Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Wine: Côté Mas Aurore Rosé

Smelling this French pink wine makes me think of the Lee Hazelwood song which he performed with Nancy Sinatra, "Strawberries, cherries and an angel's kiss in spring. My summer wine is really made from all these things."

I think it is an overplayed record, the song that goes "rosé is just for summer." I have them all year long. I think leftover turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving is actually the perfect opportunity for rosé. But the summer connection - even for me - is sometimes impossible to ignore. This summer wine - the Côté Mas Aurore Rosé - certainly has the strawberries and the cherries. Anything more exotic in the flavor profile, I'll leave that for the poets.

Fruit aromas are not shy in this pinkie. The wine smells like the strawberries and cherries do at a farmers' market when you put your face right down in them and inhale. The farmers really hate that, by the way. They say it drives off their customers. Ha. No more than shouting and calling security on someone who is sticking his face down in the fruit and inhaling. Or so I hear.

The point is, the wine smells like a summer day. It tastes like that, too. Juicy fruit flavors straddle a beautiful acidity and ride it into the finish. This sort of freshness is common in wines from the south of France, especially in Languedoc.

Though the Paul Mas brand is overseen by vintner Jean-Claude Mas, he got it from Paul Mas, who got it from Auguste Mas. The land has been in the family forever, or so it would seem when looking at the 1,000-year-old castle on the premises.

The grapes involved in this bottle of pink sunshine are 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. The destemmed grapes were vinified separately using only the free-run juice. Stainless steel fermentation occurred over three weeks, and aging took place in cement vats, the wine staying in contact with the spent yeast cells for added depth and fullness. Those lees were stirred regularly. Alcohol sits at a comfortable 13% abv and it retails for $13.

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