Rosé Roundup III: A & L Wine Castle

A couple of pinks from this store on the west side of Ann Arbor; I’m a fan of the Cabernet Franc rosé from Mulderbosh – let’s see how the Cab Sauv treats me.

Unparalleled Rosé (2016) Coteaux Varois en Provence, France – $16

Color: extremely pale.

Aroma: Rose petal and raspberry.

Taste: Melon, apricot, raspberry – quite tart.

OK, but not great.

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvingon Rosé (2016) Coastal Region, South Africa – $11

Color: medium straight pink.

Aroma: uncertain – more flowery than anything else.

Taste: Cabernet body, with red currant, raspberry, and cherry.

A good value, but not quite as much oomph as I’m looking for.

 

Rosé Roundup II: World Market

Oh dear, this is not turning out to be a good year for the pink stuff.  Quite a few bottles, all of them disappointing.  Details below.

La Riviera Rosé (2016) Cotes de Provence, France – $13

Color: pale rose gold.

Aroma: raspberry.

Taste: medium body and clean, not much in the mid-palate, almost nothing on the finish. A quaffer at best.

Hecht & Bannier Rosé (2016) Cotes de Provence, France – $20

Color: medium pink.

Aroma: raspberry and strawberry.

Taste: tart fruit and a little stemmy.  Also quite thin.

VieVité Rosé (2016) Cotes de Provence, France – $22

Color: light pink to copper.

Aroma: raspberry.

Taste: thin again.  There’s just nothing there.  Very disappointing.

Aime Roquesanté Rosé (2016) Cotes de Provence, France – $14

Color: rose gold.

Aroma: berries and floral.

Taste: Decent up front, with medium berry fruit, then fades quite quickly.  No length at all.

Louis Jadot Rosé (2016) Coteaux Bourguignons, France – $15

Color: pale copper.

Aroma: quite closed – I get nothing from this, even as it warms up.

Taste: Again, no length.  There’s almost nothing in this glass but acidity and alcohol.

El Coto Rosé (2015) Rioja, Spain – $14

A prior year, which is par for the course for Rioja.  Let’s see if a change of vintage does anything.

Color: orange-copper-pink; the darkest of the bunch.

Aroma: muscat and orange peel – quite unusual.

Taste: tight and slightly tannic red fruit.  A little body but still nothing great.

 

All six of these wines are disappointing – I can’t recommend any of them.  The only two I’d drink again, even if they were free, would be the El Coto from Spain and La Riviera from France.  The 20-dollar bottles are especially disappointing.

Tasting Note: 2 Lads Cabernet Franc

One of my favorites from the Traverse City area of Michigan.  I’m enjoying this with onion-mushroom-olive pizza.  This has about 17% Merlot added.  When I tasted it at the winery last year I was very impressed by the nose – let’s see how it’s held up.

2 Lads Cabernet Franc (2013) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $32

Color: dark purplish in the center, fading just a bit to purple-red on the edge of the glass.

Aroma: earthy, with notes of black walnut and dark cherry.  Inviting!

Taste: nice and full, with enough acidity to make this a food wine, and a nice balance of cherry fruit and earth/oak notes throughout the mouth.  The finish is somehow creamy, fruity, and earthy all at once, and lasts at least 15 seconds.

A really, really good bottle of wine, perfect for anything from pizza to flank steak. Still one of my favorite Michigan wines.  Recommended!

 

 

Rosé Roundup I: Trader Joe’s

I’ll be posting a number of tasting comparisons over the next 2 weeks, reviewing our options for summer rosé.  Today’s review is four from Trader Joe’s: two Chilean, one Spanish, and one from California.  These are all wines that are exclusive to Trader Joe’s.

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Loma Negra Rosé (2016) Valle Central, Chile – $5

Color: very pale gris-style rosé.

Aroma: tart cherry and berry notes.

Taste: light, mostly berries and a touch of sweetness.  Not much there at all.

Vinas Chilenas Rosario Estate Rosé (2016) Valle Central, Chile – $4

Color: rose-gold.

Aroma: strawberry and a little yeast on the nose.

Taste: strawberry and raspberry, a little fuller than the Loma Negra.  Short finish.

La Granja 360 Garnacha Rosé (2015) Carninena, Spain – $5

I highly recommend a number of the La Granja reds; they are really good pork-chop-and-hamburger wines, and you can’t beat the price.  Let’s see how the rosé fares.

Color: dark pink and copper.

Aroma: the nose is quite faint – raspberry?

Taste: more tannic, Garnacha quality to this.  Unfortunately, also a short finish.

VinTJs Pinot Noir Rose (2016) Arroyo Grande Valley, California – $9

Color: darkest, a solid pinkish-red.

Aroma: sweetish, with dark fruit and strawberry.

Taste: a fruity style of Pinot, with lots of strawberry.  Decent body and length of finish, finally.

 

Overall, a pretty disappointing bunch.  The first three are all Not Recommended – the VinTJs is good enough, but nothing special.

Tasting Note – Hawthorne Barrel Reserve Chardonnay

From one of my trips up north last year – I’m having this with a cod, potato, and cabbage dish from Blue Apron.

Hawthorne Barrel Reserve Chardonay (2013) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $25

Color: straw yellow.

Aroma: lemon and Golden Delicious apple fruit, with just a touch of vanilla.

Taste: very well-balanced, and quite rich in texture – more apple fruit, with lemon underneath.  The oak and vanilla notes are subdued and harmonious; this is not a typical oaky Chard.  The finish is quite long, on both the mid-palate and the back of the tongue, and coats the mouth nicely with fruit and a hint of lanolin.

20170430_191040Pairing: it opens up a little more with some warmth and the food, and exhibits some tropical notes – especially pineapple. A great foil for the earthiness of the food.

Recommended! This easily competes with Chardonnays in the same price range from California.  I see from their website that this vintage is sold out now – if you were lucky enough to snag some, you’re in for a real treat.  I’ll be checking out more recent vintages soon.

Tasting Note – 2 Lads Pinot Grigio

Another wine club delivery from this last week – I’m having a glass as an aperitif before dinner.  It’s a 2016 vintage, which means it’s just recently been bottled.

2 Lads Pinot Grigio (2016) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $17

Color: very brassy and pale.

Aroma: lemon, vanilla, some green grassy and herbal notes.

Taste: crisp, with a touch of residual carbon dioxide that makes it lively on the tongue. The citrus notes are balanced by the herbal notes – like in a good Thai dish – and the overall impression is lively and refreshing.  This is a great cocktail hour white.

Recommended!

 

Tasting Note – 2 Lads Pinot Noir

Got a wine club shipment today, and am cracking one of the two bottles of 2016 Pinot Noir in the box. I’m really looking forward to this, and I have grilled pork chops and pesto baby potatoes to have with it in a little bit.

2 Lads Pinot Noir (2016) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $29

Color: bright, clear garnet red – you can tell this is a young, fresh wine from the way the color extends without any change in hue as you tip the glass.

Aroma: intriguing – there’s cranberry and red currant in here, along with cherry, kirsch, and some bramble notes.

Taste: tart up front, with candied and fresh fruit notes. The mid-palate exhibits more of the brambles and kirsch than straight fruit, and it’s a little weak there. It has a medium-length finish that’s soft and warm.

Pairs decently with the pork & potatoes.

Nice – but just a little too thin to merit a recommended tag.