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swirl and savor

Wild About Rosé Chronicles 1: 2011 Domaine Salvard Cheverny

Beth Ribblett

It's an exciting time of year here in New Orleans.  Everything is becoming green again, flowers are blooming, vegetables gardens are sprouting shoots, people are coming out in droves to enjoy the beautiful weather and, most importantly, the 2011 rosés are arriving!  While rosés are really perfect any time of year in New Orleans, it is always a treat to try the new releases in the "spring" and fill our shelves with our favorite picks.

I'm asking my wine reps to bring me their 2011's for the next 6 weeks and I'll feature our top picks in my "Wild About Rosé" chronicles.  At our Wednesday Nite Flites on April 18 we'll feature 5-6 of our favorites to let you be the judge of the 2011 rosé season!

And so it's begins as last week I got my first "wow" of the season with this delicious wine from the Loire Valley...

Overshadowed by it's famous neighbors Sancerre and Tourraine, the young and dynamic AOC Cheverney (AOC status since 1993, one of the youngest in France) is an often overlooked wine region that produces some stellar wines at great prices.   The white wines from this AOC are primarily Sauvignon Blanc (60-80% by regulation) with the addition of some Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Arbois. The region is also known for its rosé, sparkling wine and lighter reds made with Gamay, Cab Franc and Pinot Noir. Like the most wines of the Loire, these lovely aromatic wines are heavily influenced by the limestone, calcareous and sandy clay soils of the region.

The 2011 Domine Salvard Rosé screams Loire Valley with it's stony minerality and thirst provoking acidity, but with a blend 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay, it is full of rose petals and strawberries with a touch hint of white pepper.  The Domaine has been producing wines on the land since the late 1800's through 5 hard working generations of the Delaille family. They produce very classic Loire Valley wines, elegant, fresh, simple and utterly enjoyable.

So for those of you who are fortunate enough to have a taste for rosé, this is a must try.  At $17.00 it is a gorgeous example of Loire Valley rosé and one that you simply can't stop pouring into your glass until the bottle is totally drained so you should probably have at least 2 on hand at all times!

Next up in "Wild about Rosé?  I'm trying a Cerasuolo di Abruzzo from Italy tomorrow and I heard that one of our absolute favorites from Calabria will be in this week...I'll keep you posted.