THE WINE: Thomas-Labaille Sancerre Chavignol L’Authentique Rosé 2019
THE MAKER: Thomas-Labaille
THE YEAR: 2019
THE REGION: Loire Valley (Chavignol), France
Playing Favorites During Rosé “Season”
I get to taste a lot of rosé wine in my line of work. It’s rosé “season” now, so I have tasted a lot of them recently.
There are lots of really good ones out there (and some really bad ones), so I don’t always like being asked to name favorites. But, admittedly, I do have a few, the Thomas-Labaille Sancerre Chavignol L’Authentique Rosé 2019 decidedly among them.
With all that’s been going on lately, people seem to be tiptoeing into so-called rosé season rather than diving in as they usually do, and I really cannot blame them. I don’t subscribe to drinking rosé in just one season, actually, though I must accept that a large part of the world sees it that way. That being said, I see the Thomas-Labaille as rosé particularly suited to being drunk year-round, and that’s a big part of its appeal.
Let me tell you about it.
The wine draws you in visually with an arrestingly true coral hue that gleams in the glass. Being a Sancerre rosé, it is made from 100% Pinot Noir in France’s Loire Valley, a region often called the Jardin de France, or Garden of France, for its vast acreage of gardens, both formal and agricultural. Funny that it took a wine to cement that moniker in my head – it being so filled with orchard fruit, specifically yellow and red farm stand cherries on the nose and more yellow and red farm stand cherries on the palate, along with mirabelle plums and even fresh, bright jus de pruneaux (yes, prune juice, and I mean that in a good way). Tasting it, I thought, I get it, the Loire Valley is the Jardin de France.
While lighter in color than the 2018 vintage, the 2019 shows a lot more dimension, brightness, and elegance than the 2018. Exquisitely balanced with respect to weight, fruit, acidity and minerality, it has a pleasant, slightly chalky note on the finish.
So far, I have enjoyed this wine with goat cheese, buttermilk-brined chicken, and a good book. I could imagine drinking it alongside rillettes, crudités and anchovy dip (anchoïade), Loire Valley turnips (even the jarred ones are good!), or, really, any veggie.
Elegant, pretty, accessible to novice and pro alike, Thomas-Labaille’s Sancerre rosé is one I call a favorite, all year, every year.
ABOUT BETH BAYE:
Beth first became interested in wine while studying French in college and seeing wines on special (3 bottles for $7!) at her local supermarket. She thought they would be great to sip on while watching various 1980s-era mini series on TV. Noticing the effect that tannins had on her tongue, she realized she was onto something a lot cooler than the usual sweet plonk she’d tried on previous occasions.
Later, travelling both domestically and internationally for her job as a paralegal, she put her expense account to use to try wines she’d only read about in wine publications. Her love of food already firmly in place, she decided to strengthen her wine education and relished the challenge of pairing everything she ate with something just right. After a stint in medical school, during which she still studied wine to relax, she decided to turn a hobby into a vocation and took her first job at a small New York City shop specializing in good-value wines. That was twenty-one years ago.
She now works at a large wine and spirits shop in New York, as a buyer, selecting wines for the store, and as a salesperson, helping a fantastic array of customers find the perfect bottle for their dinner each evening. She enjoys the good luck she has in being able to incorporate what she loves into her work. She doesn’t mind it when people ask her to bring the wine, because at least, then, she knows it will be good.
Lead-In Image Courtesy of Bowler Wine, Louis/Dressner Selections, and Thomas-Labaille