Category Archives: Rosé

Macarico 2010 Serre Delle More Vino Spumante di Qualita

Alto Vulture, Vini da Vulcano, Basilicata, Italy
100% Aglianico; 13% ABV
North Berkeley Imports
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store at least a few months ago.  No longer there.

This sparkling rosé arrived probably about 6 months ago, with two other NBI wines.  A couple people told me this was awful, so I had just let this bottle sit around unopened.  However, tonight I opened it, expecting to dump it down the drain, with a backup ready.  But I was surprised: I love it!

The wine was pleasantly aromatic, showing fruity flavors of cantaloupe / quince, red berries, and a dark red cherry close to a savory, almost-meat flavor.  It was well-carbonated and pleasantly dry and crisp.  It kept well over the evening in a stoppered bottle in the fridge.  More light tangerine flavor came out over time.

Two 2015 Southern French Rosés

Le Charmel 2015 Cotes de Provence (near Bandol)
30% Syrah, 30% Cinsault, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 10% Rolle (Vermentino); 12.5% ABV
imported by Winesellers, Ltd., Niles, IL
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store some weeks ago.  No longer there.

Les Vignes de Bila-Haut 2015 Pays D’Oc IGP; 13% ABV
by Michel Chapoutier
imported by HB Wine Merchants, NY
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store

When I bought these, they were both new arrivals.  The Bila-Haut is still around, but Le Charmel is long gone, at least from Richmond.  They were both pretty tasty, but I preferred Le Charmel.

Le Charmel was engagingly aromatic of less ripe cantaloupe and mild white flowers.  There was more of this on the palate, with a slightly viscous minerality and a hints of lavender and red berries, and the acid nicely in balance.  The flavor was perhaps a little light for me at first, but after adjusting, I found it a very pleasant and elegant wine.  Interestingly, it contains 10% Rolle (Vermentino), a white grape.

The next day, I liked it better, with the fruit more forward while the wine still retained most of its minerality.  This is an easy Thumbs Up for me.

The Bila-Haut had less of a nose, but showed stronger fruit of strawberry, cherry, and red currant, less minerality, and attention-getting lip-smacking acid and a tang of bitterness.  I found this more flavorful, but less elegant and balanced.  Here is a Wine Enthusiast review of this wine.

The next day, I liked it better, as the wine had smoothed out and integrated, but was still quite tasty.  I’d go with Drinkable for this wine.

Of course, my favorite was a blend of about 1/4 – 1/3 Bila-Haut, the rest Le Charmel.  🙂

Chateau Val Joanis 2015 “Tradition” rosé

Luberon AOP, (southern) France; 13% ABV; screw cap
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 23 Sept

valjoanis_2015_roseThis wine’s pale pink color looked lovely, it is from southern France, and it is the current vintage of rosé.  It is indeed very good for the price.

The wine is at first a little closed, but opens quickly to flavors of pink grapefruit / less ripe strawberry or maybe raspberry, lavender, maybe a little yellow fruit, with a slight thickness to the body.

A couple days later, the rest left in the bottle was still fresh and delicious.

Feudo dei Tari 2015 Rosato

Toscana IGT, Italy; 12.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 12 Aug

FeudoDeiTari_2015_RosatoThis wine looked very promising, with its lovely pale orange / pink color and elegant modernist label, but it took me a little while to get to it.  It is indeed quite lovely.

The wine shows delicate flavors of riper pink grapefruit / tangerine, strawberry / raspberry, light yellow melon / lemon, a little balancing bitterness of grape skin / stem, with perhaps a hint of raw almond.  The fruit is accessible but not overpowering, nicely integrated with a soft minerality.  I could find no information about this wine online.  To my surprise, it is not mentioned on the producer’s web site.

The next day, the wine was a little less elegant and balanced, but still nicely complex and tasty.

Jardin des Charmes 2015 rosé

Coteaux de Béziers Indication Géographique Protégée, Languedoc, southern France
70% Cinsault, 30% Grenache; 12.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 29 June

JardinDesCharmes_2015_roseThis wine looked lovely and is from the current vintage, so I had to try it.  Compared to the also-current Chateau La Sauvageonne rosé, this wine is more austere and structured, but also delicious.

The wine shows flavors of medium-ripe pink grapefruit, a little tangerine / quince, less ripe white melon, hint of lavender / jasmine, with slight skin bitterness and minerality, and crisp acid.  Some red berries and yellow apple come out more as it warms.

None of my bottle survived until the next day, but I expect it would follow the usual pattern: fruit more forward and integrated, less minerality and complexity, still quite tasty.

Chateau La Sauvageonne 2014 rosé

50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Syrah; rubber-sealed glass stopper; 13% ABV
Coteaux de Languedoc, France
from Gerard Bertrand
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 24 June

Bertrand_2014_ChLaSauvageonneRoseI immediately got a bottle of this wine, with its lovely presentation and southern French origin.  IMO, this is what rosé’s about.

Its delicate nose is equal parts cantaloupe, tangerine, pink peach.  It has delicate flavors of these on the palate, with some red cherry and tart redcurrant acid, slight lavender, and perhaps a little yellow apple.  Despite the delicate flavors, the mouthfeel is thicker, with a minerally character.  This is a little more expensive for a GO rosé, but IMO worth the price.  Still, I would guess from the slight aggressiveness to the acid that it’s not one to keep around, so drink up.

The notes from the link above are, “The bouquet offers up intense aromas of red fruit, blackcurrant and redcurrant as well as floral elements (violet and rose) and citrus notes (grapefruit). This wine has a delicate oaked dimension, developing into vanilla and gingerbread notes. Fresh, rich and unctuous on the palate.”  It didn’t occur to me, but I second the “vanilla and gingerbread notes”.

On the second day, the wine was at least as good, with the fruit more forward and integrated, showing a juicy pink grapefruit and yellow apple more prominently.  As it warmed, it was more sweet than on the first night.

Apparently from the label, the translation of “La Sauvageonne” is “wild woman,” but I’m guessing that “wild” means less “unhibited / crazy” and more “living in nature, outside civilization” in a Rousseau-esque sort of way.  (The left side of the label features an embossed naked woman with long hair and a horse.)

 

Blackbird Vineyards 2013 Arriviste rosé

Napa Valley, CA
58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc; 14.1% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 8 June

Blackbird_2013_ArrivisteI had been intrigued by this rosé for a while since Blackbird’s top-end reds go for over $100.  This is a well-made and tasty enough rosé, but I’m only moderately enthused about it.  Perhaps that’s because it’s a couple years older than the current release, or maybe it’s just as Seedboy noted, “These varieties are not my favorites for rosé.”  (Full comment: Its color is gorgeous. Dry in the mouth, red fruit and some herbal qualities, and nothing negative. These varieties are not my favorites for rose.)

The wine is at first a little reserved, but opens up with a little time in the fridge to show elegantly presented flavors of quince jelly (wine is very dry), tangerine / orange, and cherry / red berry, with some minerality on the finish.  It’s pretty tasty, but lacks a feeling of freshness and some of the delicate nuance I prefer in a rosé.

The next day, the wine is very much the same and still quite tasty, so there seems to be little danger of its falling apart soon.

Castell de Raimat 2014 Rosé

Costers del Segre DO, Spain
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Tempranillo; 13% ABV
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on about 18 May

CastellDeRaimat_2014_RoseI liked this label’s elegant presentation and the wine’s delicate color, and also I remembered a couple Raimat reds that had been pretty good deals.  Probably because my hopes had been high, I thought this wine was pretty good but not great.

The wine did not change much over time, immediately tasting of cantaloupe and red berries, with hints of tangerine and pink grapefruit, when warmed a little yellow fruit, and very little if any wood.  It is pleasantly delicate and acceptably complex, but I found it a bit soft and unstructured for my taste.  It did not stand up to the assertively flavored squid with black bean sauce I made to go with it.

Gustave Lorentz 2014 “Le Rosé” (of Pinot Noir)

Alsace AOC, France; 12% ABV
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 22 March.  Another customer came to the same conclusion I did and cleaned out the remaining 30 bottles on 25 March.

Lorentz_2014_RoseOfPinotNoirDespite being put off by the recent Pinot Noir from Alsace, this wine looked quite intriguing to me, so I bought one when the sale started.  It’s certainly not like my favorite southern French rosés, but it is quite good for the price.

Seedboy wrote that this wine is “nice and crisp and minerally with just enough fruit.”  When I opened it, I found it a little fuzzy and funky, but after being open a bit, it “clarified” and became very clear-tasting and elegantly structured.  I tasted quince jelly, yellow apple, rose hip, orange roses, with crystalline minerality.  Really beautiful and delicious.

The next day, the second half in the fridge was more fruity but less structured, still tasty but falling a little flat.  Overall, still Thumbs Up.

Vini 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir and Syrah

60% Pinot Noir, 40% Syrah; 13% ABV
Thracian Valley, Bulgaria
imported by Bulgarian Master Vintners, LLC, of Sonoma, CA
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 6 Nov

Vini_2013_RoseAs the third of the three Bulgarian wines we received in a shipment, I wanted to try this one, too.  (Previously reviewed: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.)  While I still prefer the more minerally southern French rosés (at a very similar latitude), this is pretty good.

The wine is a pretty elegant meld of light raspberry / quince jelly, orange / tangerine, white flowers, and light vanilla.  I slightly miss the structure and  delicateness of the Southern French rosés, but this is pretty good.