Basic info: J. Bucher “Rose of Pinot Noir” Russian River Valley, CA – 2016
Price estimate: $25
Look: Electric dark pink, almost a light red in color. Vibrant.
Smell: This was weird, but I swear it smelled like herbed butter.
Taste: Pine, strawberry, sour apple and watermelon. Finish was fine, but not anything memorable.
Conclusions: Bob liked this a lot more than I did. I thought it was okay – pretty good, but not great. The first few sips were odd, and I think some of that had to do with the smell of the wine, but it was okay. It isn’t one I’m going to seek out again, but it was nice.
Other notes: This was one of the six wines we got from Underground Wine Events, which focuses on small producers. The Longboard was so good, I had really high hopes for this one, but it just wasn’t fantastic for me.
From the bottle: “World-class wines start in the vineyard. For over 50 years, our family has farmed in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley. Our passion and dedication for producing the finest agricultural products ensures exceptional fruit from out vineyard. We look forward to sharing our wines and our Journey with you.” 13.1% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Limerick Lane, Rose of Syrah, Sonoma, CA – 2016
Price estimate: $17 (local wine store)
Look: Transluscent pale salmon in color
Smell: Strawberry and peach. Very light aromas
Taste: White cherry, strawberry, peach, with a tiny citrus. Long finish, especially for a rose with mineral and peach notes.
Conclusions: Beautiful wine. Clean, fresh and and totally enjoyable.
Other notes: When we saw the rose from Limerick Lane at our local wine store, I have to admit, I got really excited. We are still saving a bottle of the zinfandel from them for a semi-special occasion but this is within the everyday drinking range, so we popped it open and it was as good as I hoped. I’m hoping the wine store has more the next time we are there.
From the bottle: No bottle notes. 12.6% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Bedrock Wine Company, “Ode to Lulu” Rose blend (Mourvedre, Carignan & Grenache), California – 2017.
Price estimate: $19 (from winery)
Look: Light salmon in color; translucent
Smell: peach, strawberry, honey, raspberry. Not to wax poetic, but it smelled light a summer morning in the peach orchards.
Taste: Peach, strawberry, apricot, melon with a little herbal and “cut grass” note on the finish. Finish is long and complex, especially for a rose. Little under-ripe strawberry and a touch of sweet summer berry.
Conclusions: Fantastic, amazing pure joy to drink wine. I like rose wine so it’s not surprising that I liked this wine, but it is a very different rose than I normally have – fruitier and more pronounced melon and berry flavors. It isn’t a sweet pink wine by any stretch, but it is pretty amazing. Bob and I both loved this wine and thought it was simply stunning.
Other notes: This is the fourth or fifth wine we’ve had from Bedrock and not a single one has even remotely disappointed. The flavors in the wine are clean and clear, but the wine itself is complex and interesting. This is a great sip and enjoy wine and I’m very, very glad we have a second bottle tucked away. I should also note that these are all old vine grapes in this wine, something the historian in me greatly appreciates.
From the bottle: “This shimmering and limpid rose comes from old vines planed between 1888 and 1922. Picked at low sugars and vilified with native yeasts, the ope is to make a unique nada graceful wine. As always, we hope the great Lulu would be proud.” 12.3% alcohol by volume.
Taste: Interesting taste – not much there. No real discernible flavors. Slightly woody on the back end, but not tree-bark like.
Conclusions: Eh. I thought it was fine.
Other notes: We had this wine on vacation with friends because we were really curious about it and it ended up with two very different opinions. Bob, John, and Erin hated it on the first sip – so much so that they would not go back for a second sip. Ed and I both thought it was fine. It wasn’t offensive and it didn’t have anything distinctive in the taste. I can’t say it was enjoyable, but I didn’t find it bad at all. I’m glad we tried it, especially after hearing about it on a podcast and on an Anthony Bourdain show. It was interesting but not something I need to try again.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Chamber Street, “the wine shows an electric raspberry robe in the glass. Aromas of dried apricot angle with walnuts and wildflower honey. A crunchy acidity gives lip-smacking texture to flavors of red cherries, almond skin and ripe strawberries. Fine, grippy tannins make this rose perfect for a cool summer evening.” 11.5% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Chateau Saint Martin de la Garrigue, Bronzinelle Languedoc Rose, Provence, France, 2016
Price estimate: $18 (? – from Weekly Tasting pack, so I’m not certain)
Look: Salmon pink in color with descent legs
Smell: strawberry, cherry and some mineral
Taste: light berry, hint of mineral and salt, very light. Weird taste in the middle and back of this wine and very alcoholic tasting.
Conclusions: I love rose so I wanted to love this wine. It started out really great, but that weird taste kept intruding on my enjoyment of the wine. I ended up not finishing my glass and am not sure we will have any more from the bottle. I don’t think it was a bad bottle, just not one that we liked.
Other notes: The smell and first sip of this wine was really lovely, but I just could not drink it. There is an odd taste in the wine, and I think it may be gooseberry (based on the descriptor of the wine) that I just didn’t like. The grapes in this wine are Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah.
From the bottle: From the Weekly Tasting notes, “Strawberry, red cherries, red currants and orange zest with a marked flintiness on the nose. The wine is rich in body for a rose and has an incredible silky texture. ” 14% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Winzer Krems Rose Zweigelt, Austria, 2016
Price estimate: $12 (Total Wine)
Look: Pink with a tinge of orange at the edges. Minimal legs.
Smell: Apricot and peach
Taste: very light, tangy, crisp. Peach and cranberry notes on the palate. The second day this was open there was a slightly weird aftertaste that I didn’t get the first day. Not bad, just not there the first day.
Conclusions: This is a perfectly acceptable rose for summer. It has a touch of sweetness to it, but that cuts the tart cranberry taste nicely. It is by no means the best rose I’ve ever had, but it will definitely so for a glass of something with dinner.
Other notes: I love the red version of this grade and try to find zweigelt whenever I can. It is a great dry, drinkable red wine. Will it win awards for depth and character? Not the ones I’ve tasted, but sometimes you just want to enjoy a glass of wine and not think about it too much. This rose, or the red cousin, is perfect for that.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Total wine, “A touch of cranberry plays on the nose of this wine. The palate shows that same tart freshness, assisted by lemony notes and a slight spritz. An easy, uncomplicated and refreshing summer wine.” 11.5% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Varvaglione 12 e mezzo Rosato del Salento – Puglia, Italy, no vintage
Price estimate:$13 (local wine store)
Look: Pale orange, almost apricot in color. very few legs.
Smell: Peach, apricot and white grape.
Taste: There is a bit of effervesce on the first taste, very light and clean. White peach and apricot flavors. Bob got a definite strawberry and some light minerality.
Conclusions: This is a great back porch wine. It is light, refreshing and a little different than some pink wines. It has just a little bit of bubbles, but it isn’t a sparkling wine. Perfect for summer.
Other notes: We tried this one at one of our local wine store’s Friday night wine tastings and both Bob and I thought it was great. It has a unique color and it drinks like a very light alcohol wine. We had glass with dinner, then another glass on the back patio a few hours later. It was the perfect wine for sipping.
From the bottle: “Elegant, pleasant and slightly sparkling. On the nose fresh fruit meets harmoniously white flower scents while on the palate it shows up with liveliness. ” 12.5% alcohol by volume.