After a summer Sunday spent boating on New Jersey's Barnegat Bay with my parents, we stopped for dinner at a waterfront restaurant specializing in Italian dishes, seafood (of course) and sunset views. Since the restaurant is BYO, like many in the area, I brought along a dry rosé from southern France, an ideal warm-weather wine.
I picked out Mas de la Dame's Rosé du Mas, priced at about $13, from a small, local store because my colleague Kim Marcus had given very good ratings to recent vintages, and James Suckling recently enjoyed the winery's 2005 Coin Caché red. Plus the estate's owners, Caroline Missoffe and Anne Poniatowski (the founder's granddaughters), farm the 140-acre vineyard organically, a factor that has become important in my purchasing decisions.
The Rosé du Mas is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, made by the saignée method—bleeding off the juice from fermenting red wine after it's had only brief contact with the grapeskins, then finishing fermentation separately. A pretty pale pink, offering up strawberry, peach and melon, enlivened by a splash of citrus, the rosé finished refreshingly crisp and minerally. Enjoyable as an aperitif, it also made a pleasant companion for the variety of fish dishes we ordered. 87 points, non-blind.
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