Many of the first recorded wines were rosé - they were lighter wines that were watered-down field blends of both white and red grapes. In ancient Greece, it was considered civilized to dilute wine, as only “Drunks and Barbarians” drank full strength wine; however, these early examples were a far cry from the rosés of today. Instead, they were slightly off-dry and tannic from contact with the grape skins, seeds, and stems. In the 6th century BC, the Greeks brought grape vines to Massalia, (modern day Marseille) in southern France where they produced pleasant pink wines that were the talk of the Mediterranean. By the time the Romans landed later in Provence, they had already heard all about the ‘pink wines of Massalia.’ Even today, the south of France is still considered the epicenter of rosé, so we for this club shipment, we are featuring a classic Provence rosé and a comparable Provence-style American version.
AIX Coteaux D'Aix En Provence Rose 2017 $19 btl/$205.20 case
AIX rosé is the top blend of Maison Saint Aix. The domain was founded in 1880 as a truffle orchard and was converted into a vineyard in the early 1900’s. The domain is one of the largest domains in the AOP Coteaux d’Pix-en-Provence area, located close to Aix-en-Provence. The cellars are renovated with one sole purpose: producing the best rosé in the world. AIX rosé has been awarded many times with a gold medal at the Concours Agricole in Paris and was elected best rosé by the Club of Oenologues of the French senate. AIX has also been applauded in the international media. Falstaff, the largest German wine magazine, put AIX rosé in the top-10 Provence rosés. Spiritually, the brand AIX is related to the wonderful character of the mandarin duck, Aix Galericulata in Latin. In traditional Chinese culture, mandarin ducks represent a lifetime couple, unlike many other duck species. For thousands of years they have symbolized happiness in love and suggest romance, devotion, affection, fidelity, togetherness, and enduring love. The spiritual symbol of AIX can be found on the AIX label: a couple of mandarin ducks in a red Chinese pattern of good fortune.
Vivid orange-pink. Fresh and focused on the nose, displaying intense red berry and citrus fruit scents and a sexy floral overtone. Dry and nervy in style, offering sappy raspberry and blood orange flavors that flesh out steadily with air. Shows very good energy on the finish, which leaves lavender and dusty mineral notes behind.
2017 Cochon Old Vine Rosé, California $18 btl/$194.40 case
“In our quest to make world class Rose, we added a new vineyard source in 2011. 130+ year-old bush vine Cinsault from Bechthold Vineyard planted in 1886 from central Lodi, managed by Kevin Phillips.
Sandy soils and micro yielding vines produce fruit with incredible purity and finesse. This extraordinary fruit from this amazing vineyard continues to make up the core and backbone of our Rose. Rounding out the blend is the Bartolomei Brothers Vineyard of Old Vine Carignane and Grenache, planted in the late 1940’s in Ukiah on Mendocino’s Talmage Bench. We thought this vineyard was a perfect partner for the Old Vine Cinsault. We discovered these gnarly, twisted old hillside vines when we made a wrong turn one day, that fortuitous fork in the road led us to purchasing some of their beautiful Old Vine fruit for our Rose.
Winemaking: The old Cinsault vines at Bechthold produce a wine with such purity and focus we decided to let their true spirit come through. Using minimal intervention and whole cluster pressing of the grapes prior to native yeast fermentation. We applied the same techniques for the old vine Carignane and Grenache, keeping all three lots separate till a final blend was put together just prior to bottling. Gently whole cluster pressing the grapes insures no extraction of harsh flavors or tannins from the skins and seeds. The juice was then transferred to small stainless steel tanks for primary fermentation at 50 degrees lasting about 4 weeks. After fermentation the wines were racked to neutral 300 liter French oak Hogsheads, or “Hogs”, as they are lovingly referred to, and the reason we call the wine Cochon, the French word for Hog, to age for two months before being racked back to tank and bottled.
The Wine: Compromised of 60% Cinsault, 30% Carignane, and 10% Grenache, Cochon rosé displays a vibrant, delicate pale peach, salmon color, aromatic intensity and complexity, yet simply pure and refreshing. Inviting aromas of white peach, citrus blossom, wild berry notes and ruby grapefruit. Light to medium bodied in weight, showing plenty of finesse with a soft, rounded silky texture. The flavors are bright and focused, the stone fruit, wild strawberry and grapefruit are complemented by hints of mineral. The bright, fresh flavors persist to a crisp, lively and mouthwatering finish.”
Quick Fish Tacos
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, halved length-wise
2 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cod or snapper, cut into strips
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Mix sour cream and lime juice together in a large bowl; season with salt and black pepper. Reserve about half the mixture in another bowl for serving. Mince half the jalapeno pepper; save other half for later. Toss cabbage, green onions, and minced jalapeno half in remaining sour cream mixture until slaw is well mixed.
Heat olive oil and remaining jalapeno half in a large skillet over medium heat; swirl oil to coat skillet evenly. Season tilapia fillets with salt and pepper. Pan-fry fish strips in the skillet in 2 batches until fish is golden brown and easily flaked with a fork, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard jalapeno half.
Heat tortillas in the microwave on high until warm, 20 to 30 seconds.
Serve fish in warmed tortillas topped with cabbage slaw, reserved sour cream mixture, and cilantro.
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