The Onset of Rose Season; A Global Wine Tour

I have to admit, until I volunteered at Chrysalis Vineyards, I don’t think I had ever tasted a dry Rose, nor did I think Roses were anything worth drinking. This didn’t necessarily come from direct experience, but rather from a negative association with White Zin and the flawed idea that a pink wine must be crap. Chrysalis helped bring me around, and now that I’ve tried several more Roses – from Provence to Washington State – I am a true convert. That being said, as I bathed in the heat of a sweltering May day at 750ml yesterday – between work training and wine class – I could think of nothing better than enjoying a Rose, this one being an I’M Rose from Napa. The “I” and “M” stand for Isabel Mondavi, the mother of fourth-generation winemaker Rob. The Rose was very pleasant with almost a sangria-like taste, although it was fruity rather than sweet. I also recently opened a 2008 Mas de la Dame Rose from Provence, which was quite different. It had more of an orange-red hue, and the fruit flavors were much more subtle. Both were equally refreshing – just depends on your mood!
I then headed up to wine class, where we stormed our way through the wines of Germany, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, and the US. I was excited to try a New Zealand Pinot Noir,  as I’ve only had one previously, and it was lower end. But this Peregrine from Central Otago was quite nice – a little bit spicy. It retails for $40 a bottle, so it may be worth shopping around for a better value, but I enjoyed it.
I’m also continuing my experimentation with inexpensive Spanish wines, this time with a 2007 Garnacha del Fuego (you have to love the name!) by Bodegas Ateca in Calatayud. I consider it a step above a basic red table wine, with a bit more complex red and some black fruit flavors, with some spice – and at $8.99, a great value!


One Response

  1. Don’t forget the Austrians. Schilcher’s crisp acidity plays well with the fruitiness of the wine from Styria – I had a good wone there, although I am still searching for the bottle. The Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt varietals produced by the Austrian houses of Weingut Prieler and Weingut Nigl are pleasantly acidic, again, but tempered by a light, non-cloying fruitiness. The Nigl is an unsually blended wine of six or seven varietals, while Prieler stuck to just Blaufankisch and Merlot. And who doesn’t love a screwcap? Speaking of Spain, you can’t go wrong with Muga’s Rose. Ah, and Rose goes with everything (almost)!

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