Lion’s Lair Rose

Stopped in at Terry B’s for a quick glass. I saw a South African rosé, and Chad was obliging enough to pour me a glass.  Even though there’s still snow on the ground here, we’re past the Spring Equinox, so I’m declaring rosé season open!

This is made from Rhone grapes (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault), and the climate in Swartland is Rhone-like as well: dry, with lots of stress on the vines. This produces grapes that are thick-skinned and concentrated in flavor. This bottling is from Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards.

Lion’s Lair Rosé (2013) Swartland, South Africa

Color: bright pink with some copper.

Aroma: rose petals and cranberry. After this warms up, a distinct note of candied apple (what the English called ‘boiled sweet’)

Taste: round and fruity; this is clean and not too acidic. Quite pleasant, and it gets even better as it warms up. This is juicy and has enough body to stand up to a salmon steak or cold pork. $10 a glass, or $36/bottle at restaurant pricing, so I’m guessing about $15-$18 retail – a good price for a top-notch rosé. Recommended.

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