A dry rosé is the great equalizer. Both white wine and red wine lovers can appreciate it; it can be enjoyed year-round; and it pairs with various proteins, from grilled Gulf shrimp and smoked chicken to steak and barbecue. This month’s featured pick comes from one of the state's top producers, Kim McPherson. His Les Copains Rosé is made using grapes from the Rhone Valley, the French region that made dry rosé classic..
McPherson “Les Copains” Rosé, 2013
Who Likes It:
David Keck, an opera singer-turned-sommelier who moved to Texas six years ago to study at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. During his time in Houston, Keck worked as both a wine buyer and in distribution before partnering with Paul Petronella, of Paulie's Restaurant, to open a wine bar in the Montrose area called Camerata at Paulie’s. (Keck also recently announced that he, Petronella, and Grant Gordon, Paulie’s chef, will be breaking ground on another place in Montrose, the Edmont, to be opened sometime in 2015.)
Keck achieved his advanced sommelier certification in October 2012, winning the Rudd Scholarship for top honors. He is continuing to pursue wine certifications with the Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2012 he was first runner-up in the TEXSOM Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition, and in 2013 he won placed third in the national finals of the Guild of Sommeliers’ TOP|SOMM competition.
A blend of 55 percent Cinsault, 30 percent Mourvèdre, and 15 percent Viognier.
“These grapes do well in the warm Texas climate, and when made into a rosé, demonstrate opulent fruit and aromatics," Keck said.
Why He Likes It:
“Not only is this wine delicious, but it’s a perfect wine for drinking in our hot climate. Dry rosé is thankfully making a resurgence, and provides a perfect vehicle for ripe grapes without over-ripeness or extraction,” said Keck. “These grapes [Cinsault and Mourvèdre] are classic for rosé production and also happen to thrive in Texas, providing a wine that is representative of what should grow here.”
“This is a fantastic Texas wine because it can be served cold, yet still stand up to classic Texas cuisine like barbecue and Tex-Mex,” said Keck. “The intensity of the fruit and roundness of the wine help it balance spice and smoky flavors, while the acidity and brightness keep the wine refreshing and help it cut through some rich, delicious Killen’s brisket or ribs.”
On Down the Road:
“Despite working through some difficult vintages, winemakers in Texas are getting better and better at finding suitable growing regions and the varieties that work best there," said Keck. "The most important thing moving forward is to do so unapologetically.”
“It’s very difficult to market wine on a national or international level if it’s being marketed as ‘pretty good for Texas.’ There’s a lot of fantastic wine being made in Texas, at prices that are extremely competitive, that merely need to enter the market with a clear sense of place and pride in their production. The rest will take care of itself.”
Winemaker's Notes: Kim McPherson
"I'm really happy with how this wine turned out. It was originally only going to be a rosé of Cinsault and Mourvedre, but we had such demand for this style of wine that I had to add a little Viognier to extend our volume. It turned out to be a great addition making the wine really pop," said McPherson. "Delicate berry and plummy, herbal nuances abound and the crisp acidity is artfully balanced against a long finish. This is a rosé that has mass appeal and begs for a light dinner al fresco, a big juicy burger, or Mediterranean fare. The pairing possibilities are unparalleled."
Spec's, Twin Liquors, Central Market
Post Script: Following the publishing of this post, it was reported that Chef Grant Gordon, of the forthcoming Montrose restaurant The Edmont in partnership with David Keck and Paul Petronella, was found dead in his home. He was 29. Details of his passing have not been released. Texas Monthly is saddened by the news of the loss of this celebrated chef. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.