Your Fourth of July barbecue or party will be colorful and hinged to history with a glass of 2007 Domaine Chandon unoaked Pinot Noir Rose.
In 1973, the great Champagne producer, Moet & Chandon, founded Napa Valley’s first Champagne-owned winery, Domaine Chandon.
Nestled on a slope in Yountville, Domaine Chandon produced first-rate sparkling wines that I always enjoyed at its excellent restaurant, Etoile. A showcase for stylish cooking, it also taught consumers that California could be a source of delicious champagne-styled wines.
Having achieved its sparkling wine goal, Domaine Chandon turned its attention to still wines. With its extensive vineyards of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier — the three grapes for champagne — Domaine Chandon offers consumers a delightful array of sparkling and still wines, including the summer’s perfect choice, an unoaked rose made from pinot noir.
James Kress is the winemaker at Domaine Chandon for its still wines. A graduate of the prestigious Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California at Davis, Kress displayed his wines during a recent dinner.
He divides his craftsmanship into three tiers, beginning with his cheeky expression, “naked wines,” or those not clothed in oak scent and flavor.
The Domaine Chandon 2007 unoaked Pinot Noir Rose is made only from pinot noir grown in the Carneros region, long considered one of the premium vineyard sites for pinot noir. Stripped of all oak influence, Kress captures the fruit’s natural qualities of blood orange color and cherry aroma matched by pleasing strawberry-like taste.
Served slightly chilled, the 2007 Domaine Chandon unoaked Pinot Noir Rose is a delightful aperitif, a good mate to shrimp and grilled pineapple salad and a tasty partner to grilled asparagus wrapped with prosciutto.
It made me wander down memory lane to afternoons sitting on the veranda at Etoile restaurant enjoying the braised rabbit with a potato galette and sipping Domaine Chandon wines. On days like that, I canceled the afternoon.
With a glass of the 2007 Domaine Chandon unoaked Pinot Noir Rose in your hand and a plate of food at the table, you can do the same, too. Just don’t miss the fireworks.
The Domaine Chandon 2007 Pinot Noir Rose retails for about $24.
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