Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pink wines in brown bags.

I arrived late and decided to roll note-free for this tasting with my fellow PMW tasting group members, so I'm not going to run through the wines and provide notes on each. Rather, here is a list of the hits and misses of the evening.


2007 Hijos de Crescencia Merino Viña Catajarros Rosado 'Elite' Cigales

Fresh, vibrant, sun soaked red fruits, with good intensity and a strong backbone of acidity lending a fresh finish to the wine. 80% tempranillo, 10% verdejo and 10% assorted others including garnacha and the rare white albillo (see Valduero post below).

2007 Unti Rose Dry Creek Valley

This was part of a four wine all domestic flight which many thought was all French. 60% grenache, 40% mourvedre. Given the light onion skin color and peculiar chewy savor of the wine, I thought Bandol all the way. Gary, who imports predominately French wines, said that there was no way this could be Bandol, and if it were in fact a famous Bandol rose, then he would give serious pause to his choice of profession. Thankfully, Gary was right, so keep on importing, Gary. Apparently I am familiar enough with Bandol rose to spot something similar, but not enough so to catch a look-alike from Dry Creek Valley (albeit a good one, from a producer who overall makes some pretty spot on wines, with natural yeasts, from grapes that are not overly ripe).

2007 Uvaggio Barbera Rose Lodi

Very pretty, with incredibly bright strawberry/raspberry flavors and terrific acidity. Tasted blind, this could have been a gamay or pinot noir rose - from France. And where is the wine really from? Lodi! I kid you not, this refreshing, nuanced, lovely little rose was from hot, hot Lodi, California. Now before the haters start to hate I should mention that the wine checked in with a mere 12% alcohol, and that yes, good wines can be made and are made in California, and it is not only made by Steve Edmunds. Wine drinkers, remember that there are always exceptions, and California winemakers, PICK YOUR GRAPES EARLIER!


2006 Fort Ross Vineyard Rose Sonoma Coast

No surprise here, as anything I have had from these folks has been god awful. Truly repulsive. This one-year-old rose had had it. Fading fruit of a rancio quality, with residual sugar, zero acidity, and high alcohol. Vaguely reminiscent of triaminic cough syrup (triaminic, by the way, is way worse than Robitussin). Shall I do a Rovani-esque 'hypothetical blend' for you? Sure, why not. This is a hypothetical blend between a dirty vin doux naturel from the southern Rhone and poorly made new world gewurztraminer, stored on the upper-most location of a Southern Wines & Spirits warehouse - the southern California warehouse.


Brooklynguy said...

How did he know it wasn't Bandol - what was his thinking/tasting/sensing?

Joe M. said...

Good question, BKG. Gary said that the wine lacked a sense of refreshment inherent in Bandol, and by the way I don't find Mourvedre based wines, pink or red, to be at all refreshing, but each person has their own sense of taste, descriptors and memory when trying to store characteristics of particular grapes, regions, vintages, etc. For me, I would say that real deal Mourvedre based rose from Bandol should have more nuance, more Mourvedre-ness - cinnamon, cocoa powder, animal, just presented in a much more delicate way than a young Bandol red.

By the way, one of the most interesting Mourvedre based wines I have had is a Spanish one from Alicante, the 2002 Primitivo Quiles 'Raspay.' Traditional and tasty. Check on winesearcher to see if its in the NY area.

Brooklynguy said...

hmmmm. maybe he meant acidity? but you;re right - he is forced to use a word to describe the thing he senses, and your word for it might be entirely different.