Last week's "Drink" featured a southern French version of the mourvèdre grape (Famille Lignères Las Vals) in all its earthy, lush, and deep-red glory. This week's featured wine from Cline Cellars highlights a rare West Coast mourvèdre as a rosé, and - not surprisingly - it's no California powder puff. This lively pink brew is bracingly dry in the European tradition, with no oak aging, but a steely acidity that pops with quenching tartness.
There's fruit in there, too, a kiss of early strawberry, perhaps, and something more exotic, like pomegranate, and a finishing touch of pie spice, but it's all well-tuned and balanced enough to be food-friendly for a light picnic feast. Drink this wine, made from grapes harvested in September, while it's fresh and vibrant. At about $12 in Pennsylvania, it's affordable enough to serve a crowd.
- Craig LaBan
Cline 2009 Contra Costa County Mourvèdre Rosé, $11.99, in select Pennsylvania Premium Collection stores (code: 13672).