Friday, November 26, 2010

Bodega de Sarria Senorio de Sarria Vinedo no. 5...A Rosé By Any Other Name.

I'll give you a moment to try to pronounce the long yet somehow romantic sounding name of this Rosé.

Good attempt, I fared much worse. Navarra, in Spain, has been growing grapes for over two thousand years by some estimates. The Romans started many bodegas in the region, tucked up against the Pyrenees mountain range. Research has determined that Navarra was one of the first areas to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Often overshadowed by the likes of Rioja, Priorat and even Jumilla, of late there has been a concerted push to get wines from Navarra into this country and onto the tables of wine lovers.

Up until the early 1980's, Navarra produced a lot of Rosé, and to this day it still accounts for a good percentage of the wine exported. However, over the past 30 years, the region has seen an evolution away from bulk wines, towards higher quality reds and whites. That isn't to say that rosé wines are disappearing, which is a good thing!

I love rosé, a lot. Especially during the summer, when you don't want a white wine for whatever reason, a glass of rosé can hit the spot like no other wine can. The acidity combined with the depth of flavor that red grapes have wins me over time and time again. Some of my favorite Rosé wines are from Bandol and lately California has gotten into the act, making some dry yet textured  and complex examples.

Therefore, with a certain element of excitement, I opened up the 2009 Bodega de Sarria to taste. Granted, an ambient temperature of 63 degrees usually calls for something more stout, I was happy to taste this rosé and see how it compared to my favorites.

Darker than I'm used to, inching close to a pale Pinot Noir. That is explained by the fact that this it's 100% old vine Grenache. Still, the color isn't a turn-off, just an interesting element to consider. Ripe berries on the nose, evocative of summer strawberries freshly picked. Less of that delicate, haunting perfume note that always draws me into a good rosé.

On the palate, the summer strawberries came out, bringing ripe fruit and acidity. Hints of raspberry, bits and pieces of something vaguely metallic and that's it. Bodega de Sarria's wine finished quickly, almost vanishing entirely after a few seconds. There wasn't much in the way of other flavors for me, none of that classic Provençal elegance or the lively, carefree attitude of a California Rosé.

Then again there was nothing wrong with the wine at all, it just didn't grab me and beg to be sipped again and again. I felt no gentle kiss upon my soul, a sensation experienced when you drink a great wine you love, one that perhaps even seduces you. Was I expecting too much? Perhaps it's unwise to romanticize a $15 rosé, I accept that. What then, was this wine missing? In a word, personality.Technically correct, well packaged rosé that lacks personality. C+ from me, I wish the price point were closer to $9. For more information on the wines of Navarra, Spain, please visit

This wine was received as a sample for review purposes.

Beau Carufel

1 comment:

  1. Nice review on a good day to stay in and sip some wine. I'll be getting into a Pinot Noir soon myself. I like this write up because I think expectations are frequently lowered when diving into a bottle of rosé, when they really can be fantastic. You give a good review with regard to the experience, and the potential.