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Textured Rosé: Domaine de Cala Prestige and Classic

450 Words (Or So) On Two Rosés That Get It Done

3 min read

I‘ve made it a hobby to rant on the sloppiness rampant in the rosé category for some time. So when a rosé comes along that is fresh, vibrant, clean and — most importantly — memorable, I’m more than happy to pair it by eating crow for the night.

This week, there were two. The 2018 Domaine de Cala Coteaux Varois En Provence and 2018 Domaine de Cala Coteaux Varois En Provence “Prestige” seem like two versions of the same idea. Each, a finely tuned instrument of mostly Grenache, Syrah, Rolle and Cinsault, with a color that seems more like a blushing white wine than a fully-fledged rosé. Packaged in slender, clear wine bottles with simplistic labels that — to be honest — make them look like Target’s house wine, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is another rosé-as-lifestyle-moment.

I started with the “Cala Classic,” which also has a 1% touch each of Grenache Blanc, Cinsault and Syrah. Right away, I was reminded of what defines excellent rosé — the texture. The very point of rosé is popping and pouring and not fussing, but because of that, the wine needs traction. No, I don’t mean tannic grip; I mean it can’t be running on sneakers without a tread. It’s got to keep moving.

The sleek, nearly oily texture of this rosé — which was even more noticeable on the Prestige — enhanced the flavors of the sloppy enchiladas we threw together, and gave me some momentum: one sip, two sip, three sip, four. This is where most rosé, in my opinion, trip over their laces. They get the color right, they have that delightful, if anonymous, rosé smell, yet no amount of chilling is going to make up for their rugged texture.

Not so with Domaine de Cala. These are precise wines of remarkable craft — all in the name of popping and pouring and pounding.

2018 Domaine de Cala Coteaux Varois en Provence Classic

2018 Domaine de Cala Coteaux Varois en Provence Classic ©Kevin Day/Opening a BottleCoteaux Varois Provence AOC, France 🇫🇷
Grapes: Grenache (41%) / Cinsault (35%) / Syrah (15%) / Rolle (6%) / Grenache Blanc (1%) / Cabernet Sauvignon (1%) / Carignan (1%)
Alcohol: 12.5%
Ratings: ★★★★ 1/2 (out of five)
• Food-friendliness: Versatile
• Value: As Expected

Tasting notes:
A surprising and noteworthy rosé. Very pale in color. The notes and tones are typical of a Provençal rosé — recalling strawberries, lemon-like acidity and white flowers — but it is the clarity of the expression that is most impressive. Juicy and full, with a lot of vivid and bright tones giving way to a finish of Meyer lemon. The finish is super clean and refreshing.

Serving suggestion:
Fish tacos or other Mexican coastal cuisine (especially if it involves shrimp). Serve cold.

2018 Domaine de Cala Coteaux Varois en Provence Prestige

2018 Domaine de Cala Coteaux Varois en Provence Prestige ©Kevin Day/Opening a BottleCoteaux Varois Provence AOC, France 🇫🇷
Grapes: Grenache (40%) /  Syrah (29%) / Rolle (17%) / Cinsault (14%)
Alcohol: 12.5%
Ratings: ★★★★ 1/2 (out of five)
• Food-friendliness: Versatile
• Value: A Little Pricey

Tasting notes:
Even better than the entry-level “Classic” rosé (although only slightly so), Domaine de Cala’s “Prestige” feels fuller and more substantial. The color flirts with the rosé spectrum but settles on a hue that makes it look like a white wine that’s blushing. Aromas recall strawberries, orange zest, tarragon and yellow flowers. Also very juicy and full, with a superb texture that made me want another sip. Finish recalls blood oranges. Very clean and refreshing.

Serving suggestion:
Again, serve cold, but perhaps pair with with a roasted chicken or something with a little more fat than the fish tacos I recommended above.


Note: These wines were provided as samples by Domaine de Cala. Learn more about my editorial policy.

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