Friday, April 1, 2011

The Long Awaited San Diego Wine Mafia Rosé Rumble Recap!

It's been a while since we, the SDWM (San Diego Wine Mafia), tasted through a fun lineup of rosé's. Unfortunately I got a bit sidetracked with other projects and this recap-post was put off for too long. I'll be highlighting some delicious rosé's that we tasted, and since spring is approaching quickly, that means the weather is becoming far more conducive to drinking this type of wine. For us rosé lovers though, any time is a good time to drink it.

The 12 bottles were put into brown paper bags and numbered before most of the San Diego Wine Mafia arrived at the Secret Lair. Obviously, we wanted to keep the tasting "blind". I knew only that we were tasting some rosé's and that some were going to have bubbles. Data pertaining to location, varietal composition, pricing and other factors weren't made known until the bottles were unveiled. My tasting notes are below and I noted the name of each only after the came out of the bag. Looking back I think a better idea would have been to avoid the sparkling rosé's entirely this time around. Perhaps next time we'll do only still wines or only sparkling wines. I'd like to taste more examples as the seasons continue to change, so stay tuned for the next rosé installment, hopefully this June.

*Note* This is the order randomly put together at the tasting, of which I had no say in the matter...

#1. Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava - Ripe strawberries, nice bubbly texture, some kind of ashy note though? Maybe it's just me but I cant get into it too much. C+. $7 SRP.

#2. Valdo Nerello Mascalese Brut Rosé - Sweet, almost Brachetto-like? Some acidity comes through, and I like how my palate is cleansed on the finish. Not too bad at all, after that first hit of sweetness. C+ $13 SRP. 12% abv.

#3. Stepping Stone Corallina Rosé by Cornerstone Cellars - Good color, nice balance of sweet and tart on the nose..hints of residual sugar on the finish but also a nice balance with acidity creating a refreshing sensation. Everyone kept saying they could detect melon, for me this wine was all sliced sour cherries and strawberries. B- $16. 13.1% abv.

#4. Pink Girl Rose - Dry cheese, like a sour or bitter Swiss or something? Weird and unexpected nose. Doesn't grab me and I question whether or not it's actually got some bottle shock going on or some bottle instability? **Upon reviewing the notes, I think there might have been acetic acid present, hence the bitter cheese smell**  Not rated. $18 SRP, 14.1% ABV

#5. Garrineau Rosé Bordeaux - Raspberry sorbet on the nose, beautiful. I love the acidity that washes across my palate, cleansing it off and getting me ready for that next bite of food. If I had to guess, this would be from France, Provence even. (Note that I was pleased to find out it was from Bordeaux) Maybe northern California but someplace cooler up in that area? B $10 SRP

#6. Charity Case Rosé - Higher residual sugar than any of the previous rosé's? Tastes like a rosé of a noble varietal, like merlot or syrah. Fairly beefy/meaty, sweet cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Tasting and smelling very light, this might be better if it was colder. B-. $12 SRP. 13.5% ABV

#7. Banfi Brachetto Rosa Regale - Or any Brachetto? Not for me. But if you like Brachetto you will love this. Too sweet, desperately needs to be paired with a dessert, hard to sip on it's own. I guess I just prefer my wines drier. Loaded with raspberry and sweet strawberry. Soft, round bubbles and some delicate acidity. B- $25 SRP. 7% abv.

#8. Penman Springs Paso Robles - So far I really like this, nicely acidic, what I want from a rosé. Balanced lightness with fruit flavors and flower petals. Very crisp and clean. Up to this point, the best of the bunch for my palate. I hope it's from France. B+ $15 SRP.

#9. Mushal Rose of Merlot - Sweet but tart, good contrasts! Dried flower petals, hints of fresh sliced fruit (melons). I want to say domestic OR Spanish. A bit heavy on the residual sugar but still, if it's cheap enough, good juice and a lot of fun to drink. B. $20. 14.1% abv.

#10. Not rated, horrible stuff. I suspect volatile acidity caused the wine to go bad.

#11. Blenheim Vineyards Rose Virginia - Good, bracing acidity. Dried flower petals, smells like France. Romantic, classy juice. Beautiful tart berry makes your lips pucker with pleasure. B+ $19.

My notes are rough and mostly unedited because I tend to type very quickly as I taste wines in order to capture as accurately as possible what my brain is telling me right that instant. Later, I go back and fill in the blanks, so to speak. Out of all the rosé examples, only two thoroughly impressed me and both were domestic. Even more surprising was the Blenheim Vineyards rosé because it's from a state not yet very well known for wine. While Virginia has a small, passionate group of people making and promoting their wines, the West Coast doesn't see much exposure. Hopefully this will change over the next few years though, I know that as a blogger I would love to taste through some more Virginia wine.

In the near future for me, a book review, a wine-preserver review and we explore Soave! Also some delicious wines from Ceja Vineyards will be gracing my palate. Further along, a wonderful dessert wine tasting is coming up on the 23rd of this month.

My contribution, the Mushal rosé was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

Beau Carufel


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