Exclusive offer: 6/23/2023 — Campuget, part two (Rosé!)

Offer available through Monday, 6/26/2023, or as inventory lasts.

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Hi everyone –

It’s a quick, fun, and easy offer this week.

Here’s why.

We’re currently on holiday in South Dakota. Angela and I have come out here for the week of summer solstice since 1990 (yes, since 1990 … we’re at 34 years and counting). Back then Angela and I were 19 years old, freshly in love, and ready to explore the world. We packed up a new tent and cookstove, and hit the road. With no money at all (actually it’s a longer story about mis-placed traveler’s checks but that’s for another time), we caught trout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while staying at Game Lodge Campground in Custer State Park. It was MAGIC.

We still return to the same campground (often the same campsite), visit the same places, and watch the changes happen around us as businesses close, new ones open, and everyone gears up for the busy season of July and August. (And in Rapid City, we’re watching some serious gentrification happen. It’s occurring in a big way right now, as more people leave California and seek affordable but interesting places … last year’s average rent on a 1BR apartment in Rapid City was about $700. This year it’s $1100+ … and more and more buildings going up.)

Sunset view from the deck at Lintz Bros Pizza in Hermosa, South Dakota.

A few nights ago at Badlands National Park.

Our beloved campsite at Custer State Park: Game Lodge Campground, site 31.

Anyway … onward to this week’s offer.

Campuget part 2: Rosé season!

Last week we did a terrific offer on Chateau de Campuget Vermentino, and also their non-sulfite Syrah. Many thanks to all that ordered some wines (especially those that jumped on the 12 bottles of Syrah that were available).

This week it’s the same winery (with some of the same stories below … like I said, forgive me!) but honestly two of my favorite Rosé wines of the year.

First, an abridged repeat on the background on Château de Campuget

… from last week …

One of the highlights of the area: The Pont du Gard. Image by Ridoe from Pixabay

The region: Costières de Nîmes

I’m a lover of the Rhône Valley, both north and south. The rolling hills of the Southern Rhône are one of my favorite places because of the combination of history, wine, food, and amazing people you find throughout the area. The region of Costières de Nîmes is located in the southwest corner of the Southern Rhône, away from the spotlight that typically shines on better-known regions such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Within this region, you experience what the French call “Le Garrigue.” As discussed on WineSearcher:

Areas of “garrigue” (the quintessential southern French landscape of dry, low-lying scrubland on limestone soils readily associated with the Camargue) are present in the eastern corners of the appellation, providing excellent potential for viticulture. When not planted with vines, this land is generally populated with rosemary, lavender and thyme, as its relatively loose, free-draining soils are poor in nutrients.

These conditions are the same as those determined in the 1920s by Baron LeRoy of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, whose viticultural and oenological rules were the precursor to the modern appellation system. Free-draining soils of low fertility force vines to dig deep, strong root systems in search of water and nutriment, and are widely considered to produce more-complex wines.


The winery: Chateau de Campuget

The Chateau is owned by the Dalle family, which fled the north during WWII in 1942 and settled in the safer south, where they purchased the ancient Chateau Campuget.

The Château itself was built in 1753, and at the same time, the first vines were planted, prompting the 1753 range of wines which mark this historic date.

A fusion of tradition and modernity unite in the cellars here, producing wines with integrity, finesse, and a wonderful expression of terroir from a wide range of traditional Rhône varieties. In 2019, Château de Campuget was certified as Haute Valeur Environmental, which officially recognizes the environmental performance of winegrowers, including biodiversity conservation, plant protection strategies, managed fertilizer use, and water resource management.

A great story from WWII

The local importer of this brand traveled to France ten years ago, and one of their stops was at Campuget. This is one of the stories that really made me fall in love with this brand.


Campuget “Tradition” Rosé 2022

Back in the day when I did the wine list for Red Cow and Red Rabbit, the owners of the restaurant and I talked lots about rosé and what producers, what style, etc. to have on the list, but we ALWAYS held a spot for one wine: Château de Campuget’s “Tradition” Rosé.

Why? Because it’s the most dependable, predictable, awesome rosé wine you can find. Are there others that are flashier? Yes. Are there others that are more “of the moment?” Yes. Are there others that the young sommeliers are suggesting because they are simply unknown and under the radar? Yes.

And here’s truth of my transparency and honesty: Are there others that are better overall? OF COURSE! Why? Because wine is SUBJECTIVE and everyone has their own history. In today’s climate, where new and flashy and shiny and unknown are attributes (not only in wine, but spirits and beer), it’s hard to talk deeply about something that has simply been predictably awesome for going on 12+ years.

This is the Toyota Prius of wines, and I should know. The first year I had it was the same year I bought my Prius, which now has 180,000 miles on it and is as dependable as can be. The only thing I’ve ever done to that car is change the oil and tires, and keep up with general maintenance. Is it flashy and fancy? Not really. Is it exactly what I want in a car? You damn right. Same thing with this wine.

How it tastes: This is classic southern French rosé, dry and crisp. 30% Grenache and 70% Syrah. Lively, floral, bright, bouncy, and simply FUN. It’s from Gard, which is an IGP surrounding a classic (like 1000 years old) hilltop military town. Aromas of cherry, watermelon, minerals, and mellow spice. IT NEVER FAILS TO MAKE ME SMILE.

Spencer in 2007, exploring the ancient hilltops of the area. Learn more.

And just for the heck of it, here’s a photo Spencer literally just texted me on the hike he’s doing right now here in the Black Hills, while I’m in camp working on this offer. (“Working” is relative … I have a campfire and trout stream within 15 feet of me, and a bagel with smoked salmon on a plate. If this is work, sign me up for overtime.)

Campuget “1753” Rosé

Now here’s a different animal altogether.

We have preached for years that blending red and white wine together to make rosé is the wrong thing. Usually it results in something insipid, forgettable, and obviously done to make use of leftovers.

This wine completely changed my tone.

I had this same wine in the previous vintage, and resisted suggesting it specifically because of this reasoning. I loved the wine, but I didn’t want to go on the record saying that a blend of red and white to make rosé could be anything good.

But having it again, the second vintage in a row, and being honest with myself about the overall quality, I have to say I totally endorse this wine and I think it definitely has a place on your table this summer. THIS IS SERIOUS ROSÉ.

Last week I wrote about the Vermentino program at Campuget, and how the wines stand out in a beautiful way. Here they’re taking a bit of their Vermentino and blending it into their Syrah, making a rosé unlike any other.

If you find yourself questioning this, if you’re saying “I’m not sure about simply blending some Vermentino and Syrah together” then I totally understand. I thought the same thing. And if I was a consumer walking the aisle in the wine shop and saw it, I would have passed on it too. But this is exactly why our Friday offers are special: these wines are hand picked, selected for specific reasons, and not for everyone. I’ve done the hard work (wink) of tasting through hundreds of wines to pick the ones we endorse, and this wine gets our full endorsement.

Our tasting note: If you love New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in general, go for this wine. I’ve never had a rosé with more aggressive life to it, where the citric acid pops through with such fun energy, surrounded by a blanket of raspberries and cherries. Wowza! This stuff is great fun.

The perfect food pairing with the 1753 Rosé:

Seriously. This is PERFECT.

Buying advice

Two rosés, two different styles, two reasons for being.

The “Tradition” is all about pop-on-a-whim. Stock up the shelf. Enjoy with the neighbors.

The “1753” is about contemplation and attention to detail.

The simple advice is buy a bottle of each, and try them side-by-side.

But if you want to do it right, since we are early in the summer, is to buy the “Tradition” wine 3-to-1 with the 1753. The Tradition is all about spontaneous wine fun, while the 1753 is something to build a better meal around.

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

Offer is open Friday at 3:00pm central until Monday at 6:00pm central, or as inventory lasts.

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