Rose’ Round-up

We’re well into the throws of the 2008 summer and there are plenty of great reasons to keep reaching out for a glass of wine over beer; one of them is Rose’ (or Rosado). Depending on what part of the world these blush wines come from, they’ll be called either Rosado or Rose’ – both names imply the same thing – a blush-wine which screams summertime, picnics, patio parties and bbq.


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I got a hold of four bottles in this round-up, all of which are under the $15 mark (at the store) and should be somewhat accessable for most folks out there who are interested. This was a very fun review for me to do as it’s not too difficult to get talked into drinking crisp, dry wines on sunny days.

2007 Columbia Crest 2-Vine Vineyard 10 Rose': Price $8 W.E.P. Scale Rating: 90%

Columbia Crest looks to tap into the Dry Rose market by offering a very-well priced product that’s solid and is a very decent wine in its own right.

Technical notes:
– Grape Variety: Syrah
– Select Syrah fruit was de-stemmed and crushed into refrigerated tanks for a 24-hour cold soak to extract the desired color.
– The wine then underwent a long, cool fermentation.
– To enhance the fresh fruit aromatics, a small amount of stainless steel fermented Viognier was incorporated into the final blend.
– Total acidity: 0.74 g/100ml
– pH: 3.33
– Alcohol: 12.5%

Nose: Strawberries in dirt with a touch of cherry liquor and sweaty gym shirt. Star-burst candy.

Taste: Fresh strawberries with faint touch of lemondrop with obvious cherry components on the back end with hints of white-pepper. The finish seems to give up just before reaching the back of the palate – a bummer because the fruit-forwardness on this wine is pretty good.

2006 Mouton Cadet Rose’- Price: $10 W.E.P. Scale Rating: 90%

This wine comes from a huge, french wine producer and is made by the infamous Baron Philippe De Rothschild. It has extremely wide availability here in the USA and is priced in such a way that it sells very well.

Technical Notes:
– Grape Varieties:Merlot (65%), Cabernet Franc (20%) and Cab Sauv (15%)
– Vinification: The grapes are vatted and macerated on the skins for 12-24 hours. Alcohol fermentation at controlled temperatures is followed by partial malolactic fermentation.
– Appelation: Bordeaux, Bordeaux Superieur and premieres of Cotes De Bordeaux.

Nose: Some cherry kool-aid action on the nose – raspberries as well as hints of orange peel. A slight hint of medicine cabinet on the very back-end. A slight hint of medicine cabinet on the very back-end.

Taste: Nice, dry wine with floods of strawberries – some hints of cherry and grass-hay coming thru as well. Good, off-dry finish clealnly, however, not quite as long as i’d like for.

2007 Ventana Rosado: Price: $15 W.E.P. Scale Rating: 120%

Ventana Vineyards is located in the Monterey California area, has its own estate fruit and if this Rosado is any indication of its overall quality, then I’m very excited to keep a solid eye on these guys.

Technical Data:
– Appellation Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey, California USA
– Grape Variety: 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah
– Vineyard: 100% Estate Ventana Vineyard
– Barrel Selection: Neutral French Oak
– Total Acidity .65 g/ 100ml
– pH 3.32
– Alcohol 13.6%

Nose: Dried cherries, plums and apricot. Some nice granny footlocker action as well on the nose. Hints of raw venison as well. Some gravel dust.

Taste: Explosive cherries on the pallet, hints of caramel, watermelon and peach skin. A huge finish that lingers cherries for days. This wine absolutely rips and – to me – defines what a good Rose should taste like. I’d hit this up faster than Mike Tyson would host an ear-biting contest.

Los Rocas 2006 Rosado – Price: $9 W.E.P. Scale Rating: 20%

Straight out of Spain comes this affordable Rosado wine which has a trendy-label and has great color to it.

Technical Notes:
– Varietal: 100% Garnacha (Grenache)
– Vinification: Fermented in tank, bleed.
– Elevage: Aged in stainless steel for 5 months before bottling.
– Price: $9-$13

Strawberries and watermelon with white pepper – cantelope rine.

Taste: White pepper-laced watermelon with a hint of salt… Add in a floral strawberry component on the end and you have this wine – a very bone-dry finish; however, its extremely disjointed and a bit too “hot”.

Overall Summary and my picks:

My picks – in order would be the Ventana, the Mouton Cadet and Columbia Crest would tie – at this time, I’m going to pass on the Los Rocas. It was amazing to me how vastly superior Ventana’s 2007 Dry Rosado was to the competition. It was the only wine in the round-up which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up to attention just from its aroma – it’s too bad they don’t make a woman’s perfume from it.

As with any review on wine, you still owe it to yourself to try all of these wines as your palate is sure to differ from what I may like or dislike – always embrace your own palate.

Foods to go with these wines:
Cold Fried Chicken
Potato Salad
Any picnic foods