Barry’s Pick: 2017 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé $32

Most rosés are meant to be drank within a year of their release. Here is one that actually benefits from some age. This is what people are referring to when they say ‘serious rosé.’ Heralding from the famous French region of Bandol, known for it’s Mourvedre based wines, this is one of the most respescted producers in the region.

Though not officially certified, they do practice Organic agriculture. The Mourvedre grape needs a long hang time to fully ripen and develop phenolic ripeness and the influence of the Mediterranean to the south and the fact that the estate is the highest elevation in the appellation keeps the temperature cool enough for the grapes to mature properly. The 30 to 50 year old vines are located on steep terrain and are therefore hand harvested.

The color of this rosé is peach with a fading rim. The nose is dominated by savory elements such as licorice, damp stones, white pepper and spice. Fruit flavors of musk melon and rhubarb also make an appearance. The wine is full bodied and tangy with a mouthfeel that is dense yet somehow elegant in the same breath. My overall impression of this wine is that it is a very fine rosé that will pair well with almost any cuisine one could imagine, or bring pleasure without food accompaniments. Enjoy!

Marcy’s Pick: NV Terre Dei Buth Frizzante Rosé $14.99

I love bubbles! They can be paired with just about anything and they make every day a celebration. What’s not to love about that? When I find a good bubbles under $20 I’m a happy imbiber. We recently brought in a new brand from Italy that is a great value, quite tasty and, on top of that, certified organic and vegan. This Frizzante Rosé is a blend of Glera, the grape used to make prosecco, and Raboso, an indigenous red grape of the Venetian region. Together this blend makes for a sparkling wine showing bright red berries and citrus balanced with nice minerality and acidity. Frizzante means it is a wine that is lightly sparkling compared to sparkling wines such as Champagne and Cremant.

These gentle bubbles make for an easy drinking and refreshing wine that would pair nicely with most summer fare including summer salads, seafood or a cheese plate. Salute!

Kent’s Pick: 2017 Mont Gravet Carignan $8.99

Summer is almost here, so I thought I’d go looking for a great BBQ wine to make the decision easy for you when the time comes. My summer pick is the Mont Gravet Carignan. This wine just recently arrived and is priced very reasonably at $8.99.

The wine is made from 100% Carignan sourced from vineyards in Herault in the Languedoc region in southwest France. This wine is meant to be drunk young and is very pleasing from the first pour. The wine shows dark cherries, plum and spice on the nose. The palate continues to show fresh dark fruit, fig, spice and touch of garrigue I associate with Carignan.

This wine will pair well with most anything from the grill (I drank mine with grilled pork chops and vegetables). Also, don’t be afraid to chill this wine down a little lower than you normally would for a red wine. Some chilled lighter bodied reds will show very well on hot summer days, and this wine is no exception!

Bob’s Pick: 2018 Ned Marlborough New Zealand Pinot Rosé $11.99

Though Rose’ time never really went away, it is really upon us now. Already we have about fifty Rose’s to choose from and more coming every week. How to choose, how to choose? Well when it comes to Rose’s I go by color. The darker the pink, the more time the juice has spent with the grape skins, and the more fruit expression it will present. The lighter the wine, the crisper, the brighter the wine will be. Rose’s of Pinot Noir however seem to hit on both ends; cripsness and bright fruits; that’s why they’re my favorite. Now we’ve got a great one from New Zealand too. The Ned has it all, tongue tingling crisp acidity on the front end (really, how can anything have a front/end?) and delicate raspberries and watermelon rind in the middle and finish. Perfect for pool-side, patio, pontoon boat and Palm Springs. And the real screamer is that it’s $11.99 Gotta love N Zed!

Stephen’s Pick: 2018 Villa des Anges Old Vines Rosé $12.99

I remember this rose’ from last year as being one of the more refreshing and easy to drink Languedoc favorites. This year, it is even better with a firm, mouth-watering freshness that accompanies this 100% Cinsault creation from Vin de Pays d’Oc appellation of the Languedoc-Roussillon. The body is light, but not watery. It has a vibrant freshness with a flavor spectrum that includes red currants, dried-strawberries, and a citrus hint in the bright finish.

Cinsault rose’s can be quite versatile and consequently pair really well with flatbread hors d’oeuvres, salads, and lighter foods. As an aperitif, Villa des Anges Rose’s bright, fresh, elegant, just-dry-enough flavor and acidity stimulates the mouth for more and prepares the rest of your alimentary canal for a delightful ensemble of finger foods, or just more Villa des Anges rose’. You decide and at $12.99, you can make this one of the Spring/Summer 2019 regulars. I already have! Definitely drink now, most rosés are not meant to age; however, they can still be drinkable if left unopened for up to a year or so. This year’s Villa des Anges Rosé is 12.5% alcohol, so kick back outside on your porch or take it to a garden party, how can a rose’ with a name like “Village of Angels” be anything but spectacular?!?

Bruce’s Pick: 2016 Michel Sarrazin Fils Givry “Sous la Roche” $28

When looking for good Burgundies that don’t break the bank, I often head south of Beaune 20 or 30 kilometers to the Cote Chalonnaise. The three main villages of Rully, Mercurey and Givry are often the source of some of the under-the-radar best values in all of Burgundy, and the wines of brothers Guy and Jean-Yves Sarrazin are among the best examples.

Having just received our allocation of the 2016 vintage of this wine, I couldn’t wait to check it out. I am happy to report that it is even better than last year (2015 vintage) which I also wrote up as a wine pick. The current version is sleeker, more tightly packed and shows sneaky length with silky tannins promising more to come. It is not a heavy-weight or chunky wine at all, but carries it’s dark cherry scented fruit on a high-wire of subtle acidity.

The Sous la Roche vineyard is one of the highest altitude vineyards in all of Rully planted with 40 year old vines, and its pedigree definitely shows through. Delicious now and poised to get even better over time (my sample was better the second day) this is a smart pick for a Burgundy that over-delivers!

Bob’s Pick: 2014 Hewitson “Baby Bush” Barossa Valley Mourvedre $18.99

Every now and then a grape used predominately for blending shows itself off for a particular vintage. This wine is made from one such variety from just such a vintage, it is a varietal Mourvedre from Australia, 2014. Like the French, the Aussies have been blending Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre for as long as they have been making wines; the blend GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) is the smooth balanced result. In 2014 Hewitson realized that their Mourvedre had enough character to go it alone. Good job guys. Not overshadowed by a fruit forward Syrah this wine shows off delicate flavors of lightly peppered blueberries with lavender/brier undertones. Without its bigger companions it has a lighter body and also comes in at a lighter 14% alcohol. This wine is delicate, definitely not for an over-burdened (over cabbed) palate, more of a wine that lets its subtler natures (flavors) shine through. Pairs with everything from cheeses to a marbled rib eye.

Reggie’s Pick: 2017 Alvaro Palacios “Camins del Priorat’ $25

This Alvaro Palacios wine from Priorat hits the sweet spot as a great wine at an affordable price. While built to last, it is approachable young: offering floral aromas on the nose and dark red fruit, tobacco and bramble on the palate with a long, refined finish. The wine is a blend of 40% Garnacha, 30% Samso (Carignane), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. Priorat is a Catalan Denominacion;Origen Qualificada (DOQ) for wines produced in the Priorat County, in the province of Tarragona, in the southwest of Catalonia.

The DOQ covers 11 municipalities. It primarily produces powerful red wines, which came to international attention in the 1990s. The area is characterized by its unique terroir of black slate and quartz soil known as llicorella. It is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as DOCa, the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside Rioja DOCa. Priorat is the Catalan word, the one that appears most often on wine labels, while the Castilian equivalent is Priorato. Enjoy this wine with grilled meats, roast chicken or Paella.