Domaine Ludovic Bonnardot Rose - 2014

I have to preface this entry by saying that I wrote this up sometime in September and have just managed, due to snowstorm Jonas, to have the time and inspiration to knock out the painting for this entry. I meant to get it done soon after but another entry probably got in the way, whether it was in production or completed and waiting for it's final image, and then kind of fell into a rut, other drawing projects, and then the holidays got in the way. 

So I guess it's a little too early to get hyped up on next years rose, even if this vintage isn't available, it's sort of like trying to get excited about Christmas nowadays - the process leading up to it is a lot of family interaction, a lot of family commitments and let downs, it's a who's who of who's going where: who's going to who's house, who will see who on what day at what time in what place... It's exciting when it comes around but brings with it this unavoidable weight.

But rose season for some never really ends and never really reaches that pitch of dreadful excitable avoidance, it continues because a) your NYC apartment operates on early 20th century heating, meaning when it's on you're really in a sauna and your air conditioner is probably on, or b) you simply need that "winter rose" as a coworker put it - I'd cutely wink at her with an emoticon but I don't know how. ;) 

I've probably mentioned this in one of my earlier rose entries, but I'll buy rose like I buy all other types of wine since it is like all other types of wine: it'll hit the spot if you're not quite sure about what white you want because you're secretly interested in having a red but don't want the dedication it comes with -weight, boldness, spice, etc - or if you're just searching for a lighter styled red that can be chilled but don't want some sub-par red; you could go with Lambrusco, but perhaps you don't want frizzante or spumante and if you're in that market why not go for sparkling then? I'm serious, rose has come full round, it's ascending or has already to become somewhere near equals to its siblings whites, reds and sparkling wines that make up the basic bulk types one can choose from. Rose wine has always had a stigma of being sweet, even today it still elucidates that reaction and people have to be convinced that it isn't their grandmother's white zinfandel or Franzia or 1950's sweet swill and can in fact be dry, elegant, food friendly and transcendent just like their cherished (you fill in the blank) wine. 

When we first opened this wine, just like most of his Chardonnays, there was a distinct malolactic trait to the wine, that slightly buttery, slight popcorn whiff that could be because of the wood (doubtful) or actually allowing natural malolactic fermentation to take its place. It was pleasant, enjoyable and wishing we had this available to us now rather than next year (?). Hours later I took the bottle home and that malolactic quality hadn't completely left the wine but faded into being a supporting cast member, pairing with the tight acidity that caused the wine to continue driving your palate upwards for minutes afterwards - think the backbone of your favorite Muscadet with this kind of tertiary trait and enchanting volume, lifting the savory baked buttered asparagus dashed with black pepper and this edge of tomato stalks, or mustard or that spicy crispy snap that scallions can give. The wine is an enigma to me, at once it reminds me of Chardonnay - holds itself a little flabby, a little burnt buttery- at other times it's like Pinot Noir with a mineral purity that reminds me of seashells playfully roasted through the flames of your campfire. The experience was of it being a moving, pulsing form that the final image given to it was but a snapshot; in truth most are a snapshot but this was more so, it was harder to pin down from moment to moment and kept me engaged, thinking, pondering. I know from its origins it must be Pinot Noir but could it be a blend? I wouldn't look askew or downwards, the final product is beautiful. 

I've only had passing experiences with this winemaker's white wine, not enough to speak to, just that it straddles the what one could define as natural Burgundy which I hear isn't so sought after in the market but I say who cares. He's making interesting wines in a place that needs a little shaking up and oddly enough this reminds me of boutique Californian or Oregonian roses, think Sinisky or ... honestly I can't think of others at the moment, I'm blanking but this rose is sure to capture than dissuade.

So have fun with your winter rose!