This month we wanted to showcase two things we love. Legendary wine importer Kermit Lynch and the French rosés he loves.
Kermit Lynch started in the wine business with a little Bottle Shop in Berkeley California in the early 70s. As part of the burgeoning food and wine movement in California along with friends and fellow trend setters like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and food writers Richard Olney and M.F.K. Fisher, he realized the importance of place, seasonality and inspiration that was found in the trades in the French cultural surrounding ingredients, food, wine and joie de vivre! He was influenced early on by his buying trips to France where he developed lifelong friendships and business relationships with winemakers and négociants. He was known for championing natural and organic wines before there was a name for such things. He spent extra on refrigerated shipping containers to keep the wine stable on its trip across the Atlantic. When you see his name on the back of a bottle, you know that this was thoughtfully selected because of the care and quality of everything from the vineyard to the winery to the bottle. Since many of us won’t be traveling throughout France this next year, and a wine adventure is quite intriguing at this time, we highly recommend reading his memoir Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France. It has heavily influenced us in what we do at our Bottle Shop and how we look at wine.
For this months’ wine club, we have chosen three different rosés from three different parts of France that all bear the Kermit Lynch stamp of approval, along with what makes them part of his portfolio. They are all wildly different from one another and lovely on their own accord.
P. & E. Mullins
2019 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé
This rosé cannot be left out when talking about Kermit Lynch and rosé, it cannot be missed when discussing wine and Kermit Lynch, or heck even in just talking about France & Kermit Lynch. We want you to read the book, so we won’t tell you the whole story, but what we will share is that the Peyraud family and Kermit Lynch are dear friends. That this Domaine is a flagship of the Kermit Lynch Imports because of the dedication from the terroir to the vines to the cellar to the sharing of the bottle. It is an iconic, age worthy, sought after gorgeous rosé that celebrates joy, gathering and the simple beauty of the togetherness. When each vintage is released every year, it is already allocated out. It hardly even makes the shelves of the shops. We were thrilled to be able to share this with our members this year. 50% Mourvèdre, grenache and cinsault. In the glass this is the perfect Provençale pale pink. The aromas are powerful! Bursting out of the glass with notes of peaches and raspberries. The palate is energetic and lively with of layers of acidity, minerality and heaven. Trust me you’ll see.
2019 Charles Joguet Chinon Rosé
Loire Valley, France
This vintage marks 41 years that Kermit Lynch has been importing this rosé. It’s interesting because Chinon is not known for rosés but Chinon is known because of Charles Joguet and the prestige and dedication he brought to the Appellation. This 100% Cabernet Franc is the primary varietal grown in Chinon and having this rosé made by direct press along with a slow fermentation at cooler temperatures in stainless steel showcases the purity of the fruit, the brightness of the aroma and the seductive texture of the terroir that these beautiful vineyards produce. In the glass this it’s a very delicate pale peachy pink. Aromas of tangerines and anise gently flutter on the nose. The palate is acidic and mouth-watering with notes of tropical fruit and minerality. It finishes with strawberries & cream.
2019 Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel
This Chateau is located in the Tavel Appellation of Rhone and it is the only AOC in the region that is dedicated to only producing rosé. Not only was this the house wine of two French Kings, but it also was Ernest Hemmingway’s’ favorite wine. Since Tavel only produces rosé, the fruit is grown specifically for it. Often rosé is made with the fruit that is not suitable for red wine, the second-tier fruit. Made with a blend dominated by 60% Grenache (as required in Tavel) 13% Clairette, 13% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, 3% Mourvèdre, 1% Bourboulenc. This is a serious rosé. A bursting cranberry pink in the glass with violet highlights. Almost reminiscent of Kool-Aid punch. The stones of Rhone country come through on the nose with thyme and green tart apple. Wild strawberries hit the palate with dry herbaceous notes. It has a medium body and a little pop of acidity on the finish. It’s juicy and savory. “It’s just downright pleasant is what is it. Easy and pleasant.” Says Pat