Tag Archives: Not Recommended

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.

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.


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.

Comique Revolution White

There are only some cryptic hints on the label as to the grapes – I’m guessing a Rhone blend, possibly with some Chardonnay.

Comique Revolution White (2010) Central Coast, California – $6

20140326_201843Color: brassy yellow, perhaps a tinge of green.

Aroma: I get some floral notes and white peaches, which leads me to believe my White Rhone guess was correct.

Taste: heady and perfumed up front, then a blast of acidity and stone-fruit in the mid-palate and some lingering oak and toast notes on the finish. It’s hard to be sure, but I’m going to say there’s around 25% Chardonnay based on the finish, with the rest Marsanne, Roussane, Grenache Blanc, and maybe some Muscat to produce the initial impression.

It’s interesting, but I don’t think it’s well balanced – the different taste impressions are disjointed. And it doesn’t have enough body for a food wine – oaky Chard lovers might enjoy this as a cocktail hour drink, but I’m going to pass.  Not recommended.


The Ruins Syrah

Another bottle of South African wine I picked up in the last few weeks. This is from Eilandia vineyard in Robertson region, which is limestone basin northeast of Capetown that has similar geology to the Bluegrass country of Kentucky and Tennessee. I’m drinking this with a spicy chicken masala from the slow-cooker.

The Ruins (2010) Robertson, South Africa – $12

Photo0377Color: a dark cherry-red.

Aroma: this has that characteristic South African stinky nose – what some call barnyard, or brettanomyces, or sulfurous. Underneath there are nice notes of sweet plum and cherry.

Taste: more acidity than I was expecting, with berry fruit in the midpalate, and significant minerality on the finish. This definitely needs food.

Unfortunately, this fades out quickly, and even with the food is thin and tart. Not recommended.

Drinking Tonight: Pinot Noirs from France and New Zealand

I have a beef pot roast resting, and just cracked open two new Pinots – both inexpensive Trader Joe’s purchases. Pinot is one of those grapes where you generally get what you pay for – it’s a low-yielding vine that is prone to hail damage and rot. I generally don’t even try Pinot Noirs that retail for under $20, but let’s see what these have in store.

A good wine pairing tip – the less fat in the food, the less tannin you should have in the wine. Since pot roast is especially lean, it goes great with Pinot Noir – the lowest-tannin red out there.

Picton Bay Pinot Noir (2012) Marlborough, New Zealand – $12.00

Color: light, clean red – New Zealand Pinots are known for their light coloring.

Photo0247Aroma: candied cherry and some licorice/spice notes – I can’t tell from the nose if this is going to be masculine or feminine.

Taste: lively with good acidity. I think this comes down more on the spice/earth side, but there is some definite cranberry and raspberry fruit in there as well.

MGM Pinot Noir (2011) Pays d’Oc, France – $9.00

Color: just half a shade darker.

Aroma: this is closed off – I get a touch of candied fruit (what the English would call ‘boiled sweet’).

Taste: uneventful – it’s Pinot, but there’s not much to say about it. Let’s see if the beef improves it. Annnnnd….. no.

Well this was a disappointing tasting. I can’t recommend either of these wines – the Picton Bay is just barely passable.