Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Favorite Rosé of the Summer?

I think I might have decided on my favorite rosé of the summer, so far. I'm not considering things like Tempier, Pradeaux, or the other Bandols. I think of those more as Bandol wines than as rosé anyway. But among the summer flood of generally inexpensive rosés - I think I've found a favorite.

I've always enjoyed white wines from Schloss Gobelsburg, but I'd never had the rosé until this summer. I'm not sure, but I think that 'Gobelsburger' is the second wine of Schloss Gobelsburg. This wine's name recalls the monks who managed the winery until 1995, and it is made from Zweigelt and St. Laurent grapes. It should cost about $15 and honestly it's great rosé, case-worthy, in my opinion.

2009 Gobelsburger Rosé Cistercien, $14, Terry Theise Selections / Michael Skurnik Imports. This is not a fruity rosé, so let's just get that out of the way first. There is fruit in this wine, but it shows up on the finish in a controlled little burst of red. The main body of the wine is more about the steely and sleek tone, the acidity and focus, and the aromas and flavors are more mineral than fruit. This wine reminds me very much of the 2008 Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé in that it drinks more like a white wine than like a rosé. It is bottled under screw cap and a bit reductive at first, so open it 15 minutes before you want to drink it or just give it a vigorous swirl in the glass.

I love how versatile this wine is with food. Unlike rosés that are on the fruitier side (which I also love), this wine can elevate foods that are complex and to me anyway, not always easy to pair. For example, I never know what to drink with pesto.

Although in some ways they are polar opposites, the wine was great with this classic dish. Intensely herbal anise-tinged notes from the basil, umami from Parmesan cheese, savory walnuts...would that work with rosé? Yes, when it is a steely high acid and very pure wine. I'm telling you, when you deal with your summer basil, think of this wine.

On another evening, I knew that I wanted to drink this wine before deciding what to eat. Drinking this rosé, I can detect traces of that sour cream, white pepper thing that I often get from the Gruner Veltliners, and so I decided to try to eat something that would go well with Gruner.

I thinly sliced a smoked duck breast and roasted some small white turnips and pink radishes. There is nothing Austrian about Fregola, the Sardinian pasta balls made from coarse semolina that are toasted after being dried. But I like the way the nutty tasting Fregola absorb simple flavors like butter and white pepper, and so that was it. This pairing was more about synergy - the flavors of the wine seemed to recognize the smoked duck and the radishes, to understand that white pepper is friendly.

I hate the idea that $15 wines, particularly rosés, are not serious wines. This is a serious wine, and unless you clean the racks I will be drinking a lot of it this summer.


Scott Reiner said...

damn, i was offered a glass on sunday at the tail end of the trestle pig roast. i got a beer instead...

Yule said...

I believe the Gobelsburger wines are made from purchased fruit and not estate.

King Krak, Oenomancer said...

Ha - Schloss Gobelsburg was the only winery I tasted at during my visit to Austria this past May. Alas, I was a bit rushed, so did not taste their rosé. My mistake.