The Wine of Summer Made By a Master Winemaker!
by Cynthia Hurley
2009 Rose From Couly Dutheil -
by Cynthia Hurley
The aromatic Couly Dutheil Chinon Rose
Summer is in full swing. I have started to imagine my chair tipped back, feet up and a glass of dripping, shimmering, gorgeous Couly Dutheil Rose in my hand, watching the late afternoon melt kaleidoscopically into early evening. A refill, please!
This is some classy Rose! I knew I was going to like it because when Arnaud Couly of Domaine Couly-Dutheil makes a wine he really pours himself into it, but I didn't expect to be completely conquered by its nervy little charm.
Many of us are now very familiar with the wines of Domaine Couly Dutheil. They've got a line-up of some of the best Chinon in the Loire: succulent Baronnie Madeleine, Clos de l'Echo, and the very delicious and rare white Chinon Les Chanteaux but his Rose made from 100% Cabernet Franc takes Rosé to a new level.
Arnaud's Rose brings beautiful warm spring and summer days right to my lips. You can taste the hint of red berries (Rose should never just taste like pink white wine) and there is that zing of fresh, perfect acidity in your mouth. The color is like a perfect sunset after a perfect day of summer.
And it comes from one of the most beautiful villages in all of France: Chinon. I've been drinking Chinon for twenty-five years. But, I cannot taste a Chinon without a vivid picture of the village popping into my mind.
All up and down the river are France's signature plane trees, stumpy and squat from rigorous pruning, in the winter and bursting with shade-giving leaves, in the summer. There is an open-air market once a week. You can sip your noir double in the morning and watch the trafficking of ripe peaches and aromatic melons and cheeses and feel a few million miles away from anything flashy and artificial and second-rate.
Domaine Couly Dutheil has been making some of the Loire's best wines for 80 years now. This Rose is produced on gravel and sandy soils. The grapes are picked by hand and the yields are low.
The best Rose begins by pressing the grapes the way you normally would for any red wine. The juice is then allowed to sit with the grape skins briefly (usually just a few hours) picking up color, but also tannins, pectins and proteins which give the wine structure. Then the juice is drained off, put into another vat without the skins and the fermentation proceeds. The process is called saignee.
This is what gives Rose its beautiful, seductive, pale color and subtle red fruit notes. Aren't you glad it's not winter? This Rose says you are. Cynthia Hurley