complex, the floral and ripe, fruity aromas in Minuty Prestige Rosé are checked by searing acidity, a min- eral backbone and a unique strain of salinity particular to the rosés of the Var sub-region. 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 20% Tibouren. POWER OF FRUIT: The Minuty Rose et Or is the highest cuvée of château, focused on the best possible expression of Grenache, blending grapes from various plots from Minuty. Because Grenache makes a very pale rosé, the wine gives the sensation of eating a ripe, fleshy peach at the peak of its season— skin and all. There are slight notes of herbes de Provence particular to this vintage. 95% Grenache, 5% Syrah. 2014 Vintage Tasting NOTES Rose et Or is Château Minuty's top-tier cuvée. Paul Altuna, a native of the Basque region of southwest France, is Wine Director at Le Cirque. THE ROLE OF ROSÉ AT LE CIRQUE

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