La Lunotte Rosé, 2013 (vin de France): Former engineer Christophe Foucher started working in his wife’s family’s vineyards in 2000 and shifted his focus to biodynamic viticulture a year later. Frustrated with what he sees as a myopic view of typicity, a measure of how well a wine reflects its grape or region, and disillusioned with the widespread use of chemicals, he opts to label his wines vin de France even though at least some could qualify for a Touraine appellation d’origine controlee (AOC). The rosé, which is made from direct-pressed gamay, is fresh and floral with a host of spices, berries and an underlying minerality. It’s a house favorite. Suggested retail: $18
Wind Gap Rosé, 2013 (North Coast, Calif.): Pax Mahle, who has influenced a slew of up-and-coming winemakers, has a pretty golden touch. If the rest of his 2013 wines are anything like the rosé, we can expect a number of other great wines to come our way. Mahle sources from a vineyard that is used to make a red wine, but he felt the fruit that did not make that cut was still high quality, so he blends it with nebbiolo from Mendocino and a drop of grenache. It was whole-cluster-pressed in concrete and stainless-steel tanks, rested for four months and is raring to go. Vibrant with tart strawberry fruit, crisp mineral tones and a faint whiff of tea rose, it is another house favorite. Suggested retail: $19
Domaine du Pas de l’Escalette, Ze Rozé, 2012 (Coteaux du Languedoc, France): Pas de l’Escalette is located in Terrasses du Larzac, which became an AOC in 2005. Consisting of red wines made from high-elevation syrah, grenache, mourvedre, carignan and cinsault, it encompasses several villages including Herault, where Mas de Daumas Gassac is located. Ze Rozé is composed of pressed cinsault, carignan and grenache in roughly equal parts and does not undergo malolactic fermentation, in which tart malic acid that occurs naturally in grapes is converted into softer lactic acid. Juicy and bright, with citrus-berry fruit and a tinge of rose hips, it is soon to be a house favorite. Suggested retail: $20
Some of these wines may be available at Ordinaire, Ruby Wines, Wind Gap Wines, Bi-Rite and Arlequin Wine Merchant.
Pamela S. Busch has been working in the wine industry since 1990 as a writer, educator and consultant and co-founded Hayes & Vine Wine Bar and Cav Wine Bar & Kitchen. In 2013, she launched TheVinguard.com, a blog covering a variety of wine-related topics.