Dinner with a couple of good friends at Il Forno Caldo in Beverly Hills brought that ugly bias against rosé into the light of the waning day. She said we could get a bottle and share and he agreed, quickly passing the wine book to me in honor of my interest in wine. When I mentioned that I was interested in the Malbec rosé, he didn't quite let go of the menu, pulling it back while explaining that they were red wine people. Oh well, drink what you like and like what you drink, I say. They ordered red by the glass while I sampled the pink one from Argentina.
A Mendoza rosé of Malbec, the Bodega Melipal is nine dollars. It shows a deep, rich red color - but not deep enough to pass for a red wine. The restaurant serves it at cellar temperature, not completely refrigerated, so the fruity aromas of cherry and raspberry are easily accessible. The taste is very fresh with a bright acidity and a nice, dry finish.
It has a medium-full mouthfeel and is silky on the palate, with flavors of cherry and a hint of lemon zest I found pleasing and rather unusual. The freshness of both the nose and palate is delightful, even somewhat surprising. I didn't feel it was a terribly good match with my chopped salad, but it fit well with the tomato sauce on the eggplant appetizer.