Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Naked Vine One-Hitter: Le Tour Scoots South

Yes, there's a point to this. Read on.
As we continue our occasional Tour de France coverage here at The Naked Vine, the peloton now swings across southern France. I was hoping that the route would go farther south, down into Provence, so that I could write oodles of joyous words about the beauty that is Provence rosé.

A quick aside -- long-timers around here know my rosé fetish. I've been pimping pink wine from the second-ever column I posted here. When we made our foray to St. Martin recently, rosé was the typical accompaniment with most of my meals. I think a good dry rosé is about as close to a perfect summertime wine as exists on the planet, and I've continued to sing its praises.

Fast forward ten years from that column. I walk into Big Wine Store (and most other smaller ones) now to find end caps full of quality dry rosé. Dry rosé has even found its way into the glasses of the hipster community, and I'm in full support. The mo' pink, the mo' better. But do kindly remind them that we've been waiting for them here in rosé land for a long time.

In any case, back to the Tour -- as I said, I was hoping that the course would run down into Provence, but alas -- the route stays north of the coast, again skirting the prime growing region for those rosé. However, closer inspection showed that the Tour *is* passing through the Ventoux region, home of Famille Perrin winery, producers of one of the house standards around these parts: La Vielle Ferme.

If you're a fan of inexpensive French wine, chances are that you've come across a bottle of LVF at some point. Instantly recognizable from the image of the big rooster on the label, LVF wines usually run between $8-10. They make a refreshing white from Bourboulenc (an indigenous grape), Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, and Vermentino; as well as a juicy red from Carignane, Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah.

But it's the LVF Rose that really tickles my fancy. The La Vielle Ferme 2015 Rosé is built on the same "grape platform" as the LVF red, minus the Carignane. It's not as delicate and clean as the more expensive versions that you'll find in Provence, but for my needs -- when I want to pull something cold from the fridge, pour a hefty glass, and unwind after being out in the summer warmth all day long Nice light fruits, a goodly shot of acidity, and a nice crisp finish -- it's just about perfect for a "I don't wanna think, and this is perfectly tasty" wine.

The other aspect of the LVF Rosé that I really like is that it's one of the few French rosé out there in my area that comes in a 1.5 liter bottle. If I don't get the big bottles, I tend to power through it a little too quickly.

In any case, if you stop by the HQ, you'll probably find a bottle of this in the fridge. I'd invite you to help yourself, but that might entail breaking and entering.

The Tour's next area will be the Rhone Valley, where we'll definitely find some wine...

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