Château Ballan Larquette Rosé 2009

by Nannette Eaton on May 24, 2011


“We’re going to get it serviced up and take it out, … because a lot of people have never seen it, and they need to see it.” — George Clinton

Bottleshot of the bright pink French Château Ballan Larquette Rosé wine

I love rosés. And Château Ballan Larquette Rosé 2009 is no exception. It’s a sophisticated rosé with the usual strawberry notes, but with a dusty herbal mineral petrol quality to it. A much more complex rosé than is normally available in the United States. A summer sunset in a glass.

That said, this might not be for everyone. This was tasted as part of the Planet Bordeaux on-line tasting and it got a split decision. I opined that this was a “wine for grown-ups” to which John Cesano of John on Wine slagged it, saying, “It might also be described as a wine for masochistic grown-ups. I’ll stay a kid, thanks.” Dezel Quillen of My Vine Spot was more diplomatic, “Let’s just say it’s a pink drink that makes you think. This wine has a lot going on. Peeps used to a bright bowl of red fruit may not dig it.” But Katie Pizzuto of Gonzo Gastronomy nailed it saying, “I’m actually thrilled to be dealing with a rosé that isn’t overly fruity. Nice to have the funk. A George Clinton wine.” Wine Harlots say bring the funk, baby! Other opinions are available from Jeff Siegel of the Wine Curmudgeon and tasting notes are available from Ward Kadel at Wine Log.

The perfect pairing for the Château Ballan Larquette Rosé is sushi. Maybe not the typical pairing, but it’s an inspired combination. The music match is from the Wine Harlots favorite funky white chick, Nikka Costa, from her forthcoming album Pro*Whoa! Nikka has covered Mumford and Sons “Little Lion Man.” It’s so awesome, Little Lion Man is my new theme song, available as a digital download from iTunes or Amazon.

The wine details: 13.5% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: Bordeaux. Varietals: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc. The suggested retail is $16 USD. Imported in the US by Exclusive Imports Inc. The wine was provided as a media sample for the Planet Bordeaux Twitter Taste Live media event facilitated by Balzac.

“Funk is fun. And it’s also a state of mind, … But it’s all the ramifications of that state of mind. Once you’ve done the best you can, funk it!” — George Clinton

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John Cesano May 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

In fairness, I had tasted a delicious Sangiovese Rosato, just released, earlier that day, at the Graziano tasting room in Hopland, It tasted good, was not a typical sweet rosé, and Ch. Ballan Larquette wasn’t in the same ball park. I had tasted the Muscardini Cellars Rosato di Sangiovese from Monte Rosso vineyard fruit the day before. Great wine. The Ballan Larquette paled. Perhaps it is house palate, perhaps I’m crazy wrong, but having tasted two much better rosé wines within the preceding hours did this pink Bordeaux no favors. I did have nice things to say about the next pink Bordeaux, not a rosé but a clairet. The petrol and dust notes were joined by dried notes, dried fruit, hot dried dust. It was an old, burned wine just opened. I’ve tasted Alsace Riesling (and some from Potter Valley) that throw a petrol note, and it can be a great thing. It wasn’t for me here. A majority of people said nice things, a few joined me in not loving this wine. I, and more importantly the producer I am sure, am glad you enjoyed it. I’m twice as delighted you spelled my name right. Cheers, -John

The Wine Harlot May 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

So I did quote you correctly!
You knew you’d get blow-back after saying you’d have to be a masochist to drink it — but perhaps because I’m a Harlot that explains my affinity for S&M wine!
Not only did I spell your name right, you got link-love from me, so it’s not all bad!
Cheers, John!

Nannette Eaton

Martin D Redmond May 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Sounds a bit like the Lopez de Heredia Gran Reserva Rosado. I’m a Rosé fiend and enjoy trying different styles (just purchased a bottle of the aforementioned Heredia Rosé). I’m going to have to try this one!

Katie May 25, 2011 at 5:32 am

Yes, Martin! Very much like Lopez de Herdia which happens to be not only one of my absolute favorite rosés but Riojas in general.

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