Another day, another rosé from Provence. Truth be told, I think I stumbled upon my first gateway-wine with my last tasting.
I was lucky enough to taste this beauty (Pomponette) at work and were it not for its small production/limited supply, I’d daresay I found my vino for the summer.
Think about your perfect day. The smells, the light, the sights and sounds. We all have one; just try to conjure that memory up somehow.
For me, one of my perfect days was when I was younger. I was 19. I was with a good friend on a lazy Southern California Sunday and we decided, “fuck it, let’s go to the Getty.” I drove north on the 405 from Orange County in my Dodge Stratus (“The Stratusfaction”), the Pacific Ocean a few short miles to our left. Having just come from the beach, there was still the smell of salt in the car and in my hair. The Universe delivered straight-up magic that day: There was no traffic on either side of the freeway. The sun poured down like hot honey on my quickly tanning left arm, and it was good.
The Getty is accessible by tram, and it is a timewarp of a dream. Los Angeles chaparral surrounds you as you pull into the wide open courtyard. Sun and sky greet you, directly and indirectly, as it reflects from the off-white travertine stone making up the buildings and walkways. Simultaneously austere and warm, the stone puts the mind at ease, inspiring an effortless openness to the art indoors. And yes, the art and the work of the museum is great, but it is this outdoor space, with views of the Pacific Ocean and Los Angeles, of the mountains and the human sprawl, that I most associate with the Getty: the tension between peace and progress.
So what does this have to do with the Pomponette? In a roundabout way, not much, I suppose. But like any wine, I was reminded of a time passed. On the nose, I smelled a tinge of salinity, the same smell of brine and the Pacific in the air that day. The wine smelled dry and floral, like the LA chaparral trail I remember from my youth. The palate, oh the palate, on this subtle wine from Provence was delicately dry but opened up to the slightest hint of sweet, just-ripened strawberry. The brine on the bouquet came through in the finish, like a shy brush of someone’s lips, or the slightest hint of a breeze on one’s arm.
Now that I’ve gotten poetic on your asses, just know that on a day like today, with a peeking sun and a coy display of green on the trees, the Pomponette is as perfect as they come. Less is more, and this wine delivered just what I needed: the memories of that travertine courtyard, the sun-soaked air overlooking the smog-filled city and all of the wide-eyed pretension of being 19 and mobile.