Basic info: Panther Rock Wine Cellars “Six Degrees” Rose of Pinot Noir, California – 2016
Price estimate: $13 (local wine store)
Look: Orange/pink. Darker than expected for a rose.
Smell: iced tea, raspberry syrup
Taste: Powdered ice tea mix, artificial lemon flavor, raspberry. Not as sweet as it sounds and it has a tart finish.
Conclusions: Very weird, but not un-enjoyable. Easy enough to drink, but it didn’t really remind me of wine.
Other notes: When we were kids my parents use to buy these very large containers of powdered iced tea mix. I think dad liked the lemon flavored tea, but we made a gallon at a time with the powdered mix. This tasted exactly as I remembered that powdered iced tea tasting. Seriously, I looked at the bottle twice to make sure it was actually wine and not tea. It has that slightly artificial taste, but it isn’t unpleasant, maybe because it reminds me of childhood, but there it is. It could also be the 11 hour day at work that preceded this glass of wine.
From the bottle: “Raspberry with notes of peach and melon; a crisp finish. Gently pressed and cold fermented to attain peak flavor and balance.” 12% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Vintjs Rose, Monterey, CA Rose wine – 2017
Type: Rose (no varietal noted)
Price estimate: $7 (Trader Joe’s)
Look: Bright pink
Smell: Strawberry and a hint of peach
Taste: Strawberry and watermelon are the major flavors. The wine is slightly sweet with a little bramble notes at the middle. Ripe summer raspberry on the finish.
Conclusions: I thought this wine was okay. It didn’t wow me and it isn’t something I am going to remember, but for a summer wine to just enjoy, it works. I didn’t get a lot of the acid and brightness that makes rose so great, but it was fine.
Other notes: I made a concerted effort to pick up some sub $10 wines recently for a few reasons, only one of which was budget. Part of my experiment, if you want to call it that, was to see how different types of wine were at that price given what I (little) I know about how expensive it really is to make wine. I started with rose and white wines because they do tend to be a little less expensive than reds since you don’t need to age them and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. So far there haven’t been any wines that wowed me, but for an everyday drinking wine, these have been pretty good. We did have one bottle that was just not drinkable to us and we tossed it. The others made the trip to Trader Joe’s well worth it.
From the bottle: No bottle notes. 12.5% alcohol by volume.
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.