18 December 2006

2005 Bell Rosé

One of my holiday traditions is to cook a Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner on some day that's between the two official holidays. I do this for two reasons: 1) it's a good way to celebrate with friends without keeping them from their families and 2) I get plenty of leftovers, which is something you don't get when attending big family gatherings.

Since The Girlfriend was out of town for Thanksgiving and will be out of town for Christmas, Saturday served as our intermediate "Festivus" get-together. I roasted a smallish turkey (glazed with apple cider, mustard, and honey), made some homemade cranberry sauce, roasted some acorn squash with brown sugar (her favorite), and rounded out the list of solidly American ingredients with some wild rice cooked in chicken broth.

For the wine, we had the 2005 Bell Rosé.

Very dry, but with a full, fruity mouthfeel. It's almost like a white wine in most of its profile. Subtle aromas, but with some cherry flavors on the palate. 62% Syrah, 27% Zinfandel, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Viognier. (The previous version was mostly Zinfandel.) Best way to describe it: imagine something like a Sauvignon Blanc with some of the berry flavors of a good Syrah but with none of the tannins.

Just an aside, and I have no way of proving this, but when I met founder and winemaker Anthony Bell at a local tasting, I was sipping one of his delicious Syrahs and casually asked if he ever blended in some Viognier like a Côte Rôtie. He laughed and said that such mixes were increasingly popular in Australia, but no, he hadn't tried it.

Now here it is in 2006, and I'm drinking a Bell wine that's mostly Syrah with a little Viognier...

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