July 29, 2007

Old Rosé

I can’t pass up a deal, even when I should know better. For example, last year sometime I found half bottles of 1992 Clos du Pape Chateauneuf du Pape Blance for $6 each in a local shop that’s quirky but filled with interesting wine.

Just writing this makes me shake my head. Of course the wine was likely dead. Yet, how could I pass up what is essentially a $6 lottery ticket promising a payoff of wine nirvana? So nevermind the long odds, I couldn’t help myself and grabbed a bottle.

Sure enough, the wine was vile. And even six dollars seemed like a high price to learn what a fool should only have to learn at this point. Why can’t I resist such deads?

So last week I found a twice marked down bottle of 2004 Ch. Pradeaux Bandol rosé. Originally $25, now $7.50.

Hmm, it looks coppery colored but this producer is known for light hued, razor sharp rosé. And I recall the 1997 F. Cotat Chavignol rosé for $10 a few years back at another shop that was deliciously round yet taut like a finely aged white wine. I’ve heard of people enjoying old Tempier Bandol rosé. So why not? It’s only $7.50, right?

And wouldn’t you know it, the wine is neither dead nor quite alive like that ‘97 Cotat. Instead, somewhere in between, smelling something like fine Champagne and tasting faintly cidery, starting nicely but tailing off with an old fruit streak that shows the wine is coming apart at the seams.

It wasn’t awful, in fact it was reasonably enjoyable even as an intellectual rather than sensual wine. It was certainly worth its discount price, enough so to make sure that the next time I come across a bargain that’s too good to be true, I’m buying.

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