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Is it a Clairet or a Rose’?

This wine was a media sample from Balzac Communications.

When this shipment of Bordeaux came in, I saw this little “Clairet” in the box but didn’t really think too much about what the label actually said.  It looked like a Rosé so that is what I thought it was.  As I put it in the wine fridge, I remember thinking that I was surprised to get a Rosé from Bordeaux.  But then last night when I pulled it out to open, I realized it was actually a Clairet – a pale red bordeaux called Clairet (with a taste profile very similar to my favorite Rosés).  I was confused and a little research was definitely called for.

So here is what I have found:  Today Claret is actually a nickname or a generic name for Bordeaux wines, but centuries ago it meant clear, pale or light-colored wine, hence my mistake on judging this wine by its color instead of its lineage.  (Centuries ago, the term Claret was also used to refer to a heated wine poured over a bag of spices – today’s version would be a mulled wine.)

Clairet has been described as A Rosé with a Pedigree’ and ‘A Rosé on Steroids‘.

2013-03-25 20.12.39

This beautiful pale red Chateau De Fontenille is a Bordeaux Clairet.  Planet Bordeaux states that it is “Critically acclaimed and highly sought after.” I completely agree!  I for one, will definitely be combing the shelves for this one so that I can once again experience this tart strawberry taste with soft tannins and a soft finish!  (I wonder if I can get it through a distributor for the new wine bar???  Things that make you go, “hmmmmmmm!”)

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc          Alcohol:  12.5%

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