22 April 2010

Value Wine Quest:: 12 Rosés Worth Attention

We’re on a quest to compile a solid reference list of $20 and under wines that won’t embarrass a savvy host when entertaining.  While an excellent wine can be worth hundreds of dollars a bottle, this is not a necessary, or even realistic, investment for most events we host. (Photo courtesy of Samantha Nicol Art Photography).

So where to begin?  If you are going to have an intimate gathering with wine aficionados, use the expertise of your local wine merchant to select lesser-known but well-regarded vineyards from the peak wine regions (California, France, and Italy). Delicious alternatives that your guests will enjoy can be found for under $20 – and an added bonus is that such a find will be considered gold to even the most discerning wine zealots.

In light of the spring mood, let’s focus on Rosé wine first.  A little education about this type of wine might be helpful – here’s what our friends at wine.com offer about Rosé.

With these basics in hand, which Rosé wines are we stocking now for early summer dinner parties on the deck, (or terrace or in the yard)?  See 12 of our current favorite Rosé picks listed alphabetically below

While we admit to a fair amount of experience tasting and enjoying these wines, we aren’t expert about taste or “mouth-feel”….so we’re sharing the winemaker’s notes and/or critic’s reviews to better describe the unique characteristics of each wine.  Also included are recent ratings…

(1) Chateau D’Aqueria Tavel Rose (Tavel, Rhone, France)
Wine & Spirits Rating – 88 points
“Pale red color. Dried redcurrant and strawberry on the nose, with subtle herbal and floral character building with aeration. Jammy red berry flavors are a touch sweet but offer plenty of depth. Finishes broad and a touch warm. A real fruit bomb that would be good with lighter red meat dishes."
-International Wine Cellar
(2) Chateau de Segries Tavel Rose (Tavel, Rhone, France)
The Wine Advocate Rating – 90 points
In 1994, Henri de Lanzac, cousin of Christophe Delorme from Domaine de la Mordorée, purchased the Domaine and began to improve the quality of the wine. "Ségriès" in provencal means "water spring". This family owned and operated winery is located in Lirac and produces some of the best values.  50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 5% Syrah.
"The brilliant 2008 Tavel (50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, and 5% Syrah) is a big-boned, brawny, dry rose with plenty of flavor. It cuts a savory, heady feel across the palate. Enjoy it over the next 8-12 months. " – The Wine Advocate

(3) Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec (Argentina)
Wine Advocate Rating – 90 points
A beautiful, deep, vibrant rosé color. Has a surprising amount of glycerin and body for a rosé wine, and beautiful aromas of fresh, ripe wild strawberries. On the palate, the flavors of strawberries and cherries come rushing in, accompanied by some spice notes and a clean, dry finish. This is the wine to serve with warm-weather meals when there is a mix of traditional white & red wine foods. Keep one in the fridge at all times and you’ll always have a delicious wine to enjoy with light snacks and cheeses. Best consumed in its youth.

(4) Etude Rose of Pinot Noir (Carneros, CA USA)
Conoisseur’s Guide Rating – 90 points
Beautiful pale pink in color, this Rosé is vibrant and juicy with aromas of just-picked strawberries and sweet blood oranges. Lush flavors of strawberries and pomegranate carry over on the palate and lead to a long, satisfying finish.  The acutely balanced acidity makes this wine a wonderful complement to many foods and al fresco dining.

(5) Falesco Vitiano Rosato (Italy)
James Halliday – 89 points
Typical bright rosè color with purple glints. It is a sprightly wine growing in fineness which distinguishes itself for elegant, scented smells of fresh fruit. Full-bodied with lingering aromas, it is soft, balanced with sapid finish.

"Lush soft, berry and strawberry fruit with an expressive round structure and a juicy finish. Medium-bodied and refreshing, delicious with salads, grilled vegetables and fish."

(6) Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato (Australia)
$10-$14 (NOTE: this is a half-bottle – 375ML)
ST Rating – 90 points
Innocent Bystander's pale pink 375 ml. serve of Moscato is a refreshing sipper, offering delicious aromas of watermelon, musk and rose petals alongside red apples and Hubba Bubba. On the off-dry palate, strawberries and sherbet ice cream are lifted by a fresh acid zing and a gentle mouth-tingling fizz. The classy bottle flaunts a crown seal to maintain absolute freshness and a lively spritz. Enjoy immediately or cellar up to 12 months.
"Light, lurid pink with a strong mousse. Lively strawberry, raspberry and tangerine on the nose, along with a strong floral quality. Sappy and gently sweet, with energetic red berry and citrus flavors and a gentle spicy note. Ridiculously easy to drink, with a long, red fruit-dominated finish and lingering floral character. " – International Wine Cellar
(7) Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rose (Rhone, France)
Wine & Spirits Rating – 87 points
With floral and crushed red cherry aromas, the wine shows full-bodied, ripe, mineral-driven fruit on the palate, with tangy undertones and a note of white pepper. The wine has a fresh, lip-smacking fruit character and an easygoing, uncomplicated nature that makes it pair well with a variety of dishes. The wine has acidity and tannins that are ripe but firm; this is no wimpy rosé. This hearty rosé is a winner.  Pairs best with salads, quiche, grilled vegetables, fish, chicken and Asian cuisine.
(8) La Vieille Fermes Cotes du Ventoux Rose (Rhone, France)
Wine Spectator Rating – 86 points
A blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache and 10% Syrah.
The delightful and distinctive character of La Vieille Ferme Rose is the judicious blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah grapes. Serve at 50-54 degrees Farenheit in a tulip glass. Serve with light cuisine or as a summer aperitif.

(9) Mulderbosch Rose (S. Africa)
International Wine Cellar Rating – 89 Points
This sexy, sophisticated dry rosé (made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon) possesses a beautifully fragrant nose, offering alluring aromas of rose petal, strawberry, and cherry. It dances on the palate with fresh, crisp flavors of wild strawberry, cherry, and pomegranate accented with delicate floral and herbes de provence notes.

(10) Trenza Rosado (Central Coast, CA, USA)
Wine Enthusiast Rating – 90 points
Very much like the Tinto, the Rosado champions the greatness of SLO County’s warm and cool climates. This fact might imply that this wine is a saignée of the grapes used in the Tinto. That is absolutely not the case. These Garnacha (Grenache), Monastrell (Mourvèdre), and Syrah blocks were all farmed with more shade on the fruit, and were picked at lower brix levels, specifically to make this Rosado. The lower sunlight on the clusters pumps up the bright fruit flavors and helps to preserve acidity. The color was carefully chosen to show the fresh yet rich flavors of this fabulous rosé.  Tasting Notes from Winemaker Christian Roguenant:
"To me, a true rosé is one that was grown, picked, and fermented for the sole purpose of making a rosé. Aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry, bananas, rose petals are all very bright. This wine tastes exactly as it smells."
"After all those sweet, heavy California rosés, here’s one that truly brims with Provençal-style dry elegance. It’s a wonderful wine, with crisp acidity framing herb and tobacco flavors and suggestions of tart cherries, orange rind and vanilla. Impeccable. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre." – The Wine Enthusiast

(11) Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rose (Barossa Valley, Australia)
James Halliday – 89 points
A juicy watermelon color with fuschia highlights, the Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rose is a complex wine dominated with aromas of fresh fruit, highlighted with fragrant rhubarb, pomegranate, and red apples with a hint of lavender. Refreshing and persistent, the palate is medium bodied with crisp acid and a very dry finish. A rose for grown-ups!
"A delicate cherry-accented bouquet leads into a light but well-balanced palate." – James Halliday
(12) Yering Station Extra Dry Pinot Noir Rose (Australia)
International Wine Cellar Rating – 90 points
"Medium pink. Raspberry & cherry preserve aromas offer an inviting, floral accent. Ripe red berry flavors & gentle acidity add lift to this silky midweight. Picks up an exotic blood orange quality on the long, juicy finish. Delicious."-International Wine Cellar

1 comment:

the savvy host said...

More great rose information ~ "Rules for rosé? There are none" by Dan Berger. Take a look - http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20100426/LIFESTYLE/100429642/1309

Related Posts with Thumbnails

looking for something specific?

find SavvyHostMarket on amazon