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Derby Day: Run for the Rosés

In the Spirit of the Derby....

One of us looks good. One of us just has a good looking hat. And it's not a hat that gets out of the box very often--this was the first time in ~20 years. That hat was a gift from the Abilene, Texas community when I commanded the airlfit wing there at Dyess AFB. Wearing it seemed like a fun way to get in the spirit when the monthly gathering of one of our tasting groups landed on Derby Day.

While flowers are nice, a Run for the Roses didn't make much sense for us...a Run for the Rosés, on the other hand, sounded just right! Derby outfits were encouraged--and worn. We sipped juleps...and rosé (of course) as we drew names from a hat (the big hat on the left, to be exact). Those who drew one of the favorites got only one horse...the rest of us got two. And we watched on a big screen as the horses got ready to run.

The purse? First place was a bottle of 2014 Matthiasson Rosé. Second was a bottle of 2013 Domaine Bunan Mas de la Rouviere Rosé. And third was a bottle of 2014 Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris Rosé. Like I said...the Run for the Rosés.

And while rosés deserve more consideration than they get as year-around wines, somehow the arrival of the new vintage of rosés is a rite of spring. Cool, fresh, flavorful and fun...somehow they go well with sunshine and the season's first warm days. Saturday night was no exception.

After the race, we enjoyed a "Derby-style" picnic of fried chicken, potato salad, succotash, green bean salad and deviled eggs. With them, we drank five rosés...three from France and two from California. Rosé is made all over the world--from a wine variety of grapes--but these represented either some of the best values in the local selection (in the case of the French wines) or wines made by winemakers I admire (in the case of the Californias).

First up was the 2014 Domaine de Mourchon Loubie from the gorgeous little village of Seguret in the Rhone. Good wine, good value. Then from Tavel, the rosé-only appellation, the 2014 Domaine de Segries. It boasted the cherry color so typical of Tavel, and bigger flavor to match. Then from Bandol, a rosé I often enjoy, the spicy 2013 Domaine Bunan Mas de la Rouviere. Year in and year out, I find it deep and satisfying. Lightest in color (and alcohol) was the 2014 Matthiasson Rosé. Lovely, delicate and was a favorite. And for red wine lovers, the first ever rosé from Delectus showed the richness you might expect from a rosé made from almost 80% cabernet sauvignon. Every one of them excellent...each in its own way.

It was a good night. And as far as the Run for the Rosés is concerned, we were all winners...because we all got to enjoy some good ones!

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