Back in November, I attended a tasting with Anthony Bell of Bell Wine Cellars. I thought I had tried everything of his that would be available in this area, but while nosing around at another wine shop tonight I came across a little treasure: the 2004 Bell Rosé Wine. No direct link because there doesn't appear to be anything on the website about it. It's made in the Dry Creek Valley, and according to the tiny type on the back label, it's 2% Viognier, 3% Syrah, and 95% Zinfandel. Zinfandel? Zinfandel Rosé? But isn't that basically the dreaded White Zinfandel?
Relax. This is a dry rosé, which gives you an interesting opportunity to taste Zinfandel without the heavy alcohol and powerful tannins, but also without the sweetness of your everyday White Zin. It's got a lovely ruby color in the glass, though on the edges and during the pour you get to see that lovely grey/pink/lavender color you see in some similar French wines. It's got a Zinfandel nose, but more restrained, almost like the Zin has been poured for the person seated next to you at dinner. With almost no tannins and very light acidity, you get an initial berry flavor followed by some of the darker undertones of Zinfandel (that smoky quality that is so delightful). But the style provides a short finish, making you reach for another sip soon after.
This isn't really the time of year for a rosé, but I couldn't pass it up, nor could I wait to try it. I had a lot of writing to catch up on, so why not pour a glass of a fun wine, put some Christmas music on the iPod and get to work?
I was also surprised to see this bottle numbered--it's bottle #586 out of 1,020. I've had numbered wines before, but not for $11 retail.