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Tis’ the Season…For a Rosé Like No Other

After a few weeks of teasing and flirting, it’s almost that time of year. The sun is starting to shine a little brighter, the air is warm enough to send your coats and sweaters packing for the back of the closet, and before you know it, city-dwellers will be heading to their summer homes in the Hamptons and Jersey Shore. That’s right, Rosé season is upon us, and while you can’t beat a light crisp Provence rose on a hot summer day, sometimes you want a little more out of your blushing summer companion. Enter, 2000 López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosado.

Quite a mouthful, but once you get a taste, all you’ll want is another mouthful of this incredibly unique rosé. Drop all your expectations about what a rosé is and should be and enjoy the ride. Founded in 1877, López de Heredia is steeped in tradition and unlike many new producers, considers aging the wine both in barrel and bottle to be an essential step to creating a fine wine. (See a video of our recent tasting with the Heredia family here.) This particular wine is a blend of Tempranillo (20%), Garnacho (60%), and Viura (20%), all from the Heredia family vineyards. The wine saw four-and-a-half years in used American oak barrels, and six years in bottle before it was released. Bursting with flavors of dried red fruit, almonds, peach, and orange zest, while sporting a nice mineral backbone, this is definitely not your typical rose next door. It’s great paired with spicy dishes as well as more substantial summer meals like sausage and charcuterie.

At the time of harvest, the demand for the rosado was so low that López de Heredia stopped making it from 2000 until 2008. With such extensive ageing, we may not see another rosado from them until 2018! USQ snagged quite a few cases for this reason, but don’t wait too long—get your hands on this while it’s hot (and hot outside too). -Seth White

Missed our Duero to Rioja event with Maria López de Heredia last week? Listen to what she has to say about her family’s famous bottlings of white and red Rioja, including the 1991 Viña Bosconia Rioja Gran Reserva, 2003 Viña Bosconia Rioja Reserva, and 2001 Viña Tondonia Rioja Reserva.

Video courtesy of our friend at The Zinfidel. Check it out!

Txomin Etxaniz 2010 Txakoli de Getaria

I’ve been on a whites kick lately, and there is no better white to welcome warm weather than this lightly effervescent Basque bottling. Txakoli is, traditionally, a slightly sparkling, dry Spanish white wine boasting a pale green color and served as an aperitif. A blend of two native grapes, Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza, this bottling is one of three produced by the Txueka Etxaniz family in Getaria, along the coast. (Getaria is actually hometown of fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga. No wonder I love this wine so much!) Even though it’s light and crisp, with melon notes and a slight acidity, it’s far more complex in character than most enter-summer wines thanks to its mineral backbone and zesty finish. Perfect with seafood. Try salted anchovies. -Stephanie Cain

The 2010 Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli de Getaria is Stephanie’s staff pick this month. Check it out here.

Heard It Through the Grapevine

Do you want to be my date to the Spring Fling? Twist and Shout your way over to USQ tomorrow for our annual Spring Fling Mega Tasting. We’ll be pouring wines from Italy, Spain, France, South Africa, and Greece, set to our favorite sock hop hits. They’ll be a Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On. Sip on summertime selections such as Nora Albarino, Naia Verdejo, Raats Estate Chenin Blanc, Hiedler Gruner Veltliner, Althea Prosecco, Willm Riesling, Chateau Larose Trintaudon Haut-Medoc, Rustenberg John X Merriman, and more. Throw on those Blue Suede Shoes, and we’ll see you there!

Admission to the tasting is free, and reservations are not required.

We Be Jammin’ at the Island Wine Party

Jam out to righteous Reggae while jet-sipping your way through the Mediterranean Sea’s prime wine-growing regions at USQ’s Island Wine Party, this Saturday from 2pm to 5pm. We’ll be your tour guides through Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica, Majorca, Canary Islands, and Porquerolles—no boat required! Sample popular varieties like Cannanou, Vermentino, Nero d’Avola, and Nerello Mascalese, but don’t miss out on esoteric pours such as Frapatto, Listan Negra, and Callet. These are unique wines with tons of personality, much like the their dreamy native isle locales. Featured producers include COS, Amina Negra, Bermejos,Domaine Leccia, Argiolas, and Planeta, among others.

Admission to this tasting is free, and reservations are not required. Boat shoes and sailor hats welcome. More information here.