Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tournament of Roses - Drinking Pink!

Gosh, the Goddess of Wine just loves Rosé. Every year I anticipate the new releases from all over the world. I just can't wait to taste 'em! And last night, I got to share some of the tastiest with my intrepid group of wine lovers at the Morro Bay Wine Seller.

Rosé is a lot different from the sweet and insipid pink wines that were available when I first started drinking wine. Today's Rosé is crisp, dry, fruity, and delicious. Our selections were accompanied by fresh-baked goods from #JDBakes, who presented an Austrian-style "milk bread" and a French-style "biscuit rose de Reims" designed to be dipped in the wine. A #tasty evening, indeed!

Wine #1 – 2018 Mont Gravet, Cotes de Gascogne, Pays d'Oc, IGP Pays d'Herault, France. 100% Cinsault. Mont Gravet comes from vineyards located in the Gascony region, near the city of Toulouse in the Southwest of France. The climate combines the Oceanic and Mediterranean influences, which brings enough sun and humidity to grow rich, concentrated and ripe grapes. Mont Gravet Rosé comes from specially selected Cinsault vineyards in the Languedoc region, located near the warm Mediterranean shoreline in Southern France. This wine is pale pink color with ripe aromas of strawberries and sweet raspberries. Fresh and juicy on the palate, pair with salads, tapas, or grilled meats. This was the most popular of the wines last night, and several folks purchased bottles to take home.

Wine #2 – Château des Bertrands, Reserve des Bertrands ‘Elegance’, AOC C ôtes de Provence, France – A blend of Cinsault and Grenache. Very pale peach color. Intense with ripe fruits, apricot, peach, and mango. Hint of white pepper on the finish. And some banana. Château des Bertrands benefits from a continental climate with hot summers, intense sunshine, and a prevailing easterly wind. This wine is beautifully packaged and lovely to taste.

Wine #3 – 2018 Zenato Rosato of Bardolino DOC Chiaretto, Veneto, Italy – Bardolino is a municipality in the Province of Verona in the Italian region Veneto, located about 81 miles west of Venice. Chiaretto is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. During vinification, the juice is allowed to macerate briefly on the skins which releases a small amount of pigment and aromatic compounds. This crucial step gives the Zenato rosato its characteristic fresh red fruit aromas. Notes of raspberries and blackcurrants with grassy undertones in the mouth. On the palate, it is delicate and balanced with good acidity and a lingering sweet almond finish. 

Wine #4 – 2018 Pico Maccario Lavignone Rosato, Piemonte DOC, Italy – 100% Barbera d’Asti. Pale salmon in appearance, Lavignone Rosato is beautiful to look at. It is even better to drink, however, as the nose and palate are met by playful aromas of wild strawberry, watermelon, cranberry, fresh-cut grass, and river stone. A refreshing backbone of acidity supports a round mouth-feel and velvety texture. The dry and balanced finish leaves the palate feeling clean and refreshed.

Wine #5 – 2018 Leyda Rosé of Pinot Noir, DO Valle de Leyda, Chile – Roughly 60 miles in length, the Leyda Valley is bordered by the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Altitude in the region ranges from 3300 feet in the foothills to 160 feet near the sea. This landscape helps regulate the normally high daytime temperatures during the growing season by drawing cool air from the coast. Each evening, cold air descends from the snow-covered peaks of the Andes, cooling the grapes after a day of hot sun. These dramatic daytime to nighttime temperature changes allow for wines with fresh fruit flavors, ripe tannins and deep color. This Rosé demonstrates the tipicity of cold-climate Pinot Noir, with acidic red fruit aromas such as raspberry, cherry and strawberry, along with citric and soft herbal notes. The palate shows fresh red fruit, with fresh, crisp acidity that lengthens the finish.

Wine #6 – 2018 Loimer Zweigelt Rosé, Niederösterreich, Kremstal/Kamptal, Austria – Loimer Rosé comes from biodynamically-farmed vineyards near the village of Langenlois in the Kamptal region. Whole clusters of Zweigelt and Pinot Noir are macerated on their skins for up to 48 hours, then fermented dry with indigenous yeasts and aged in stainless-steel tanks for four months before bottling. Zweigelt gives this rosé a soft and fruity character with aromas and flavors of red cherries, plums, and Red Delicious apples. Pinot Noir contributes to the wine’s aromatics, lending floral and herbal aromas in addition to refreshing acidity. This wine opened slowly, but there was a big payoff at the end. A lovely, nuanced, surprisingly complex wine.

Wine #7 – 2017 Riverbench Brut Rosé, Santa Maria Valley, California – 100% Pinot Noir. Yeasty nose. Dry as a bone. Riverbench Vineyard was established in 1973, when the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were planted on the bank of the Sisquoc River, known as the Santa Maria Bench. In 2006, they began producing their own wines in limited quantities. 

All in all, another engaging evening, with lots of differing opinions and conclusions. Next month, Summer Wines on June 12th. Save the date!


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