Monday, August 13, 2012

finding vinosity in pink



2011 Château d'Aquéria | AC Tavel


2006 Château d'Aquéria | AC Tavel

What kind of idiot buys a bunch of rosé and forgets about one of them for 5 years? THIS GUY!!!! Not that this is a bad wine - I mean, as pink wines go, this is one of the better ones. Squirrelling away rosés in the cellar is one of those that normal people simply don't do - that sort of thing is strictly for the wine-geeks, sort of an experiment to see how/if these wines will age. But I'm no geek. Please . . . there's only a fine difference between a wino and a wine geek, but there's still a difference nonetheless. And subtleties are important.

If you know French wines, you've heard of d'Aquéria. Sort of a standby when people talk about fine rosé, the sort of wine that isn't pink because it has to be, but rather because that's what it should be. I've drank a lot of this wine, the 2006, early on in my wino career. It was relatively inexpensive, and I thought it was just delicious, treading that area between the aromatic freshness of a white wine with the punch of a red. Nearly six years later, how things have changed.

It's still a good wine, but perhaps a bit overrated. Pink wines are the bastard step child of real wine. And as punchy as d'Aquéria tries to be, it just misses the whole point. We want to drink pink for refreshment, for low alcohol, for all its non-chalantness. Once it gets too serious (or tries to be), it loses all charm, like the chick who tries telling awkward penis jokes so she can be just one of the guys. These wines just somehow feel old-fashioned, especially in comparison to some of the lovely, simple, pure rosés coming out of places like Portugal, Spain, and the New World. Maybe it's the noticeable alcohol, the structure on the finish . . . it just seems to lack some freshness, some vibrancy. In any case, I forgot this bottle of 2006 for a long time. It was hidden in a box in the back of the room that I never could get to. Took me a good 45 minutes to finally find it and dig it out, so here we go, a taste alongside the 2011.

With some bottle age, it certainly makes for an interesting experience. The 2006, slightly browning in colour, with sediment in the bottle too. Showing dried, candied fruits, raspberries or something. That sweet tangerine too, with all the stemminess it always had. Slightly bitter on the palate, rounded texture, clipped finish. Alcohol really starting to come up though. The 2011, with a bit more freshness, but all variations on a theme. Colour is beautiful, showing great structure.

So what did we learn out of all this? First, don't bother putting your rosés away. Just don't do it. You drink the wines for freshness, and for these ones with slightly higher alcohols, the heat just gets worse. It'll be a very interesting tasting, certainly. But really, we're all drinking pink for pleasure, and the extra pleasure derived from bottle age is miniscule.

What weird things do you have tucked away?


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