Vinous cherry bombs and a dud

2006 Chateau Barbanau Cote de Provence $12: Dry mineral flavors. Everything I expect from a Provencal Rose’ which, in my experience, differs in a mineral style compared to wines from Languedoc or other SE France regions. These wines are so easily distinguishable from domestic Rose’ wines because they rarely have the big fruit found in CA wines (of which I am also fond, see Anglim out of Paso Robles). However, the real story here – as I discovered – is the importer, Charles Neal. Get thee forthwithly to and read what these folks at Paul Marcus Importer have to say about how to start and sustain an importing business. The first thing you will find is that Mr. Neal picked the region from which to import based upon where he could buy wines below the silly pricing threshold, aka $20. He also took a liking to wines he could drink everyday and that were regional in style and blend, that is, the region has not yet been Parker-ized. The tasting notes from the Paul Marcus Imports staff that toured with Mr. Neal are fun to read and educational. Compare the Neal notes with those found in the LA Times by the Food section’s wine-tasting panel (“hint of lime, nice”). It is the difference between riding down a “technical” slope (fun and slightly dangerous) versus riding in your cul de sac (boring and only when necessary). (more…)