10 July 2006

Rosé Squared

Summer of Rosé 2006 continues with two entries for the weekend, both on recommendation of local wine critic and wine blogger Fredric Koeppel. Here's two that I'd been wanting to try for a while, and finally decided to go for it.

The first entry is the 2005 Melipal Malbec Rosé from Argentina. This rosé has a deep cherry color and a bright taste. Crisp acidity, and just a hint of grape skins on the aftertaste. A little more powerful than your average pink wine. Some berry flavors are present once it warms up a little. This wine also goes to show that just about any red grape can make a good rosé with a little care. $13.

The second one is supposedly one of the best rosés out there, and for $16 it ought to be good. Brief tangent: rosés all seem to fall in the $8-15 range here in the US. I don't think I've ever seen one hit $20, nor have I seen any under $5, unless you're counting cheap White Zinfandel, but I don't. Also, there are some rosé sparkling wines that are in the $50 and up range, but typically the regular wine is affordable and tasty, a great combination.

Back on topic, I'm talking about the 2005 Hendry Ranch Rosé from Napa Valley. Made of Primitivo and Zinfandel. And Primitivo is the genetic ancestor of Zinfandel, so you may think that this is a White Zinfandel. No! It is a Zinfandel Rosé Say it a few times. It's like therapy to rid your mind of bad associations. Light raspberry aromas, delicate plummy Zinfandel flavors without the sweetness of White Zin or the hot alcohol of a full-bodied California Zinfandel. The girlfriend and I shared this over a dinner of steaks, steamed artichokes with homemade mayonnaise, and assorted side dishes. Quite good. I've never had a rosé with a steak before, but it's not bad. The milder flavor helps you appreciate the subtle flavors of the beef better.

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