Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project

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Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project
Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé
Mas de Valériole
The Camargue is renowned for its distinctive agricultural products: salt, from vast marshes that
hug the Mediterranean; varyingly hued and deeply nutty wild rice; and, of course, wine. Just ten
miles due south of Arles, the Michel family stewards the lovely Mas de Valériole, a 45-hectare
estate founded in the early 15th century and purchased by the Michels in the late 1950s. Around
the turn of the century, brothers Jean-Paul and Patrick Michel focused their energies on
improving the estate’s wines, adopting organic viticultural practices in 2006 (certified today) and
refining their approach in the cellar; today, the next generation is beginning to assume greater
responsibilities, and there are exciting projects in the pipeline here… Mas de Valériole’s
vineyards, which today comprise 32 of their 45 hectares, encompass a variety of soil types: sand,
clay, limestone, and alluvial loam deposited by the Grand Rhône. A reliably steady wind blowing in
from the Mediterranean mitigates the Provence heat, facilitating their chemical-free approach to
farming and ensuring modest alcohol levels for the wines. Produced from a variety of cépages,
including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus crossings like Caladoc (Grenache and Malbec)
and Marselan (Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon) which are particularly well-suited to the
Camargue’s climate, Mas de Valériole’s wines combine the breezy freshness one expects from
Provence with a sense of wildness and an underlying salinity that is very Camarguais.

                          “Vé” Rosé IGP Mediterranée - a local Provençal expression
                          meaning “Look at that!”—is a blend of 70% Caladoc (a crossing of
                          Grenache and Malbec), 15% Merlot, and 15% Marselan (a crossing of
                          Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon) from soils of sand and loam.
                        Clocking in at a modest level of alcohol, it offers bright, salt-tinged flavors
of raspberry and ripe citrus fruits, with a sneakily long finish given its modest price.

                    “Grand Mar”Rosé IGP Bouches-du-Rhône – Terre de Camargue
                    - is pure Caladoc, a crossing of Grenache and Malbec which is particularly
                    well-suited to the deep south of France, given its resistance to coulure (uneven
                    flowering). Macerated briefly before pressing, it is slightly more assertive in
                    its fruit character, with higher-pitched white cherries and a more
                    penetrating impression of minerality on the palate. While no heavier than
the “Vé”, it is both finer and longer, with an overall sense of poise marrying nicely to its
boisterous fruit.

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Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project
Domaine Gavoty
Domaine Gavoty, run today by Roselyn Gavoty—the eighth generation of Gavoty to helm her
family’s domaine since her ancestor Philémon acquired it in 1806—encompasses 50 hectares of
vines on a Roman-era farm in the commune of Cabasse called Campdumy (“harvest fields” in old
Provençal), situated along the snaking Issole River in the northwestern sector of the Côtes de
Provence appellation. Surrounded by oak and pine forests and bordered by the Issole, Gavoty is a
polycultural farm encompassing 110 hectares in total, and the family has worked the land
without synthetic chemicals for decades, obtaining organic certification in recent years. Whereas
much currently trendy Provence rosé gets by on being light enough in color and innocuous
enough in flavor, Gavoty’s are first and foremost wines—refreshing in spirit as befits the
appellation, to be sure, but resonant and thought-provoking as well, with notably gorgeous
textures. In fact, Roselyn considers texture to be the most important element in great Côtes de
Provence rosé, and her wines uniformly hit bullseyes in that department. A lot of rosés dash
quickly down the throat, sprinkling a few candied red fruits along the way; Gavoty’s caress the
palate, with rich but nimble fruit fused to an underlying salinity, and finishes that blossom and
linger. This is the kind of rosé that ignited interest in the appellation in the first place, and it is the
kind that we at Rosenthal Wine Merchant fell in love with 40 years ago during our earliest
        importing adventures.

         “La Cigale” Vin de Pays du Var Rosé - Twenty of Gavoty’s 50 hectares of vines
         are classified as Vin de Pays du Var, as they are situated on flatter land than the slopes
         used for their Côtes de Provence cuvées. Built around roughly equal proportions of
         Grenache and Cinsault, with a small amount of Carignan and a splash of Syrah, “La
         Cigale” (named for the ubiquitous cicadas that populate the region) is charmingly juicy
         yet salty and dry, with nice length for a wine of its modest appellation. Furthermore, its
         adamantly non-confected flavor profile sets it apart from the vast majority of similarly
        priced Provence rosés.

           “Récital” Côtes de Provence Rosé - Roselyn’s grandfather Bernard Gavoty
           (1906-1980) was a renowned classical music critic for France’s newspaper Le Figaro,
           and the name of this cuvée pays homage to the importance of music in the family’s
           history. Comprising equal parts Grenache and Syrah, plus around 10% Carignan, and
           produced via direct pressing, “Récital” delivers the ethereal color, lip-smacking salinity,
           and bright fruits one expects from the appellation, but with a sumptuousness of
           texture and a swelling, clinging finish that is all Gavoty. It offers spectacular value, as
         well as notable personality for its category.

          “Grand Classique” Côtes de Provence Rosé - combines Grenache and Cinsault
          in roughly equal proportions, with Carignan playing a minor role which varies based
          on the vintage’s character. Rather than being pressed immediately after harvest by rote
          as many Provence rosés are, “Grand Classique”—as well as “Clarendon” below—
          macerates for several hours before pressing, and the saignée and first-press juice are

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vinified separately. This allows Roselyn the flexibility to blend the more succulent and tender
saignée with the more angular and architectural press juice in a manner to achieve the precise
textural qualities she seeks in her wines. “Grand Classique” displays an uncanny equilibrium,
with racy acidity wed to gleaming fruits that are just the right amount of vinous, all buttressed by
an elegant, mouthwatering texture that speaks both to domaine’s healthy fruit and to Roselyn’s
consummate blending skills.

                “Clarendon” Côtes de Provence Rosé - Bernard Gavoty, in his articles for
                Le Figaro, often wrote under the curious Anglophone pseudonym Clarendon, and
                this cuvée—produced from the domaine’s oldest Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan
                vines (dating back to the early 1960s)—honors his memory. Like the “Grand
                Classique” above, “Clarendon” combines a touch of saignée with the juice from
                the first pressing, striking a wonderful balance between vinosity and brisk
                drinkability. Both nose and palate are multilayered and beguiling, and although
                the fruit is brightly kinetic, there is a sense of regal richness to this cuvée that has
                nothing to do with weight. So remarkable is this wine’s overall balance and
complexity that we have elected to work with one year “behind” rather than rush the most recent
harvest to market, and “Clarendon” sits easily alongside the Bandol from Château Pradeaux or
the Palette from Château Simone as a rosé that is more than flattered by a bit of bottle age.

Château Les Mesclances
“Mesclances” is Provençal for a confluence of rivers, and this beautiful 30-hectare domaine,
situated a mere three kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea in the commune of La Crau, is
flanked by two streams and surrounded by thick forests. Helmed today by Arnaud de Villeneuve
Bargemon, whose family has owned the property since before the French Revolution, Mesclances
produces wines of great purity and expressiveness, and without the use of synthetic chemicals
(certified organic as of 2020 but practicing for significantly longer). The geography of the estate
dictates the various appellations found on the labels: vines in the plain below the slope are
classified as IGP Méditerranée; the foot of the south-facing slope yields AOP Côtes de Provence,
and the steeper incline of the hill carries the rare appellation Côtes de Provence La Londe, which
carries a high concentration of schist content in the soil. A mere 20 estates count La Londe in
               their holdings, as the appellation extends across eight villages in the immediate area.

               “Charmes” IGP Méditerranée Rosé - Sourced from the vines abutting the
               two streams that intersect on the estate, classic varieties including Grenache,
               Cinsault, Syrah and Tibouren comprise this fresh, red-fruited rosé. Pressed shortly
               after harvest with minimal skin contact, its pale color and bright acid make for an
               effortlessly drinkable and digestible wine.

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Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project
“Romane” Côtes de Provence Rosé - From 20-year-old vines at the base of the
               hill overlooking the estate, the Romane is made up of 70% Grenache, along with
               Cinsault and Mourvedre, the latter of which provides a point of amertume (a fresh,
               bitter note) and a salinity that quickly draws one back to the wine. The Grenache
               spends a few hours macerating with the skins, providing an extra layer of depth and
               structure to this cuvée.

               “St. Honorat” Côtes de Provence Rosé - Sourced from a mid-slope parcel
               that was the original source of grapes at the estate generations ago, the 35-year-old
               vines are planted to Grenache and Cinsault, with a bit of Mourvèdre mixed in.
               With eight hours of maceration for the Grenache, this wine leans towards a more
               vinous and serious style of rosé. This cuvée makes for an ideal companion at the

               “Faustine” Côtes de Provence La Londe Rosé - The lone wine from the
               exceptional La Londe sub-appellation, “Faustine” receives the greatest care at
               vinification, with a full 15 hours of maceration for the Grenache, along with a
               saignée of Mourvèdre and Syrah. Explosive aromas overlay a complex and noble
               structure that show clearly why this wine is a cut above typical Côtes de Provence

Domaine du Bagnol
Situated steps from the Mediterranean in the Provençal fishing village of Cassis, the Domaine du
Bagnol controls 17 ha of vines (9 ha leased, 8 ha owned) beneath the imposing limestone
outcropping of Cap Canaille. Thus situated, the Domaine du Bagnol is the beneficiary of cooling
winds from the north, northwest, and northeast (Tramontane, Mistral and Grégal), along with the
gentle sea breezes that come ashore, ensuring wines of freshness and balance. Our love affair with
this estate began in the early 1980s when we first met Claire Lefevre, with whom we worked until her
passing in the early 1990s. We were despondent at losing a friend but equally saddened that none of
her family had the time or energy to follow in her footsteps. So, the Domaine du Bagnol was sold,
which, in fact, was fortunate for us, as the new owner, Jean-Louis Genovesi, a Cassis native who had
departed for Paris and made his fame (and a few centimes as well), and his son, Sébastien, have
revived the domaine and made the wines (blanc, rouge, and rosé) more compelling than ever.

                      Cassis Rosé - The Rosé is produced from several parcels that comprise
                      slightly less than 7 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards are clay and limestone,
                      situated on a gentle slope with a north – northwest exposure. The blend is
                      Grenache (55%), Mourvedre (31%) and Cinsault (14%). This Rosé is vinified by
                      “pressurage direct, the must is chilled to 12 degrees Celsius, the wine ferments at

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Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project
18 degrees Celsius until it is completely dry; then, the wine is bottled during the first three months of
the following year after a light filtration.

Château Pradeaux
This singular domaine, whose holdings are the closest to the Mediterranean in the entire
appellation, has been in the same family for nine generations, and they are the absolute standard-
bearer for ultra-traditional and uncompromising Bandol. From his family’s organically tended old
vines—most of which were planted during World War II—Etienne Portalis produces rosé of
visceral potency, eschewing the market-minded politeness of many growers in the region and
crafting wines of sumptuous concentration, intense structure, and staggeringly powerful
minerality. He embraces the risk of spontaneous fermentation—almost unheard of in rosé
production in Provence—and employs cement and large oak as well as the industry-standard
stainless steel for his age-worthy pink wines.

                    “Côtes de Provence Rosé” - Comprising 75% Mourvèdre, 15% Cinsault,
                    and 5% Grenache, with an average vine age of 40 years, the Côtes de
                    Provence Rosé is even closer in character to its Bandol counterpart than it
                    normally is. Serious and strapping, it offers a penetrating chalky minerality,
                    robust red fruits, and a whisper of tannin that contributes to a particularly
                    long and clinging impression on the palate.

                   “Chateaux Pradeaux Bandol Rosé” - Pradeaux’s iconic Bandol Rosé
                   really shines in 2018, with even greater complexity and length than usual. As
                   mentioned above, a third of the wine was fermented in a single 50-hectoliter
                   foudre (but moved immediately to tank following the fermentation), which
                   contributes a subtle granular cling on the palate and opens up the wine a bit
                   aromatically. While never a simple sipping wine, the 2018 is particularly
                 vinous, offering real density and richness, yet retaining a freshness of spirit at
the same time. The final blend comprises 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Cinsault.

                     “Vesprée”- represents a small portion of Pradeaux’s Bandol Rosé
                     production vinified and aged in a combination of foudre and cement egg,
                     and with an additional six months of aging before bottling. “Vesprée” is a
                     wine full of energy, with similar concentration and grip to the Bandol above,
                     but with deeper color and a more marked sense of herb-tinged earth.

Bastide du Claux
It’s an unlikely story: the heir to an enviable share of holdings in Chassagne-Montrachet ends up
unlocking the potential of an appellation in northern Provence known more for bulk wine than
nuanced expressions of terroir—yet that is precisely what we’re seeing as Sylvain Morey
continues to improve and evolve at Bastide du Claux, his outpost in the Luberon which he
acquired in the early 2000s. The domaine is now certified organic (practicing since 2015), and

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Sylvain’s commitment to harvesting by hand, fermenting without additions, and tailoring
blending and élevage to the characteristics of each harvest results in wines of striking depth and

               Luberon Rosé “Poudrière” - blends 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20%
               Cinsault, with the Syrah and part of the Grenache pressed directly, and the
               Cinsault and the other part of the Grenache bled off. With flavors of black
               cherries and peach skins, it presents mouthwatering textural tension and an
               underlying sense of minerality, as well as an unforced vinosity that shames many of
               its confected Provençal cousins from more market-friendly area codes.

Domaine La Manarine
Gilles Gasq has had an impressive run lately, having begun producing a dynamite Châteauneuf-
du-Pape in addition to his always-reliable offerings from the Côtes-du-Rhône and the Plan de

                  “Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé” - comprising 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, and
                  10% Syrah, is produced solely via direct-press and aged in stainless steel on its
                  fine lees for several months before bottling. It offers bright, friendly strawberry
                  fruit, gentle but well-measured acidity, and an underlying freshness not often
                  found in the rosés of the southern Rhône. The domaine has been certified
                  organic for over a decade at this point, and the already-expert Gilles continues
                  to hone his approach to great effect.

Château Valcombe
At Château Valcombe, Luc Guenard uses as little technology as possible to produce wines that
capture both the generous warmth of the southern sun and the glowing health of grapes grown
               with no chemical intervention.

                 “Ventoux Rosé L’Epicure” - Composed of one-third each Cinsault,
                 Grenache, and Syrah, and produced via direct press, Luc’s Ventoux Rosé
             “Epicure” is vinified and aged in cement and given only a very light filtration at
             bottling. It is boisterously juicy, but held in place by firm minerality and notable
acidity, and it exudes a vinous quality that allows it to transcend the ocean of wannabe-Provence
pale and innocuous rosé.

Domaine Fenouillet
Brothers Vincent and Patrick Soard broke with the local co-operative in order to bottle their own
crop back in the early 1990s, and we have been with them every step of the way since, remaining
perpetually amazed at their ability to render these warm southern Rhône terroirs with seemingly
effortless grace and balance.

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“Ventoux Rosé” - comprising 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15%
                    Mourvèdre, and 5% Carignan, and produced solely via direct pressing, is
                    breezy but appropriately Rhône-y, balancing spicy red fruits with terrific
                    acidity. The domaine has been certified organic since the 2012 vintage, a fact
                   which shows in their rosé’s irresistible vibrancy and vividness of fruit.

Domaine Gour de Chaulé
Our source of great Gigondas for nearly 40 years, Gour de Chaulé is undergoing an exciting
period, with Stephanie Fumoso’s passionate young son Paul having recently joined the domaine

                    “Gigondas Rosé” - Comprising 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, and 20%
                    Mourvèdre, their “Amour de Rosé” expresses harmony and freshness despite
                    its southern-Rhône-appropriate degree of alcohol. Whereas the wine in
                    times past was produced purely via saignée, Stephanie began gradually
                    incorporating a proportion of pressed juice some years back, and for the past
                    few years it has been made solely through direct pressing. Furthermore, plots
                    destined for the rosé are harvested earlier than those destined for the red, and
always early in the morning to preserve freshness and minimize the use of sulfur at the time of

Mas Jullien
The ever-searching Olivier Jullien continues to discover new truths of his terroir even 35 years
           into his project, coercing heartrending expressiveness from his high-altitude holdings
            in the burgeoning Terrasses du Larzac appellation.

               “Languedoc Rosé” - Made from roughly equal parts Carignan, Mourvèdre, and
               Cinsault, his Languedoc Rosé delivers remarkable vinosity and striking presence; it is
               always among our most serious, layered, and ageable rosés. Produced partly from
               saignée and partly from direct-press juice, it ferments naturally, and is aged in a
               combination of stainless steel and terracotta jar.

Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie
From his family’s eight hectares in the rugged, windswept, bone-dry Languedoc terroir of
Corbières, Jean-Baptiste Gibert produces wines of unapologetic earthiness and character using
purely organic viticultural methods and next to no technology in the winemaking process.

                “Rosé des Glacières”- is pure Syrah, harvested by hand from old vines in
                rocky limestone soil, and made via saignée (bled-off juice from the harvest).
                Standing in stark contrast to the ultra-pale-pink direct-press exemplars of modern
                commercial rosé, Faillenc Sainte Marie’s is ripe, succulent, and rich in color,

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Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project
reveling in its evocation of this sun-baked terrain.

Château La Rame
Husband and wife Olivier Allo and Angelique Armand produce an impressive range from their
estate’s holdings in and around Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, a zone historically coveted for its complex
botrytised sweet wines but capable of producing excellent dry wines as well.

                “Bordeaux Rosé” - blends equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and is
                produced solely via direct pressing. It skillfully avoids being clunkily vinous, but
                the varietal characteristics are clearly rendered, and the overall package is highly
                drinkable and satisfying.

Château Soucherie
This grand château sits atop a hill overlooking the entire swath of the Côteaux du Layon
appellation as it ambles downward toward snaking Layon tributary to the Loire River. Through a
change in ownership and a few changes in winemaking personnel over the past decade, this
estate’s wines have found their footing as intensely mineral, deeply typical evocations of Côteaux
du Layon, Savennières, and Anjou, and their evolution toward organic viticulture has ratcheted
                   up the wines’ expressiveness and dynamism.

                  Rosé de Loire “L’Astrée” - is 100% Gamay—a variety whose occasional
                  tendency toward shapelessness is counterbalanced by this cool microclimate—
                  and this is a wine of ethereally pale color and juicy but controlled fruit, pressed
                  directly and aged for four months in stainless steel.

Château de Chaintres
The gorgeous Château de Chaintres is a 15-hectare estate established in 1675 by the Oratorian
monks of the Notre Dame des Ardilliers, situated in the heart of Saumur-Champigny on soils of
sand, clay, and tuffeau chalk. In 2018, our old friend Jean-Philippe Louis, the former cellarmaster
for Philippe Gilbert, took over operations at Chaintres, immediately converting viticulture to full-
on biodynamics (certified as of 2020), and bringing a newfound sense of freshness and vigor to
                      the estate’s vinous output.

                     Saumur Rosé “Les Hirondelles” - is pure Cabernet Franc, pressed
                     directly, fermented spontaneously, and raised in steel with a bare minimum
                     of sulfur. “Les Hirondelles” is a tangy, vivacious, brazenly energetic wine that
                     speaks clearly of both variety and terroir.

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Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project
Philippe Gilbert
This estate in Menetou-Salon has been in the Gilbert family since 1768, and current steward
Philippe has taken the wines to breathtaking heights, becoming the first biodynamic producer in
this underappreciated Sancerre-bordering appellation back in the mid-2000s, and practicing
increasingly bold non-interventionism in the cellar as he indulges his experimental side to great

                      “Menetou-Salon Rosé” - Produced solely from Pinot Noir is pressed
                      directly and fermented spontaneously—a rare practice for rosé, as most
                      growers want to ensure market-demanded consistency—and spends six
                      months in steel. Exuberant and energetic, it offers palate-staining minerality,
                      and evokes crunchy red fruits plucked straight from the vine.

Lucien Crochet
Our stalwart partner in Sancerre produces wines of impeccable focus, mouthwatering minerality,
and outstanding concentration from their sizable holdings in Bué, in the heart of the appellation.

                  “Sancerre Rosé” - is pure Pinot Noir, from vines planted in Oxfordian and
                  Kimmeridgian limestone; it is harvested by hand (a rare practice in Sancerre),
                  pressed directly, and aged on its fine lees in stainless steel for six months. Vinous
                  without being at all overbearing, it offers the visceral salinity of the domaine’s
                  white wines alongside the red-fruited elegance of Pinot Noir from these
                  distinctive soils.

Our old friend Pierluigi Lugano, in addition to producing classically saline white wines from a
range of indigenous Ligurian varieties, crafts a brisk and delicious Ciliegiolo that sits at the
mouthwatering midpoint between a full-bodied rosé and a super-light red.

               “Ciliegiolo, Golfo del Tigullio” - is a traditional red grape variety that is rarely
               seen. Piero Lugano vinifies it to showcase its light and fruity character. When
               presenting it, we group this wine with our classic series of Rosés as it is released in the
               spring following the prior year’s harvest. Lugano proudly maintains this variety in both
               the Trigoso and Campegli vineyards situated in the hills above Sestri Levante and
               Chiavari, respectively. It is vinified dry, tastes of red cherry and wild berries and its
               brilliant cherry color is a particular joy to behold

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Rosenthal Spring 2022 Rosé Offering - Libation Project
Giuseppe Attanasio
Alessandro Attanasio farms seven hectares of primarily bush-trained Primitivo in the province of
Taranto, hard on the northern coast of the Ionian Sea in southern Puglia. He works these stingy
old vines—which give him 40 hectoliters per hectare in a bountiful vintage, and 20 in a tough
one—according to old agrarian practices: following the phases of the moon; employing only
copper and sulfur to treat against disease; fertilizing with manure and humus; and these being
bush vines, conducting all vineyard work manually and harvesting by hand. This zone’s reddish
soils of silty clay over friable tufo limestone yield wines of intensely rich fruit shot through with a
cleansing minerality and framed by a savory salinity that speaks of the nearby Ionian, and
Alessandro harnesses these elements into Primitivo that demonstrates with authority that
                 equilibrium can exist even in wines of extremes.

                “Primitivo Rosato IGP Salento” - Attanasio’s Primitivo Rosato, aged partly in
                steel tank and partly in above-ground glazed clay amphorae—which keep the lees in
                suspension and lend the wine roundness and textural depth—is profoundly spicy,
                with notes of cinnamon and sun-baked herbs flanking a palate of glycerin-like heft.
                As with his reds, Alessandro achieves an admirable balance between wildness and
                restraint here, although it is adamantly a rosato that beckons for food.

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