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Vol. 1 "Ciel!!! My Rosé!"

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Book of Bertil, Volume 1 Chapter 1

Dear Readers, Friends as emeritus members of Bonde Fine Wine,

This first newsletter (won't' be the last) is dedicated to the demystification of ancestral beliefs, which, I hope, will immediately disappear upon completion of your reading of my Vinicultural sermons.

My words and opinions in these newsletters are and would always be personal, and I do not want them to offend anyone. I would always accept that others have the full right and duty to challenge me, to argue, and, if it is necessary, excommunicate me from their beliefs (often dull and hollow) because I would act the same way if it were the other way around.

2020 (twenty wines) has changed the world and us (for better or for worse, I don't know!) by being close to the end of the world (I have read in Q-anon). We also understood that our civilization could disappear at the cost of a simple virus, the COVID19. So, we all reacted. We all barricaded ourselves in our houses; we refused to get close to anyone (we are never sure of anyone, including our children!!!) We followed the death progression via satellite and social media (which informed us of absolute and indisputable truth as in church). We also developed a sense of individuality which allowed the subversives and imposters of this world to shine and rule. At last, we discovered that BigMac is not the world's best culinary reference and also that maybe Rosé is not just a summer wine.

Ciel!!! My Rosé!

The myth that Rosé wine is a summer drink is as false as saying that John Adams was the first president of the United States of America. So, let's take time to browse into Rosé's history and the reason for that belief (sadly, it's so British).

The little story of Rosé began five thousand years ago and before our era (BJC) (Actually over a million years ago). The first vinification (fermentation of grape juice by human intervention) was performed by crushing the grapes and extracting the juice during the process (red grapes with white pulps) and without any intention of letting that juice get in contact with the skin (maceration).

That procedure, well known to the roman, avoided the unpleasant tastes that musts could bring to the freshly squeezed juice and maintained the freshness of the product's fermentation. For the only reason for producing this wine was to mix it with water and, in this to remove the unpleasant taste and to maintain longer the pure quality of the water (As we do today by adding fruits and herbs to the water in the summer to keep a sensation of freshness).

The name of these wines was' 'Clairet” (not to be confused with claret) and represented more than 80% of wine production in the world in the 16th century. It was not until the 17th century that wines began to be vinified into red wine and white wine. We have to wait until 1682 for the term "Rosé wine" to make its first appearance. At this time, Rosé wine was maybe a mix of red and white wine or the result of a bleeding process (short contact of the grapes' skin with its juice during crushing or pressing). The British would be fervent of these wines and spread its name and bad reputation around the world. Because Clairet wines it's most of the time, come from bad grapes and poor- quality harvest. (The proper understanding of viticulture will not be developed until the discoveries of Louis Pasteur.)

The demand for Rosé wine reduced to less than 8% after World War II. Red or white wines will bring more quality and character to consumers who are increasingly demanding. So why is Rosé wine so famous today?

There is a demand for red wines, and the more concentrated the wine, the more its value and demand will increase in the consumer market. That is!!

At that time, in general (and still today), wines produced are too often diluted by adding too much liquid in the grapes compared to the capacity of the skins (reds) to give enough color and tannins, and alcohol to all this juice. Then the winegrowers will deliberately remove part of the juice (from the press just before allowing the remaining juices to ferment with their skins (red). Only then the equilibrium between quantity and quality could occur (like a bit of lemon juice for lemonade).

But, what to do with this Rosé juice (bled or short of maceration/fermentation)?

This low-cost and easy-to-produce wine will be the first ready and consumable right after the harvest (usually three to five months). Even though it will be primarily consumed on the vineyard or sold in bulk in the general store of the village as everyday table wine, it also will be sold by the winegrowers at meager prices in barrels or in bottles to the local cafes and restaurants, which in return will serve it as a lunch wine or refreshment wine (glass of wine at very modest price over the counter). Its price and availability and the possibility of storing it in a cool cellar (the basement of cafes and bistros (±55 F) will make it a star product in large cities, such as Paris or Rome, during the season from March to August.

It was then still called Clairet except in Provence, where its name Rosé became more and more popular.

Holidays and travel became more manageable and more accessible after the 1970s. The demand grew when the vacationers returning home in need of a summer-long gone are looking more and more for travel souvenirs. The Rosé has just been born in times of summer wine and of nostalgia. At the same time, its quality and refinement are improving, positioning itself in this new, very lucrative, and competitive market.

Rosé has become a fashion, a celebration of summer, and a passing carefree.

But voila, amid this economic game of merchants, distributors, and social platforms, we have forgotten that Rosé is foremost: a Wine, in the same platform as the white, red (and orange). And may Bacchus bless us with this absolute truth.

To make a rosé wine (of quality), the winemaker needs quality grapes to be a product of his production region, a perfect mastery of his wine cellar, and a love of wine (in general) and of human beings. Rosé wine should only come from grapes with red skin and white pulp.

Rosé wine can only result from two specific winemaking processes: bleeding or the very short juice fermentation on its musts.

But the big secret of what makes a Rosé a full-fledged wine is the origin and choices of the varieties of grapes chosen—knowing that each grape variety has its aromatics. Each type of soil brings its character and a particular structure to each grape. And, by his intervention and choice to vinify in a single variety or a blend of multiple different types of grape varieties, that man will produce special features to each of the cuvées.

That is why "rosé wines" are as diverse and specific as white wines or red wines.

For all these reasons, I confirm that Rosé wines cannot be considered as summer-only consumed wine and even less with any food.

Drink your Rosé wine year-round, and it should be chosen and consumed in consideration of the food on the table (select the color of your wine by the color of the sauce. It's corpulence (body) by the density of the protein served. And its aromatics are similar to the vegetables' tastes (fruits, vegetables, and spices) chosen on the plate.

First and foremost, keep your mediocre Rosé wine ice-cold for aperitif time.

But the others, keep them refreshed so as not to kill them before they share with you their sweets and their elegance so characteristic and unique to them alone.

What can you find now at Bonde:

Big Table Farm
Rosé "Laughing Pig" Pinot Noir Rosé2020, Willamette Valley, OR - $42.00
This delightful Rosé from Willamette Valley’s Big Table Farm has notes of earth, ripe red berries, tart cherry, orange, and a rich. This Pink will pair with a wide array of food; from coq au vin, to grilled and smoke flavors, fruit glazes, grilled vegetables, or a gamut of cheeses.

Stephen Ross Winery
Rosé of Pinot Noir 2020, Edna Valley, Central Coast, CA - $28.00
From a Brilliant winemaker from Edna Valley in central coast California.
Bright light pink salmon. Vibrant aromatic. Clean and refreshing. Light-medium body, wet stone, satiny smooth texture, and citrus blossom on the finish. The Ideal companion for a pan-seared river trout, grapefruit sauce, and sweet peas. cold cuts (like baloney) with fresh fennel salad. Or a Book. 

Anne Amie Vineyards
Rosé " Midnight Saignée" of Pinot Noir 2020, Willamette Valley, OR - $21.00
This fabulous Rosé of Pinot Noir is dry, layered with complex character. It was produced in a limited amount from the estate vineyards located in the rolling hills of the Yamhill-Carlton District and on the hillsides of the Chehalem Mountains. Drink it on Aperitif or with Shrimp and grits, salmon ceviche, grilled oysters, moules frites, , paella, charred broccoli & ricotta, fried chicken, lobster rolls.

Kivelstadt Cellars
Twice Removed Rosé 2020, Venturi Vineyard, Mendocino County, Napa Valley, CA - $24.00
This bone-dry rosé made with 70% Carignan and 30% Grenache, possesses vibrant acidity, notes of strawberry and watermelon and a hint of kiwi on the finish. This wine can be enjoyed on its own but, will be a great companion with light foods such as shellfish, aperitif, fruit, and cheese or a great pasta dish with light creamy tomato sauce or Mussel’s prima vera.

Eric Kent Wine Cellars
Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot noir 2020, Sonoma County, CA - $28
A rare rosé blend of Pinot Noir by Kent Humphrey of Grenache, and Syrah has elements of juicy watermelon, strawberry, and fresh herbs that make this exuberant, medium-light-bodied wine an ideal choice from spring to winter. Enjoy at the next sunny day’s picnic. Pairs well with prosciutto and melon salad, spicy Thai chicken, coconut fried shrimp, crisp green vegetables, basil, cilantro, chili pepper.

J.C. Somers Vintner
Whole Lotta Rosé 2020, Garnier Vineyard, Carlton, Willamette Valley, OR - $34.00
From The Star Oregon Winemaker Jay Christopher Somers, Whole Lotta Rosé is blended of Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo sourced from the Garnier Vineyard in the Columbia River near the town of Mosier (Oregon). A Classic Provencal style this wine is light, dry, delicate, and delicious. Consume it at the firepit with a guitar and dear friends or Around Shrimp ceviche, endive boats with goat cheese, pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachio nuts, Thai noodle salad.

Mr. B

*Memorandum: My words and opinions in these newsletters are and would always be personal, and I intend to offend. I always accept that others have the full right and duty to challenge me, to argue, and, if it is necessary, excommunicate me from their beliefs (often dull and hollow) because I would act the same way if it were the other way around.