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As a proud Global Warming skeptic, I am reluctant to believe 99.9999% of the hyperbole spewed by the “environmentalist” crowd, however, I will admit that my skepticism has softened in the last few years as I’ve experienced first hand how the weather patterns here in Southeastern, VA have changed markedly.

Although we experienced record snowfall this winter, the heat of summer moved on us quickly, sneaking past spring.  Save for a few days in the late 60’s, spring is MIA.

What does all this have to do with wine?  Not much – other than the fact that weather tends to affect my personal wine consumption habits. The warmer spring weather is a beacon to begin opening up the Rosé.

In addition to having a Gamay fetish, I am a Rosé feign.  I love the stuff, and consume generous amounts during the summer months.  I’ve found two winners so far in this year’s Rosé season:

I tried the Domaine Tempier 2008 Bandol Rosé at the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic. If I had to describe this light salmon-pink wine in one word it would be ‘pretty.’  It’s the Halle Berry of wine – no matter what movie role she plays, no matter what she wears, no matter what her hair looks like – she’s just damn pretty, no matter what.  So is this wine.

The Domaine, located in the heart of Bandol, has been in the Tempier family since 1834.  The Rose is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, and Carignan – fermented in steel after cold soaking, then matured in large vats for 6 – 8 months before bottling.  Light salmon pink with orange hues in the glass, this wine showed an expressive nose of strawberry, raspberry, watermelon candy, orange peel, followed by more strawberry, watermelon, peach, mineral, and copper flavors in the mouth.  The strawberry/watermelon component carried through to a long finish.  Very crisp, clean, with excellent acidity.  About $35/bottle retail.  Imported by Kermit Lynch for over 30 years. Damn good!  Big ups to Bill Averett from Roanoke Valley Wine Company for pouring this beauty during the event.

If you haven’t tried the Rosé from Domaine Tempier, use this summer as your reason to do so – July 4th would be a great occasion for such a wine.

On to my second favorite Rosé of the season so far – from right here in the Commonwealth – the Boxwood 2009 Rosé. I happened across this wine at the Drink Local Wine Conference live twitter taste event, and am hooked.

Boxwood Winery is located in scenic Middleburg, VA and also has three satellite tasting rooms located in Middleburg, Chevy Chase, MD, and at the Reston Town Center in Reston, VA.  Boxwood Winery is owned by John Kent Cooke, son of the late Jack Kent Cooke, former owner of the Washington Redskins.  Boxwood’s consulting winemaker is internationally renowned French vigneron Stephane Derenoncourt.

Boxwood 2009 Rose – This steely wine is light pink with lively aromas of peach and strawberry with mineral and light fruit on the palate.  At $12/bottle, the Boxwood Rosé is absolutely one of  ‘the’ best value wines in Virginia – perhaps highest QPR wine in the state.  This is a perfect wine for sipping on a summer afternoon when only a crisp, refreshing wine will do.

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