a boldly oaked burgundian rosé, still young at four
2012 Domaine Sylvain Pataille “Fleur de Pinot” Marsannay Rosé ($60) | Marsannay, Burgundy, France
Pity poor Marsannay-la-Côte. This somewhat dreary southern suburb of Dijon has been pigeonholed as a place that produces uninteresting wines. Its feelings of inadequacy must be intense, what with Gevrey-Chambertin just down the road.
However, Marsannay can be proud that it's the only Burgundian village appellation approved for rosé. And Sylvain Pataille has been making the most of his old-vine plots, farming organically, harvesting by hand, allowing fermentation to happen naturally in barrels and demi-muids, and so on.
It's 2016 as I write this, and Pataille's 2012 rosé of Pinot Noir and Pinot Beurot (Pinot Gris) is off the chain, people. Approximately half the juice was direct-pressed, while the rest sat on the skins for a short while before fermentation. And here's the kicker: The wine spent somewhere around two years hanging out in new and nearly-new (one-to-two-year-old) barrels, which means it can hang out in your cellar for a while, too.
Before you freak out about the wood, consider that rosé is the ghost of a red wine. Sometimes it can taste as though the phenolics are just floating around, wanting to attach themselves to something. In this case, the wood spices up the light fruitiness of the wine, giving the ghost some limber musculature. And a soul.
- alcohol by volume: 13%
- residual sugar: 0
- pH: 3.23
- titratable acidity: 4.35
- drinkability: ➡ wonderful wine but atypical... a tough sell
- presentation: ⬇ if you are charging $60, it's time to hire a graphic designer
- geek factor: ⬆ organic, old-vine grapes, daring style