Having followed chef Joachim Splichal since his spectacular Los Angeles restaurants, I was curious about his new family winery project – enhanced with top wine consultants. And the wines do deliver. The best food pairings are true to this area, something Splichal would know from his early stints in Provence.

2016 Domaine de Cala 
Colored a pale salmon-pink, and opening with a light floral nose, this wine is clean and fruity – but with an enhanced note of creaminess, a glyceryl mouthfeel. After it opens in the glass, berries on the palate and a slight earthiness round out the aroma and flavors. Pair with grilled vegetables and other Mediterranean appetizers. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED — BSE

WHO: Domaine de Cala
WHAT: 57% Cinsault, 27% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 7% Carignan, 1% Rolle
WHERE: Coteaux Varois en Provence, France
HOW MUCH: $15 (media sample)

2016 Domaine de Cala Prestige Rosé [3 Dots]
The classic pale salmon-pink color of a Provençal rosé, this wine has a floral, rose aroma that is also buttery, probably due to spending a few months in oak. Yet it remains clean and super-chalky on the palate with some berry notes in flavor and finish. Opening in the glass, the wine has a slight earthiness, much more red berry flavor and an acidity that asks for food pairing. Choose Mediterranean style foods, light and not too tangy; the wine is especially lovely with fresh mozzarella. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED — BSE

WHO: Domaine de Cala
WHAT: 57% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 16% Rolle
WHERE: Coteaux Varois en Provence, France
HOW MUCH: $24 (media sample)

About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein

An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, Becky Sue's work has appeared in many national and international publications including Intermezzo Magazine, Fine Wine & Liquor, Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, www.wine-pages.com and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television. Epstein is also the author of several books on wine, spirits, and food, including Champagne: A Global History; Brandy: A Global History, and Strong, Sweet and Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala.

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