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Triennes Summer Rosé Wine from Provence

2013 Triennes, Rosé, Var — $14.99

62% Cinsault, 18% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 5% Merlot

After a gorgeous last few days, and leading into our 7th annual rosé tasting this Saturday, it seems a propos to launch our updated website’s first pick of the week with our favorite rosé of the summer  . . . so far. As many of you know, we are big fans of rosé. You have heard me tell the story of rendez-vousing in Provence about 20 years ago with our good friends, Julian and Cheryl. Cheryl was so excited to drink some rosé our first lovely evening together on the patio of what became our favorite restaurant that trip (Domaine de Cabasse).  We were in a named Cotes du Rhone Villages village (Seguret), close to Gigondas and Chateaueuf, and Cheryl wanted to have rosé, which to us was synonymous with white Zinfandel. Frank and I were horrified.

Well, we learned a lot that trip, from discovering the complementarity of sweet wines with dessert to falling in love with Provencal minerally, floral and absolutely dry rosés.  In the years since then, we have explored many rosés, finding some interesting and lovely variations, from the Loire, Italy and, more recently, the United States. Still, my heart and palate remain true to those Provencal rosés, partly because I do love that style, but also because they always evoke fond memories of a warm, sunny day spent with friends enjoying beautiful meals together in bucolic environs.

The Triennes Rosé has the pedigree to turn heads. It is a joint venture of two Burgundy titans– Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac and Aubert de Villaine, of Domaine Romanée-Conti who purchased the land in 1989 because of its exposure and the soil composition that they felt could contribute to making great wines. They make just three wines from this estate in the Var– a red from Cabernet, a white from Viognier, and this rosé.

When I was first exposed to the Triennes Rosé five years ago, my expectations were high. I was disappointed. It just seemed to lack identity– plenty of acid, short on flavor. For the next three vintages, I had a similar reaction. Last year, however, the pieces came together and, to my disappointment, I had not ordered the wine in advance and we had very limited supplies. Our rep for the Triennes worked hard to get us a sample in March, which we shared with customers at a tasting, and our collective reaction was “bravo– bring on summer!”  We sold several cases in advance that cold evening two and a half months ago. I suspect we’ll see those customers for reinforcements soon.

To my palate, the Triennes, Rosé, 2013 brings together a refreshing fruit potpourri of rhubarb, blueberry and tangerine, along with that classic minerally wet stone, slightly-flinty quality that just makes my mouth begin to salivate. It is another of my “happy wines,” putting a smile on my face when I take a sip. It is exactly what I like when I reach for a rosé in the summer– a clean, crisp, refreshing wine with identity. I hope that you will like it as much as I do!

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