Showing posts with label rosado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rosado. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Rosés For Spring: A Spanish Rosado

Hey, is it rosé season already?  Maybe it creeps up on me because it's always rosé season at my place.  We are taking a couple of weeks to spotlight some worthy pink wines which will help get us in the swing for spring.

Founded in 1970 by Enrique Forner, Marqués de Cáceres is now run by his daughter, Cristina Forner, the fourth generation of the wine family.  The bodega is located in the community of Cenicero in La Rioja Alta region of Spain.

The 2018 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Rosado is made from 96% Tempranillo grapes with a 4% splash of Garnacha Tinta.  Alcohol clocks in at 13.5% abv and it sells for less than ten bucks.  It isn't a terribly complex rosé, but it is quite tasty and ready to be chilled for picnics and barbecues.

This dependable rosé is a rich, pink salmon color, with a mineral-laden nose featuring strawberry and cherry aromas.  The palate is dry, fruity and laced with minerals.  A good acidity provides for excellent food pairing and a refreshing demeanor on its own.  There's a touch of orange peel on the finish.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Everything's Coming Up Rosé - El Terrano

Everything’s coming up Rosé at Whole Foods Markets, and that's good news for people looking for wines to pair with spring and summer get-togethers. They have a slew of pink wines that are easy on the palate and the pocketbook. Their marketing department offered a sample of a half dozen of their favorites, and I took 'em. Whole Foods beverage guy Devon Broglie calls this Spanish pinkie one of the wines from their "rosé garden."

Garnacha, Spanish for Grenache, are the grapes that make the El Terrano Garnacha Rosado 2016. They are grown in Cariñena, in the Aragon region of northeast Spain. Traditionally, the wines were heavy on the alcohol, but winemakers in the area began to go more for balance a couple of decades ago. Winemaker Ana Becoechea definitely leans that way with this entry at 13% abv. It sells at Whole Foods for about ten dollars.

The Spanish wine has a beautiful copper-pink color. The nose is not exactly overpowering, but offers up some pleasant strawberry and cherry aromas. There's a slight herbal tint, too. On the palate, the medium weight is abetted by an easy acidity. Red fruit flavors ride out front, while a barely chalky minerality makes things a little more complex. It's not a wine to write home about, even though I am doing just that, but it serves well as an afternoon sip or a companion to a salad or sandwich. Or tapas.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chilean Wine: The Angels of Montes

Chilean wine is a special thing for me. I love the dark nature the wines often take on, and I love thinking of the beautiful mountain backdrop for the vineyards. The virtual wine tasting session for Montes Wines was in mid-February, and I was lucky enough to be invited to join as tasters tasted and winemaker Aurelio Montes chipped in his observations throughout the event.

Montes offered that "Chile is developing new varieties. In the future, you will see new and exciting varieties and styles. Blends are a new focus." Explaining the unique Colchagua Valley terroir of the vineyards from which his fruit comes, Montes said, "it is the granitic soil with some iron oxide in the middle, and very old clay that allow the vines grow without water." He tweeted about the winery’s ecological concerns, saying, "we not only take care of the environment, we also take care of our team, suppliers, and importers around the world. Our philosophy in winemaking is all about equilibrium and harmony."

He even explained those wonderful illustrations on the labels, done by the iconic artist Ralph Steadman. "Our cofounder Douglas Murray believed angels protected him," he said. "He wanted the same for Montes so he put angel images on every bottle." The cherub depicted is Alfredo, named after a founding partner of the Montes label.


Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah 2015

The grapes for this rosé come from the Archangel Estate in Marchigûe, their estate that is closest to the ocean. Alcohol is 13.5% abv and it’s 100% Syrah with no oak to get in the way of the fruit. It sells for $15.

This pink wine is not shy, it commands attention right out of the bottle. Pouring up a bright cherry red, it looks like a Spanish rosado. A whiff brings into focus some truly earthy strawberry and cherry aromas. There is a great deal of stemmy greenness in that whiff, too. The palate is lush and fruity but there is an awesome acidity that makes it so fresh the day will turn into spring all around you, no matter what season it is. Twitter contributors suggested pairing it with Mexican spiced salmon or a tuna poke. It was great with smoked mahi mahi.


Montes Twins Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

As the name suggests, it’s a 50/50 mix of the labeled grapes.  With this blend you get smooth texture from the Malbec and rich structure from the Cab. It is only 14% abv and nearly half of the wine was aged for ten months in new French oak barrels. The growing season featured a cooler than normal spring with some temperature spikes in the summer. It retails for $15, a great price.

It’s a dark wine, in shading and aromas. The whiff gives off smokey and earthy notes of blackberry and cassis, but the savory stuff is what comes forward the most. On the palate it’s dark as well. Plums, berries, spices - all dark. There are flavors of campfire and anise covering the black fruit like a blanket. Great acidity lasts into the finish.


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Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Wine: Uvaggio Lodi Rosato 2010


This wine was one of those “Oh, look what I forgot I had” moments.  This has been sitting in the rack - er - cellar, for over a year.  It’s about time I break it open before summer slips away.  After all, it’s a rosé.

It’s actually a rosato - Uvaggio calls it that in keeping with the Italian grapes used in it.  It’s a blend of 81% Primitivo, 15% Barbera and 4% Vermentino, which are all grown in Lodi, California.

Uvaggio posts on their website that they make “interesting wines from very interesting Italian grape varieties.”  This pink wine is made in the saignée method, by bleeding juice from red wine production.  This one hits below the dozen marker in alcohol - 11.4% abv. The wine is barrel fermented, but malolactic fermentation is blocked.

Earthiness abounds in this wine.  It’s all over the nose and all over the palate, too.  Sniff past the funk and you are rewarded with a healthy strawberry aroma, with herbal notes.  Flavors almost too rich for rosé come forward as red berries and bright cherries.  The acidity comes sailing in on the finish, and the wine is very pretty - a deep magenta.

Interesting?  It sure is.  Good?  Yep.  Keep this stuff coming and I won’t mind summer hanging around awhile.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ANNIVERSARY CHEESE PLATE WITH PINK WINE


Borsao Rosado

Part of the celebration for our 13th wedding anniversary included a nice lunch break at Morel's Steakhouse at the Los Angeles shopping mecca known as The Grove.  The 13th anniversary is the cheese plate anniversary, right?  Fourteen is the guacamole anniversary, and I'm already looking forward to that!

Morel's is restaurant I have mixed emotions about.  We love their cheese selections, but the wine list often seems like an afterthought.  I liked the look of a rosé from Spain's La Mancha region and I ordered it.  Glancing at Denise's menu, I saw there was a different rosé offering, so I asked the waiter which one I was served.  As it turned out, neither.  I was shown a bottle Borsao rosado.  I have nothing against a cheap wine - in fact, Borsao makes some really good wine that sells for $10 or less.  I would have liked to have known that was what I was ordering, however.  I decided not to send it back.

The Borsao Campo de Borja rosado is made from 100% Garnacha grapes, and it sells at Morel's for $7 by the glass.  It's a pretty pink wine with an earthy strawberry nose showing funky herbal notes.  On the palate, earthy berries and a bit of greenness shows here, too.  The acidity is nice, if not great.  It might be a nice choice on which to stock up for pairing with those post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.


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Saturday, July 10, 2010

CORNARO ROSSO VINO DA TAVOLA


Cornaro Rosso Vino da Tavola

Here's a fantastic summer wine that looks and drinks like a rosado, even though  it's marketed as a red by the folks who make it.
This light red is 11% abv.  It comes from Italy's Veneto region, produced by Cantina Montelliana, a cooperative that's been making wine since the 1950s.  They're in the Treviso province and take grapes from Montello and Colli Asolani.  Exactly what grapes they take is a mystery to me - perhaps someone more knowledgable than I on Italian wine can fill in the blanks.  It reminds me a lot of Refosco, and I would not be surprised to find it is fermented without any wood.  It is a Vino da Tavola - table wine - and as such is unregulated by the Italian wine beaurocracy.
Whatever grapes are in it make the wine as dark as a rosado, a ruby red tint I can see through it easily.  There's a trace of tiny bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.  In fact, the wine shows just a touch of frizzante, especially when not chilled.  The nose is so fresh and perfumed, like a basket of fresh-picked cherries.  The taste is not sweet, but it is rather reminiscent of a cherry soda from a flavor standpoint.  There's a fairly big strawberry profile, too.  Throw in a hint of spiciness and you have a light and delicious red that tastes great slightly chilled for a summer day.
The wine's nice acidity makes it a cinch that it will pair with salads, pasta or even chicken, pork or veal.  When served cold, a really grapey taste comes in.  Reminiscent of, but not exactly like, the taste of Spanada wine from back in the '70s.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES ROSADO 2007


Marqués de Caceres

Lately my old tasting notes have been getting the once over as I rummage through them seeking out nice wines for warmer weather.  One style I've always been fond of in the summer is the Spanish rosado.  Usually rosado is a deeper shade of pink than the average rosé – sometimes almost full-blown red - and full of the great flavors of Tempranillo and Grenache.

This Spanish Rioja rosado is a light strawberry color.  It makes a beautiful statement in the glass.   At 13.5% abv, it's a dry rosé made from 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha.

Aromas of raspberry dominate the bouquet for me, but there's a very nice floral layer underneath it.  I want to say hibiscus, but I don't know how accurate that is.  Whatever the nature of the flora I smell, it's a beautiful fragrance.

Don't worry about this wine being too sweet for you.  It's nice and dry.  The strawberry flavor is matched with raspberry notes and the taste lingers quite nicely afterward.  The label suggests the usual pairings (paella, chicken, seafood) and I would not argue with any of those.  However, let me tell you that it went with a dessert Denise made and the pairing was exquisite.  She created a mascarpone-based whip which we put on a cracked pepper and olive oil Triscuit.  That was delicious enough, but the wine really had a good time pairing with it.  We were duly 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tasting Event: Great Match 2010 Los Angeles


I went expecting nothing more than a smorgasbord of Spanish wines.  I came away with a greater understanding of some grape varieties that had been a mystery to me, and a lesson on terroir, or in this case, terruño that surprised and informed me.

Great Match 2010 - Vivacious Varietals, Tantalizing Tastes - was held on May 12 in Los Angeles at The Bazaar/SLS by José Andrés.  It's a big room for a big event.  Just off to the left after entering the restaurant, the large space is elegant, with huge mirrors on both ends of the room.  Twenty-three tables were arranged throughout to accommodate all the wineries and importers who were pouring.  There were so many wines represented there, I didn't get a chance to sample at every table.  Nevertheless, I stayed busy.

While I am a fan of Spanish wines - it was a Spanish wine tasting that initially piqued my interest in learning more about wine - I do not have an encyclopedic knowledge base on the subject.  I was looking forward to a tasty learning experience, and that's what I got.  I was able to experience wines from the Priorat region, grape varieties like Maturana, Bobal and Monastrell, an unbelievably intense dessert wine along with a Viognier that could have - and did - pass for a Sauvignon Blanc.  It was a great afternoon.

Things I took away from this tasting:
1. The reds have lots of tannins.
2. The whites have a lot of grapefruit.
3. Albariño actually starts to get old after tasting about 20 of them.

Seriously, if you have never delved into the wines of Spain, you owe it to yourself to do so.  The indigenous grapes of Spain are a wonder to taste, and even grapes you thought you knew can deliver a terruño-driven surprise.  

I strolled up to one table where a gentleman was already tasting a white wine.  "Smell this," he said, holding the glass right under my nose.  I did, and unflinchingly said, "Sauvignon Blanc."  I know my face must have registered shock when he replied, "Viognier."  That Vallegarcía Viognier from Castilla was the wine of the day for me.  But picking one for second place would be nearly impossible.

I should point out that the printed program for the event was not laid out well for note-takers.  The font in the four-page foldout was tiny, the lines were single-spaced and there was not enough margin for proper note taking.  I had to cobble together my information as best I could on the program while grabbing a brochure here, a business card there and a shelf talker wherever they were offered so I'd remember details.  Mine was not the only complaint, either.  Other tasters had similar gripes and the wine representatives didn't like it too much because it resulted in tasters scrunching down in their limited table space to scribble tiny little notes in between samples.  I was told the show used to offer a more standard-sized book, and in my opinion they should go back to that format.

The following are my notes from Great Match 2010 Los Angeles.  The wines in bold type were particular favorites of mine.

Bodegas Ramón Bilbao
Volteo Tempranillo 2007, VT de Castilla - luscious berries, very dry $10
Volteo Viura 2009, VT de Castilla - blend of Viura, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc; subdued grapefruit with almond paste $10
Ramón Bilbao Tempranillo Crianza 2005, Rioja - juicy, fruity, young $13
Cruz de Alba Tempranillo 2006, Ribera del Duero - bright yet deep; intriguing minty characteristic $25

Classical Wines
Martinsancho Verdejo 2008, Rueda - huge grapefruit $20
Dehasa La Granja 2003, Castilla y León - cedar notes and an almost citrusy edge
*Casta Diva Cosecha Miel 2008, Alicante - powerful dessert wine; deep, rich, golden color; intense honey and apricots give way to 'flowers meet nuts' finish $19 half bottle

Collección Internacional del Vino
Antaño Tempranillo 2008, Rioja - very tannic $6
*Inspiracion Collección Varietales 2005, Rioja - vanilla on the nose, bright fruit on palate; muscular; 100% Maturana $50 (?)

Cuatro Rayas-El Verdejo de Rueda
Cuatro Rayas Viñedos Centenarios 2009, Rueda - 100+ year-old vines; concentrated grapefruit; very smooth and delicious $20
Cuatro Rayas Verdejo 2009, Rueda - refreshing and not too heavy on the grapefruit $18
Palacio de Vivero 2009, Ruea - Verdejo/Viura blend $12
*Vacceos Tempranillo Roble 2008, Rueda - nose really jumps out; bright and brambly taste with cedar notes $11
Dama del lago 2009, Rueda - deep, rich Tempranillo; brambly $10

Faustino/Campillo/Condesa de Leganza
Faustino V Blanco 2007, Rioja - a Verdejo with a delightfully funky nose and a nutty taste $12
*Campillo Gran Reserva 1994, Rioja - A very elegant Tempranillo; smooth yet forceful $50
Condesa de Leganza Crianza 2005, La Mancha - A rosado with wood spices $10
Condesa de Leganza Rosado 2008, La Mancha - a funky, dry Tempranillo rosado $9

Fine Estates From Spain
Botani 2009, Sierras de Málaga - a dry Muscatel with a very floral nose $19
Shaya 2009 Rueda - Verdejo with very slight grapefruit and other cutrus notes $15
La Cana 2009, Rias Baixas - floral/tropical Albariño $16
Volver 2008, La Mancha - Tempranillo with big blackberry flavor with a wonderfully smokey nose $16
*Tritón 2008, Castilla y León - a dark, powerful, brambly Tempranillo $20
Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2006, Rioja - Tempranillo with a slight nose and lush berries $19
Emilio Moro 2006, Ribera del Duero - amazing Tempranillo; loaded with spice notes; great grip $25

Folio Fine Wine Partners
Embruix 2006, Priorat - Garnacha/Cariñena with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; full-bodied, dark berries, coffee $25
Más de Leda 2007, Castilla y León - nice Tempranillo with a slightly minty aspect $20
*Sirsell 2006,  Priorat - Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mazuelo and Syrah; very robust, earthy $30

Freixenet USA
Freixenet Cordón Negro Brut, Cava - toasty, yeasty, nutty $12

Marqués de Riscal/Vallegarcía
Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva 2001, Rioja - Tempranillo with a spicy, sherry-like flavor $35
*Vallegarcía Viognier 2006, Castilla - quite a tangy nose, like Sauvignon Blanc, very nutty taste $40
Vallegarcía Syrah 2005,  Castilla - very unusual spiciness $40

Martin Códax
Martin Códax Albariño 2008, Rias Baixas - beautiful, tropical nose with a soft, nutty taste $17
Martin Códax Tempranillo 2008, Rioja - some Garnacha; cedar notes on the nose; medium-full mouthfeel with lush berries $12

Pacific Estates
Mont Ferrant Gran Cuvée 2005 Brut, Cava - refreshing with yeasty, nutty flavors  $16
Mont Ferrant Rosé Brut , Cava - 60/40 blend of Monastrell and Garnacha; nice strawberry flavors - $17
*Mont Ferrant Blanes Nature 2004 Brut Extra, Cava - huge nose; very yeasty and rich  $19
Montal Collection Red Garnacha 2007, Castilla - very soft and delicious $13
*Montal Collection Red Monastrell 2008, Castilla - funky nose; dark and husky on the palate $13 
Abadía de Acón Red Tempranillo Joven 2008, Ribera del Duero - stainless steel; bright nose, lean mouthfeel and taste $17

Pernod Ricard USA
Campo Viejo Crianza 2005, Rioja - very lovely nose; slight mintiness on the palate $10
Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2005, Rioja - beautiful nose and a mouthful of rich, dark berries $20

Rias Baixas Albariño
Mar de Frades Albariño 2009, Rias Baixas - extremely aromatic; huge floral nose, pears on palate $25
Laxas Albariño 2009, Rias Baixas - floral notes with a nutty finish $18
*Brandal Barrica Albariño 2006, Rias Braixas - 6 months in oak really makes a huge difference; very nutty; a substantial wine $17

Secret Sherry Society
Barbadillo Solear Manzanilla, Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda - very dry; salty flavor; I can taste the ocean $10
González Byass Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, DO Jerez-Xéres-Sherry - slightly less dry; yeastier $17

UCI/Castelnoble
Castelnoble Shiraz 2009, Castilla - 100% steel; very bright and full of berries $8
Castelnoble Bobal Rosado 2009, Castilla - 100% Bobal; all steel 18 months; an offbeat strawberry taste $8
Castelnoble Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Castilla - all steel, tropical notes $8
Castelnoble Tinto Roble 2009, Castilla - fermented in steel, then 6 months French and America oak; tangy edge to a palate of currants and blackberries $10
Castelnoble Realce Crianza 2005, Manchuela - Tempranillo with spicy licorice tones $13
*Castelnoble Reserva 2003, Manchuela - 100% Bobal; bone dry and muscular; a fave; $15