Real Men Drink Rose
At a party the other night, while we were sharing some different wines with friends, Jeff went to pour some rose into the glass of one of the more manly men at the party. The guy physically recoiled, as if to say “what the heck do you think you’re doing putting that pink stuff in my glass?”
It’s not an uncommon story, and it’s not just men. Rose’s bad reputation – which is based mostly on sweet, sticky White Zinfandel – means that many people are missing out on the glory of dry Roses, epecially during the summer months. Sure, light, refreshing whites are nice too, but will they stand up to grilled meats? Probably not. Rose, on the other hand, is refreshing, zesty AND has the stuffing to work well with everything from a soft evening breeze to burgers and sausages hot off the grill.
In that spirit, we at PAVC have been tasting through quite a few Roses of late – for your benefit, of course – and thought we’d share our notes here. If you haven’t delved into the world of dry Rose yet, let this be your wake up call.
Remember the recoiling guy from above? He came back for seconds.
Bodega Matarromera Valdelosfrailes Rose 2011, $5.99
It’s fruity and relatively smooth, on the dry side with just a touch of sweetness, and it’s freaking $5.99. Will this wine knock your socks off? Of course not. But it’s $5.99. Great for parties, or just to have around for impromptu patio sessions. Probably best for lighter foods and as an aperitif. (Notes by Mike) 85-87pts
Espirito Lagoalva Rose 2011, $8.99
If I hadn’t already tried the previous wine, I might have said similar things about this one. But it’s barely as good as the Valdelosfrailes, so why pay the extra $3? Still, it’ll do in an al fresco pinch. (Mike) 84-86
Joseph Mellot Sincerite Pinot Noir Rose 2012, $9.99
Strong palate of cherry with notes of strawberry. Soapy on the finish. Enjoyable but somewhat disjointed. (Mike) 84-86
Charles & Charles Rosé 2012, $9.99
Features a bright nose evocative of strawberry and citrus. Predominately Syrah, there’s an upfront kiss of semi-sweet, followed by crackling acidity and a tart turn. The mouth-filling flavor, tannic notion and drying yet fruit-flush finish contribute to the complexity. This could stand up to heartier fare like grilled burgers and sausages. (Jeff A.) 88-90
Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese Columbia Valley 2012, $10.99
Lots of cherry, herbs, touch of leather on nose. Kind of like a cherry SweeTart on the palate, with a touch of upfront sugar that’s tempered by firm tartness. Long, dry finish. Try with tomato-based pastas. (Mike) 86-88
Les Vignerons de Tavel Chant du Soleil 2011, $11.99
An intriguing, complex wine that features notes of herbs, cherries, strawberries and roses. There’s mouthwatering acidity, along with a surprising amount of tannin. This is a downright delicious wine that is versatile and friendly with a wide variety of foods, and very nice QPR at $12. (Mike) 89-91
Domaine des Carteresses Tavel 2011, $11.99
Aromatically muted on the nose, this wine’s palate features strawberries and some red cherries, plus a touch of garrigue (Provencal herbs). A little sweeter, but minerality and crisp acid on the finish provides balance. Nicely done. BTW, the 2010 is on sale for $6.99 if you can find it! (Mike) 86-88
Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rose Cote du Rhone 2012, $13.99
A perennial performer from prime Rhone player Paul Jaboulet, the Parallele is dosed with strawberry and enlivening acidity, as well as a pretty pink presentation in the glass. Be sure to savor its juicy bouquet as you draw in its semi-sweet, seductive blend of Grenache and Cinsault with a touch of Syrah. Approachable, food-friendly acid, tempting but tempered fruit. (Jeff A.) 87-89
Château d’Esclans Côtes de Provence Rosé Whispering Angel 2012, $19.99
Though visually one of the lightest rosés on the market, this wine is anything but bashful — notes of strawberry, peach, and wildflowers are present on the nose and dominate the palate. The clean, sharp, lingering finish, however, is perhaps most worthy of note. This is not your run-of-the-mill rosé! Sure, it would be great on the patio on a hot summer weekend, but it will also pair nicely with a wide variety of summertime fare, including barbecued shrimp, salmon and even burgers. (Jeff K.) 89-91