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Enjoying Wine and Beer in the Augusta GA area

Ferraton Cotes du Rhone Rosé Great For Island Lunch

Ferraton Samorëns Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2016, France

Cost: $13-15

Some of the most widely recognized rosé in the world comes from Provence, so it’s no surprise that the nearby Cotes du Rhone would produce a wonderful rosé like this one from Ferraton Pere & Fils.

Teri and Mary Jo enjoyed the rosé.

It is a beautiful pale pink in the glass, opening with aromas of raspberries and red currants. It is a bright, intense wine with lively flavors of raspberry and cherry, with a dash of minerality. It is crisp, but full of lush fruit flavors.

The blend is 50 percent grenache, 30 percent syrah and 20 percent cinsault.

After harvest the grapes are quickly chilled at the winery via a chill tunnel. After pressing the must is cold-settled for 24 hours. The wine is fermented in chilled stainless steel tanks to ensure freshness while preventing oxidation and degradation of fruit aromas and flavors.

Mary Jo, Teri and Russ enjoy the deck overlooking the golf course and croquet courts.

Small amounts of the carbon dioxide released during fermentation is kept to further protect and enhance freshness.

The mistral winds make the Northern Rhone valley cooler than the Southern Rhone and that is reflected in the characteristics of the wine.

We had this wine during a trip to Bald Head Island, N.C., with Teri’s sister Mary Jo and her husband Russ. It’s always fun to travel with them because they are bright, interesting and fun people, and they love wine.

Teri and Mary Jo always have catching up to do, while Russ and I talk about wine, sports, books, and whatever seems interesting at the time. The time glides by quickly and easily when we’re together.

Russ checks out the wine while eating his sandwich.

Russ belongs to a wine club in Nellys Ford, VA, where they live, and he always has an interesting wine he has discovered that I know nothing about. When we have visited at their home, it has been a lot of fun to stop at local wineries. It amazes me how good some of the wine from Virginia has been.

Sometimes while drinking our wine at Bald Head we would look out at the golf course and the three croquet courts at the Bald Head Island Club. Sometimes we would look at the waterway in front of us, searching for alligators, which we saw twice. It was a fun, relaxing time.

Winery: Ferraton Pere & Fils was founded in 1946 by Jean Orën Ferraton. Some of the vines from that first three-quarters of an acre in Hermitage are still producing fruit.

Ferraton’s son Michel brought the company through the difficult economic times of the 1960s, when vineyards were being abandoned. He bought land in Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage, and later in Saint-Joseph in the 1970s.

One of the first in the area to make and sell estate wines, Ferraton built its reputation as a quality house. Today, Ferraton is run by oenologist Damien Brisset, who is surrounded by a dynamic team with an average age in the mid-thirties.

Sunset on Bald Head Island.

Since 1998 Ferraton has been using biodynamic principles in an effort to allow the personality of the terroir to express itself in the wines. All estate vineyards as well as parcels under long term lease are farmed with biodynamic methods.

In 2004 Michel Chapoutier bought the estate and makes wine with estate fruit as well as handling some négociant releases. The entire vinification facility and cellars were updated with state-of-the-art equipment in 2013. Fermentation tanks are sized to match vineyard parcels.

All of the partner growers also use sustainable farming techniques

Ferraton also makes an outstanding Samorëns Blanc, a white blend of 35 percent roussane, 30 percent viognier, 25 percent grenache blanc, 5 percent clairette and 5 percent marsanne. It is a great example of the white Rhone blends I love.

Samorëns Rosé was great with sandwiches.

Goes with: Teri and I had this beautiful wine at Bald Head Island, where we spent several days with her sister and brother-in-law. We had a great time, and this wine made one of our lunches extra good.

We generally went out for dinner, but made sandwiches for lunch and ate them at the beautiful townhome we rented. We had ham and turkey to go with cheese and tomato slices. We also had some great bread. I liked the sourdough, while Teri, Mary Jo and Russ seemed to favor the bread with lots of seeds and whole grains. I think we all were happy with our choices.

We added potato chips and some cut up celery and carrots to round out the feast.

The wine complemented the food nicely. There was enough fruit to keep it interesting, but not too much to interfere with the tastes of the food. This is the kind of wine that could go from a picnic to a nice dining room and be perfectly in tune with the surroundings.

Baby gator looking for lunch.

Full moon over Bald Head.

Historic Bald Head Island lighthouse.

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