Showing posts with label Domaine de Terrebrune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Domaine de Terrebrune. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Drinking a Few Things from the Cellar

In 2005 I got into wine again, after a long time away. I bought some bottles and drank all of them. In 2006 I continued to buy wine to drink but I also bought some wines with the intention of cellaring them. According to my records I still have 18 of those bottles. I still have over 50 bottles of wine that I purchased in 2007.

There are bottles in that group that I hope to hold onto for a good while longer, and there are others that seem like great candidates for drinking over the next year or two. I think it was the VLM who once wrote that the beautiful thing about collecting wine is not necessarily the trophies you can open on a grand night with fellow wine lovers. It's that you get to a point when you can go into your own cellar and open a mature bottle, and you can do so on a Monday night, just because you feel like it.

For this to really work, though, I have to still like, or at least be interested in the wines I bought 6, 7, and 8 years ago. Have your tastes changed in the past 7 years? Mine have. But as I look through my cellar I see that there really aren't too many things that I am no longer interested in. That would be a great theme actually - a "bring-a-bottle-you-purchased-years-ago-but-no-longer-care-about" wine dinner.

As I look through my remaining purchases from 2006 and 2007, I see that the wines are mostly Loire Valley and Burgundy wines, and that I did better with the Loire selections. Huet, Chidaine, Clos Rougeard, Baudry, Foreau...hard to argue with that. The Burgundy wines are mostly villages and "lesser" 1er cru wines, and I bet they will be delicious. But they are not things I would buy today, for the most part. It's just a matter of price - there are many wines today I would prefer to buy with my  $45 than Voillot villages Volnay or Pommard, for example. That said, I am the proud owner of both wines and look forward to trying them.

So, I've started to dig in lately. In each of the past two weeks I've opened a bottle that I purchased a few years ago. Last Monday I made a simple dinner of skirt steak and vegetables and opened the 2005 Terrebrune Bandol. Yes, yes, I know, this sort of Bandol wine can take 20 years before it hits a true window of maturity. Here was my thinking - 2005 was a ripe year and the wine might be more generous than is typical. And before investing another 10 years in this wine (I have more than 1 bottle), why not check in to see how it's progressing?

I am a fan of Terrebrune - the wines can be great. I've had excellent examples from the '80s and early '90s. I love the rosé too. When they're good they are intensely powerful and sturdy wines but they're also graceful wines, not heavy. And they faithfully express the animale wildness of Mourvedre grown in this hot southern clime. This bottle was not so great, though. On the first night it was exuberant and pleasing in its ripe, deep, dark, and spicy fruit. But there was not a great deal of complexity and the finish tailed off in a rather drastic way, leaving not much more than an impression of tannins. On the second night the wine is more harmonious, the fruit and the tannins better integrated. But still, the wine did not speak so clearly of Bandol to me. Where is the musk, the leather, the soil? Maybe the wine is closed down, or maybe I'm just not going to be a fan of this sort of wine in the warm vintages.

I had much better luck this week. On Monday night the daughters helped me make a bunch of gray sole fillets for dinner. They seasoned some flour, dredged the fillets, kind of wiped their hands before touching everything else on the counter top, and we sauteed the fillets in butter. Ate them with a heap of rice and vegetables.

I opened a bottle of Muscadet, one of the great wines from that place - the 2004 Domaine de la Louvetrie Muscadet le Fief du Breil. I loved this particular wine when it was young and saved a bottle to see what would happen when it turned 10 years old. I made it past 9 years old, so that's close. The aromas were pure and clean, and pungent in that way that happens as wine ages. It smelled of preserved lemons and saltwater, and tasted predominantly of rocks, finished briny and long. If it sounds a bit austere, it was, but that can be a good thing, and this wine was compelling and delicious. And it seems as though it will continue to develop, and perhaps improve, for another decade. This is solid stuff. I spent $13.50 on it 6 years ago.

This is going to be fun, digging into some of the things I bought.

Friday, February 08, 2013

I Might be Corked

I'm stuck in the middle of a tough streak right now, friends. Be very careful sharing your good wine with me, as since early January there have been some incredible disappointments. Lately, every bottle that should be great is corked or flawed in some other way. It's starting to spread now to the daily bottles too, which is alarming.

It began with a bottle of 1988 Drouhin Musigny at the annual Burgundy Wine Club dinner in early January. Should have been a brilliant bottle, but it smelled and tasted like roasted peat.

This established the tone for the next month. I opened a bottle of 2006 Marquis D'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Les Fremiets one night and it was corked. That teasing kind of corked, too, where you keep drinking it because you haven't had the wine before and it's not the stinky vicious kind of corked. It was the kind that wisps in and out in a subtle way, gradually building, until eventually it can no longer be denied.

And then this majestic bottle was corked. Again, it wasn't immediately clear (except to one very experienced drinker). Everyone agreed that something was wrong with the wine, but we all fought as hard as we could to deny reality, for obvious reasons. Seriously, this is tragic, isn't it? When am I ever going to drink 1989 Gentaz again?

Then one evening last week I decided to try the 2011 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Clos des Briords, always exciting to try the new vintage. Corked. Not hard to replace, but still frustrating.

Then on Friday last week my good friend brought a special bottle to my house for dinner, a bottle he bought a year or so ago at my encouragement. 1987 Domaine Terrebrune Bandol, which I've actually tasted before and I'm a sucker for Bandol from those years, when the wines were less bombastic and lower in alcohol (although this one was 13.5%). The problem was, the wine was corked. And in that especially annoying subtle way that took us 30 agonizing minutes to recognize. Was it taking its time opening up, was it a little heat damaged (yes), was it corked, why was it so muted and weird...because it was corked.

And on Super Bowl Sunday my good pal very generously opened a great bottle to share, the 1998 Giacosa Barbaresco Rabaja. The Bud Light ads were tempting, but this wine had us way more excited. He decanted it for a while and we were ready to go, but the wine was heat damaged. We drank some anyway because it was possible to see the potential of the wine underneath, but I could tell he was frustrated, and I didn't have the heart to tell him that these days, I bring this plague with me wherever I go.

My friend Peter said to me recently, joking around, but not entirely, that no where else would consumers allow this sort of failure rate in the products we buy. "Imagine buying a new car," he said, "turning the key and finding that it doesn't go. And then the salesman smiles sadly and says 'Yeah, sorry, that one doesn't go, that happens sometimes and you'll have to live with it.'"

Okay, a new car is a bit more expensive (unless we're talking about corked Jayer or DRC). But his point is interesting. Why have we accepted the fact that 1 of 8 or 9 bottles of wine is corked? We are told that we have to accept this, that it's part of the game. Maybe so. It still stinks, and can be soul crushing if you've invested cellar time and/or a lot of money in the bottle.

My friend Lee Campbell who used to sell the Dressner portfolio of wines and now is the wine director at Reynards, among other things, once had me guffawing as we complained about corked wine. She said that she's convinced that lots of things can be corked. There is a small park near her house that she thinks is corked. Certain television shows are corked (I think she said that Glee is the most recent offender), a diner near her office is corked, North Korea is corked.

I am worried that I might be corked.

Monday, September 03, 2012

The BLT and Fried Green Tomatoes - End of Summer Tomato Gluttony

Amazing that it's happened so quickly, but summer is basically over. The good news is that fall happens fast too, and after Thanksgiving it's just a few winter months, and then it's almost summer again. So yes, it's almost next summer already, and that is exciting.

This time of year I eat tomatoes shamelessly. Tomatoes of all colors, shapes, and sizes, at any time of day, with any combination of foods, and prepared in all sorts of ways. I try to be creative and still, some of my favorite late summer tomato dishes are the classics. Really, I ask you, could you turn down a well-made BLT? Could you refuse a plate of fried green tomatoes? I should think not.

The BLT, just in case you require a little tomato inspiration. I like mine on good white bread.

And high quality thick-cut bacon is a must. I'm using Lou's Natural bacon these days, and it's very delicious and not too fatty.
But in the end, this sandwich is about the tomato. It has to be flavorful enough so that it actually offers contrast to the smokey bacon. I've used heirlooms of various colors on a BLT and while I wouldn't kick any of them off my plate,  it is the classic orange variety that gets me on a BLT.

This is a Ramapo tomato grown by star New Jersey farmer Bill Maxwell and it is not to be trifled with. It isn't as firm as some others and therefore gets a little sloppy when in sandwich, but it is well worth it for its wonderful fresh essence-of-tomato flavor. Really though, this is a messy tomato and is better eaten at home where you can get all sloppy with it.

Fried green tomatoes require a little more time but not much more effort. You are slicing green tomatoes to about a half inch thick, coating them in flour, dipping them in a mixture of buttermilk and egg, then dredging in seasoned cornmeal. There are many variations here and all work fine. I like to use breadcrumbs as a solid third of my cornmeal mixture because the crust stays together better after cooking. And I season with salt and pepper, nothing more. I'm sure there are at least 146 correct ways to do this, so do what feels right to you.

After the coating, the dipping, the dredging, and the frying, the hard part of your work is done. Now it's about choosing a vehicle. Fried green tomatoes are delicious as a side dish, but I like them to get top billing. Last week I served them as a first course, interspersed with slices of a beautiful ripe Green Cherokee tomato and topped with green goddess dressing. Green goddess dressing is ridiculously delicious and pretty easy to make, but that's for another time. This was a good dish, by the way. My friend asked for seconds and happily cleaned his plate.

What to drink with this sort of late summer tomato goodness? Anything really, from an acidic white wine to a light red wine. 

I've been enjoying rosé with these dishes. A good Bandol rosé, the 2011 Terrebrune Bandol Rosé, $32, for example, imported by Kermit Lynch, has the complexity, depth of flavor, and the body to stand up to this hearty food, and also the acidity and fresh fruit to cleanse the palate. And there is something about the way Mourvedre rosé works with bacon...But I drank the leftover half of the less ambitious 2011 Domaine Les Fouques Côtes de Provence Rosé Cuvée de L'Aubigue, $14, David Lillie/Chambers Street direct import, with a BLT today and it was great. Then again, I don't need much of an excuse to drink good rosé, especially now that it is almost next summer. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

Cellar space is at a premium in NYC. I can't save all of the different wines I would like to age. There are many different wines in my "cellar" (read: wine fridge), things that most anyone would agree should be left alone for years before drinking. It's the little wines that I never seem to make room for, and we drink them up when they're young.

There's nothing at all wrong with that - if a wine is expressive and delicious young, why not drink it? Some humble little wines, though, can improve dramatically with even short-term cellaring, and I wish that I had more space/self control to give them that extra year or two in the bottle.

A couple examples. I never manage to hold any Coudert Fleurie. The old vines Cuvée Tardive I'm good about, but the regular much as I'd like to sock a few bottles away, the wine is always delicious young, and so we drink it. Another example - all Bandol rosés. As committed as I am to holding a bottle or two, I seem to find excuses to open them.

This is all too common with me. There are so many wines that I'd love to put away, but don't. Such is life - there are choices to make and one cannot cellar every interesting bottle of wine. I drank a few things recently that reminded me of the rewards of storing the humble wines even for just a year or two.

2006 Bernard Baudry Chinon Cuvée Domaine, $18, Louis/Dressner Selections. I've always enjoyed this wine but I never managed to store any until the 2006 vintage. It's just so good, even right out of the gates. Some folk, like the Vulgar Little Monkey, figured out long ago that there are several Baudry wines worth cellaring, the humble Cuvée Domaine included. It's not Baudry's top wine and it will never be earth shattering, but Cuvée Domaine is a great wine that in most vintages is even better with a few years in the cellar. The tannins have rounded a bit in the 2006 and the wine flows freely across the palate. The fruit is rich and the body lean and muscular, the sensibilities of gravel and flower coexisting harmoniously. You will be proud of me when I tell you that I still have another bottle of this. And a few of the 2007's too. I need an underground cave.

2006 Jacques Puffeney Arbois Trousseau Cuvée les Bérangères, $30, Imported by Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant. Again, this was always an attractive wine. But I managed to hold this last bottle for merely one year and the payoff was huge. The slight astringency that I was always happy to work with is gone now, and so is whatever else that is not essential to the purest of cool red currant and leafy raspberry, the gamy undercurrent, and the stony finish. So agile and energetic, such a compelling example of cool climate mountain wine from the Jura. I hereby renew my commitment to the 2007's.

2007 Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rosé, $25, Kermit Lynch Imports. I won't lie to you - I didn't cellar this wine. I drank all mine last summer and loved all of it. But Chambers Street came across a small bit recently and I bought a bottle from them. Wow - the wine is even better. It takes a while to open up, but when it does it really sings. Peach juice, spices, metal, and stone, pure as can be and perfectly balanced. The gamy streak that was there in its youth was not here a year later, but I loved how there is a new dimension to the texture. There are layers on the palate now, and there is a tactile sense to each flavor. I bet that this is just the beginning for this wine, actually. Bert Celce of Wine Terroirs has written about the aging potential of Bandol rosé, Terrebrune's in particular.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Brooklyn Blind Tasting Panel #4 - Inexpensive Provence Reds

Everyone knows that well made Bandol is beautiful and age-worthy wine. But the inexpensive red wines of Provence? Even at under $20, these are not exactly popular wines, which makes perfect sense if you think about it. The marquis wine crowd doesn't even know that these wines exist, and the cool-cat wine crowd prefers light red wines with low alcohol. Some of my favorite wine stores, Chambers Street included, do not stock even one inexpensive Provence red wine. Why would they - the wines are high alcohol, clunky, sweet fruit bombs without any grace. Aren't they?

Some are, yes. But there are some great under $20 red wines from Provence. Wines that can offer the same level of quality as good Beaujolais or Loire red wines at those prices - delicious wines that express terroir and work perfectly with food. When well made, these are wines that offer lots of power and intensity, but also a modicum of grace, and that's an intriguing combination. Okay, these wines are not as flexible with food as Loire or Beaujolais wines, but there's plenty of room to play around here. I'm not saying that I want to drink an inexpensive Provence red every night, but when I want a big red wine and I'm not spending more that $20, I think there's a lot to like in Provence. I'm talking about lavender and other Provence herbs and gamy leathery animale aromas - not just ripe fruit.

With that in mind, I convened the Brooklyn Blind Tasting Panel to take a closer look at inexpensive Provence red wines. For this tasting I was joined by Rosemary Gray, the Champagne, Austria, Germany, and Sake wine buyer and a manager at Chambers Street Wines, Ben Hagen, the wine buyer at Slope Cellars, one of my favorite Brooklyn retailers, and Dan Melia who runs the US operations for Mosel Wine Merchant.

Such a great group for this tasting - Rosemary drinks loads of minerally white wine and has a tough time with big red wines like this. Dan represents a load of German Riesling producers and also rarely drinks wines like these. And Ben said that he studiously avoids wines like these, that he can't deal with the alcohol and the big fruit. We tasted (and then drank with dinner) 8 wines, all of them currently available in NYC retail stores.

Ben thought the wines were interesting, and found that he had a lot to say about them, which he felt was a good thing. He also felt that he wouldn't buy any of them for himself other than the first wine below, that he found the fruit to be candied in many of them. Dan felt that there wasn't a lot of pleasure in many of the wines, he didn't feel like he wanted to sit there and drink them. And he wasn't saying that he wished he had food with them, he meant that sometimes he just wants to drink a wine and he didn't find many that he wanted to just sit there and drink. Rosemary was surprised that she liked the wines, but she found the group to be hit or miss, and imagined that it would be tough to shop for these wines without knowing exactly what you wanted. I wasn't disappointed - I thought that some of the wines were very good, and very much expressive of Provence. And these wines can offer unusual flavors. things that I don't experience in wines from anywhere else. Here are the wines we tasted, with a few notes:

Three of us picked the same wine as our favorite, the 2006 Delille Vin de Pays du Mont Caume Terre d'Ombre, $17, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Reymond Delille makes Bandol at Domaine de Terrebrune, and this is a very similar wine. I don't know the exact blend but it's lots of Mourvedre with some Grenache and Cinsault in there. Could be Terrebrune Bandol but younger vines, could be the same wine but a different blend, using less than 50% Mourvedre, I just don't know. But it really stood out for me in this tasting - earthy and intense but still energetic and lively. The nose was very animale with bretty leathery notes, dark and a bit spicy. Spreads out on the palate but the wine is nicely structured, the fruit is bright and perky, and it is infused with this herbal animale funk. I thought it was well balanced and delicious. Dan was worried at first that the animale would obscure the wine, but he was very happy with the savory, spicy taste, and found the wine to be entirely approachable. He thought it got better and better over the course of the evening. Ben thought it was a classic Provence red wine, with an interesting chestnutty quality, and Rosemary thought it opened up nicely and showed a lightness and deftness that balanced the animale intensity. She thought it would be a good candidate for the cellar. I can tell you from re-tasting it the next night that the wine continues to improve, and all the balance, character, and class that you could want in a big red wine. And it's drinkable - the alcohol is a entirely reasonable 13%. This is one to buy if you come across it.

The next four wines were all quite good, and were preferred by some of us, enjoyed by all, and in no particular order:

2004 Domaine du Deffends Côteaux Varois Clos de la Truffière, $19, Robert Chadderdon Selections. During the tasting and then dinner, this wine was good but also a bit weird. A blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, I found bright citrus fruit on the nose - think persimmon, and also some very prominent sandalwood aromas. Although the texture was very smooth and the fruit bright, I found the wine to be a bit disjointed and wasn't crazy about it. Dan at first found it to be glossy and manipulated, and said that he was dismissive of it initially, but thought it improved with air. Ben and Rosemary both liked the wine, seeing past the incense smells and finding something classically Provence about the wine. And let me tell you that on day 2, the wine is the best of the bunch, with a harmonious nose that shows brightly floral fruit and loads of Provence herbs, and a structured but graceful and joyous palate with a long lavender finish. This is a wine that I want to drink on day 2, or to cellar for 5-8 years and then open up for some wine-geek friends in the winter with a bowl of stew.

2007 Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence, $14, Michael Skurnik Wines. This was Rosemary's favorite wine, and it is the most spare of the lot, without the pungency of some of the other wines. This wine has lovely and bright strawberry fruit, and a shot of animale earth that offers nice contrast. I thought the fruit was interesting in that it reminded me of the way that black tea can be fruity. The wine is energetic and well balanced and is easy to like - everyone liked it. It is still quite good on day 2 and shows a pronounced black licorice character, and continues to show an attractively spare structure. It is 12.5% alcohol and under $15 and eminently drinkable.

2006 Château Jean-Pierre Gaussen Vin de Pays du Mont Caume, $11, Moonlight Wines Imports. I wrote about this wine last summer, and I liked it again in this tasting, but not as much as some of the other wines. The nose shows a dark and earthy animale character, but I wanted this to be balanced by brighter fruit. There is good acidity and structure, but in the end I thought the wine just wasn't very interesting. Rosemary thought the alcohol stood out a bit, and although it is only 12.5%, it does stand out, on day 2 also. But the fruit is also brighter on day 2. Dan liked this wine more and more as the evening wore on, and he said that it was the one he was thinking about the next day. Who knows about this wine - it is mostly Mourvedre and those wines from this place are a bit of a mystery, I think.

2008 Comptoirs de Magdala Vin de Pays du Mont Caume La Chance, $17, Jenny & François Selections - this wine kindly donated by Jenny & François for this tasting. This wine was entirely different from the others in its lightness and drinkability. It is very young wines of Cinsault, Grenache, and Mourvedre from the back garden of Antoine Pouponneau's garden (he makes Bandol at Tour du Bon). Rosemary liked it a lot and said that she wanted to drink it more than the others. Dan too said that it offered pleasure, and that he didn't find as much pure pleasure in the other wines. Ben liked it too, but didn't find it to be as expressive as the others. I enjoyed this wine but I thought it was more expressive as a natural wine than as a Provence wine, and that it drank more like a Beaujolais than a Mourvedre blend. This is not a bad thing, but if I were looking specifically for a Provence red wine, I would be a bit disappointed if this is what the salesperson sold me.

2008 Commanderie de Peyrassol Vin de Pays Portes Méditerraneé La Croix, $13, Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant. I really like this wine. I loved it in 2007, and I like it in 2008, but I will say that it is a very weird wine this year. The fruit character is bizarre, very floral, and almost confected. Rosemary said it was like drinking some sort of plastic toy. I thought the nose with its persimmon and pineapple fruit was simply strange, but the palate was interesting and in the end, attractive. No one thought it was flawed, and no one disliked it, but everyone thought it was very weird wine. It is a blend of Syrah and Cabernet, and there might be other grapes in there too. The alcohol is 14% and it does stand out a little bit. I liked it because to me, it is so clearly of Provence. It is unusual, but with a rare and bloody steak...I'm in.

2005 Domaine de Triennes Vin de Pays du Var St Auguste, $18, Imported by The Sorting Table. This is a modern and well made wine, but a wine that offers little to distinguish it as a Provence wine. It is much more about Cabernet Sauvignon than it is about Provence. Everyone pegged is as Cabernet, and everyone found it to be glossy and modern, and most found it to be unappealing. I thought it was well made and I liked it, although I would again be very disappointed if this is what i came home with, wanting Provence wine. On day 2 it was muddy and nondescript. 13.5% alcohol.

2005 Château du Seuil Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, $9, Winebow Imports. This is a closeout deal, and it simply didn't show well at all. Non-descript, modern, devoid of any real character, this is not why I'm interested in Provence wine.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wine of the Week - Terrebrune Rosé and Tapenade

I've lived in New York essentially for my whole life (there were four years of college in the mid-west and a year in Southeast Asia and India). I've never seen a June like the one we just had, with rain almost every day, skies overcast. We had 18 days straight of rain at one stretch.

But you know what - it's still summer, and I'm taking every chance I get to treat it as such. For example, the other day while my daughters were both down for their mid-day nap, even though the sky was white, and the air thick and humid, I found myself thinking of rosé and tapenade. Probably because Bert of Wine Terroirs and I had been emailing recently about the glory of Bandol wine, and I recently re-read his post about this classic Provence pairing.

Bert says that it is easy to make tapenade - all you need is some olives, garlic, anchovies, capers, and lemon juice. A food processor helps, although a mortar and pestle is fine too. My kids nap for about two hours in the middle of the day. Could I make tapenade, enjoy it under gray skies on our deck, and still get some work done while they sleep? The answer, I'm happy to tell you, is yes.

Not a bad lunch on a humid and gray day. A food processor would help.

I used just over 6 ounces of pitted kalamata olives, one large garlic clove, two anchovy filets, about two tablespoons of capers, and the juice from half a lemon. I don't have a food processor, although we've been meaning to buy one for months. The mortar and pestle was fine though. Start by pounding the garlic with the anchovies and capers. I buy capers packed in salt usually, but for this dish it seemed better to buy a jar of large capers packed in water. Put the creamy garlic/caper mash in a bowl, then pound the olives - I had to do this in two batches. Add the olives to the caper/garlic/anchovy mash, and add the lemon juice. Stir well, and spread on slices of a baguette. My tapenade was not as creamy as Bert's, but there's only so much you can do with olives in a mortar and pestle. And coarse tapenade tastes great too.

The sun poked through the clouds as I was choosing a rosé, and I realized that celestial forces were telling me to open the very best Provençal rosé that we have. There are many fine rosés from Bandol, and every Bandol lover has his or her own favorite. Right now, mine is Terrebrune, and so I opened a bottle of the 2007 Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rosé, $25, Kermit Lynch Imports. Bert wrote a truly great profile of Terrebrune, and I won't waste space paraphrasing him.
Just look at that gorgeous orange color.

Terrebrune's rosé is made from the same low-yield, top quality Mourvèdre as is the estate's famous red wine. It offers rich and delicious fruit, and also a strong sense of the mineral soils that make up Terrbrune's vineyards near the sea. It is a rosé that typically benefits from cellaring. In fact, in its youth it can be quite wound up and intense, even difficult to drink. It has the classic and beautiful color that many Bandol Mourvèdre based rosés have, a deep coppery orange.The 2007 Terrebrune rosé is 50% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault. The nose is tense with minerals at first, and opens up to to reveal herb-infused fruit, 7 hours later the lavender is quite clear. The oxidative nature of this wine gives the fruit an orangey character that contrasts nicely with the tension of the minerals and herbs. I saved two-thirds of this bottle to enjoy with BrooklynLady that evening, and I don't think the nose ever finished opening, although it certainly was lovely. This wine really glides across the palate with great textural richness. It is not heavy or sweet, but it is an intense and big rosé, with sunny seaside fruit flavors, a metallic mineral frame, and a nostril-filling fragrance. It demands food, and it worked perfectly with the assertive flavors of the tapenade. I hope I have the self control to cellar one or both of my remaining bottles of this wine. I would love to see how it evolves with say, 10 years. But it's just so good now, this will not be an easy task.

By the way, one thing that I particularly love about Terrebrune's wines is that they defy the trend towards higher alcohol in Provence. Not just the rosé, the red Bandol too. The 2005, the current vintage on NYC shelves, is a completely reasonable 13% alcohol. Perhaps wine maker Reynald Delille is using modern equipment to de-alcohol-ize the wine? Unlikely. But I would love to attend a presentation in which he and other Bandol producers discuss vineyard work, cellar work, and alcohol levels in Bandol over the past 15 years.