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Wine of the Week: Department 66 Fragile Rose 2017 - $18

Dwight Casimere | 8/16/2018, noon
From the historic wine growing region of Maury, France, nestled high in the Pyrenees-Orientales Mountains, an area known as France's ...

From the historic wine growing region of Maury, France, nestled high in the Pyrenees-Orientales Mountains, an area known as France's Department number 66, comes Fragile Rose 2017 ($18).

Maury is a village that is legendary for its legacy of growing grapes. Locals drink a succulent bright salmon-pink colored wine made with a blend of old vine grenache, syrah, mouvedre and carignan, all rustic old grape varieties that are native to the region. The rich, multi colored soils of black schist and red clay angle on steep hillsides revealing striking shades of black, gray and Orange. That, combined with the region's warm climates and blustery winds, makes for one of the most compelling wine producing regions in all of Southern France.

Department 66 "Fragile" Rose 2017 is partially a result of this unique confluence of terroir and tradition and the winemakers' art. Grapes are sourced from the winery's 300 estate-owned acres in the Cotes Catalanes growing region, a sub-appellation of the famed Roussillon, from vines that range in age from 10 to 65 years old. The wine is the fermented at low temperature and further aged, all in stainless steel to preserve its pure and delicate fruit flavors. With its distinctive pale salmon color, the wine expresses itself with a refreshing nose of crushed rose petals, honeysuckle and hints of rhubarb. It starts to open up in the glass to reveal a mouth-watering blend of white peaches, wild strawberries, and white nectarines. A bright acidity and a touch of slate minerals leads to an amusing mouth-puckering finish.

This is truly the wine of summer that goes terrifically with a variety of firm, fleshy fish and shellfish and salads. One of my favorites is a cold pasta salad made with fresh basil leaves, perfectly cooked al dente linguine, bathed in a light olive oil with a touch of jasmine flower honey and a few grinds of grey sea salt. Its a simple dish, but oh so refreshing on a hot summer afternoon with a frosty glass of Department 66 Rose 2017 to wash it down. C’est Magnifique! For more information, visit department66.com.