2009 Bonterra Rose

2009 Bonterra RosePrice: $2.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Bonterra (pdf) “Our RosĂ© continues to exemplify the standard we set with our first vintage – a dry, crisp, complex and refreshing RosĂ© with beautiful color. We’ve used a collection of varietals to contribute surprising complexity and a beautiful deep-pink color. For this vintage we focused on Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Carignane and just a little Grenache, all from Mendocino County. The grapes were picked when they had achieved a great balance of ripe fruit and racy acidity. They were then cold-fermented in stainless steel to preserve the great floral and fruit aromas. The knock-your-socks-off color is just the beginning. Chilled a bit, the wine reveals aromas and flavors of strawberry, tart cherry, raspberries, watermelon, and spice with a wonderful dry, lingering finish.

What I Think:

(13.4%) 45% Sangiovese, 26% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane, 9% Grenache – Bright pink (more than I like) and aged this one starts off on the wrong foot but at $3 I couldn’t help but roll the dice. Simple and mineral driven on the palate with spiced edges. Not much fruit left here but you get some faint strawberries on a dry, clean palate with a nice, crisp finish. Certainly not a bad wine to drink but not one you want to spend time “tasting”. Worth buying at $3 if you are looking for something to mindlessly sip on this summer. I may even grab another bottle or two for myself but this isn’t the steal of a deal I was hoping it might have been…

Rating: Try It (at $2.99 you don’t have much to lose…)

Wine Geek Notes: Certified organic; Twist-off

2010 Quady North Rose 4-2,A

Price: $13.50 @ Quady North

What They Said:

2010 Quady North Rose 4-2,APer Quady North “Our Rose was originally a blend of the “saignees” from the Syrah that went into our 4-2,A. Over the last few years, we have begun incorporating early picked and pressed Grenache with our favorite Syrahs. This year’s blend is 40% Grenache and 60% Syrah.”

What I Think:

(12.5%) 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache – Picked this one up on a recent visit to the Applegate Valley in Oregon. Beautiful color, bright nose and then straight to the Beatles…strawberry fields forever… with a crisp acidity and touch of citrusy orange rind on a dry finish. Refreshing and delicious; enjoy on its own, with the salad of your choice and even some BBQ chicken. Get some if you can!

Wine Geek Notes: 100 cases made

Rating: Buy It

2009 Sainte Leocadie Minervois Rosé

2009 Domaine Sainte Leocadie Minervois RoséPrice: $4.99 @ K&L Wines

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “What do you get when you combine saigneed grapes (40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 20% Cinsault) with one of Southern France’s most ideal terroirs? This deeply colored pink wine is a poolside sipper if there ever was one. Plenty of spice, garrigue and red fruits. Great with grilled Provencal pizza!”

What I Think:

(13%) 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 20% Cinsault – A saignée style rose of the Minervois this one is beautiful salmon pink in color. On the palate this is full and dry with briary strawberry notes showing over a mineral acidity that slowly fades on a soft, spiced finish. A bit richer than your typical rose (attributable to the saignee syle) makes this one a bit better suited to go with a summer lunch than as a patio sipper. Either way for $6 (which is what I paid; $5 now) this is a steal…

Rating: Buy It

2010 Quinson Fils Rose

Long a fan of rosĂ© from Provence not only was I curious but just had to see what this one could deliver for a five spot…

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Latitude Wines

What They Said:

2010 Quinson Fils RoseHmmm… Not a word to be found. Guess you’ll just have to trust me…

What I Think:

(12.5%) Nice pale salmon pink color (not dyed). Medium bodied, pleasant Grenache like strawberry and watermelon fruit. Spiced minerality. Dry, crisp and pleasing. Perhaps a bit faint or simple on the back of the palate but no flaws here. Still delivers for the price point despite the strange bottle. If you are looking for a rose this is as good as it is going to get for $5 (unless you can grab the 2009 Domaine Sainte Leocadie Minervois Rosé at K&L Wines).

Rating: Buy It (if you’re a rosĂ© fan…)

2010 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

I’m way late to the party on this one as it has received heaps of praise from the interwebs. That said there is never too much of a good thing right? I was first introduced to this wine (my very first from Bonny Doon) with the 2008 vintage and have grown to love it more with each passing bottle. But enough of the love story, let’s get to the wine!

2010 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de CigarePrice: $15.00 @ Bonny Doon Vineyard*

What They Said:

Per Winophilia “Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon Vineyard is one of the grandes dames of the Cali-RhĂ´ne movement, and for my money Grahm’s most consistent wine over the years has been his pink Vin Gris de Cigare. Made from a blend of RhĂ´ne varieties, it is a consistently excellent California take on the refreshing, dry Provence rosĂ©s loved by wine drinkers around the world. Grahm has been making this wine since 1984, back in the days when pink California wine meant the dreaded white zinfandel. That particular category was so uniformly bad that rosĂ©s as a group were uniformly rejected in the U.S., but Bonny Doon stuck with it. In the category of American rosĂ©, this is the Ă©minence grise, as pun-meister Grahm would likely say.

Very pale pink in color, it offers an array of red berry, citrus and spice flavors, with a racy quality that makes it extremely flexible with food. Or serve it by itself. At 12.8% alcohol it’s very easy to drink. You’ll be shocked how quickly a bottle disappears, so don’t buy just one.”

What I Think:

(12.8%) 71% Grenache, 16% Rousanne, 11% Grenache Blanc, 2% Mourvedre – An interesting mix of mostly red and some white grapes this one is a beautiful salmon pink in the glass. It explodes with strawberry field aromas (and a hint of minerals) on the nose. Strawberry, melon, crisp green apple greet you on the palate along with subtle floral notes. The mid-palate shows a firm rocky, creek bed mineral component and balanced acidity that leads to a crisp, pleasant and refreshing crescendo where the Rousanne adds a nice touch of richness to the finish. Dry throughout this one leaves your mouth watering and begging for more. Pairs easily with food and the only problem with popping it on the porch is that this is more than a typical quaffer and may distract your attention with its goodness. At $15 this is more than I typically look to spend on a rose but worth every penny. This one will leave you wishing you had more so be sure to stock up. I know I will be… 3,298 cases made

Rating: Wow!

*While I did receive a bottle of this wine as a sample I have since purchased many more on my own. You should too…

2008 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

2008 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de CigarePrice: $9.99 @ Cost Plus

What They Said:

Per Bonny Doon Vineyard “Fresh and bright with a pale pink color and a soupçon of blue rose. Hints of wild strawberry, white cherry, apple blossom, and the barest whiff of spearmint. Palate is quite dry and zesty with pale red fruits, blood orange, citrus and a lean yet supple finish. Another excellent example of our skill with RosĂ©, the 2008 has a greater quantity of grenache than previously yet it’s the cinsault and roussanne which really shine; adding complex notes of stone fruit and the nuanced texture of old vines. Delicious today but will develop added richness and aroma with an additional 6-12 months of bottle age.”

What I Think:

Surprisingly this is my first offering from Randall Grahm’s Bonny Doon Vineyards. Randall is known and called many things but he is always creative and sometimes eccentric in my mind. And best of all he is always pushing the boundaries of traditional thinking. From advocating for full “ingredient” listings being disclosed (beyond the grapes this includes tartaric acid, and sulfur dioxide with indigenous yeast, yeast nutrients, bentonite and French oak barrels used in the winemaking process) to trying to accelerate the process of creating terroir-driven wine in new regions it seems he is always up to something that captures my attention. Dos Equis: the most interesting man in the wine worldGiven that it is no surprise that I can’t help but think of him whenever I come across a Dos Equis advertisement as he is certainly the “most interesting man in the wine world”.

So what about that wine? This offering is a blend of 58% Grenache, 18% Cinsault, 10% Roussanne, 7% Mourvèdre, 4% Syrah and 3% Grenache Blanc. Reddish/salmon in color with loads of strawberry on the nose. On the palate it adds in flavors of the patch from whence they came on a floral/stony backbone. This fuller bodied Rose is dry on the mid-palate with enough acidity to keep it well balanced and delivers a tart, crisp finish. No quaffing allowed here! This one is a well made with enough to ponder on its own and the ability to pair with a meal should you desire. At $10 I’ll be revisiting this again throughout the summer. In fact if you’ll excuse me I believe I have a bottle chilled in the refrigerator right now…

Rating: Buy It

And as an added bonus for those wondering what to pair this with Viviane Bauquet Farre recommends a heirloom tomato caprese salad (and offers her thoughts on the Vin Gris de Cigare). This is a match I will surely have to try!

2008 Domaine de la Fouquette Rosee d’Aurore

Price: $14.99 @ Vintage Wine & Spirits imported by Wine Agencies

What They Said:

2008 Domaine de la Fouquette Rosee d'AurorePer K&L Wines “A lovely wine from a beautiful part of France, the 35-acre Domaine de la Fouquette sits at the heart of the Cotes de Provence appellation. This is an environmentally friendly estate that works without chemicals and hand harvests entirely. The cepage is 65% Grenache and 30% Cinsault. A small amount of the white grape Rolle (5% – aka Vermentino in Italy) is added, elevating the citrus aromatics and acidity.”

What I Think:

I’m still searching for my summer Rose. With none in the house I decided to stop by Vintage Wine & Spirits, one of my local shops here in Mill Valley, and this was their pick. A bit pricey for an every weekend sipper for me but given it was from Provence I was willing to give it a try.

I’d normally call this salmon but it was amazingly pale in color (which I hope I captured in the picture). Loads of delicate strawberry notes on an aromatic nose rolled out the welcome mat. Though the color was light the body was medium. The strawberries were joined by citrus notes early on the palate before they were met with a bracing, refreshing acidity. Mineral notes shined through on a dry crisp finish. A nice bottle for sure but not worthy of splurging on all summer long. Anyone have any Rose recommendations around $10 for me?

Rating: Pricey

2006 Kenwood California Rose Table Wine

Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery well nothing…Please don’t click on the link unless you want to see the “Coming Soon” sign….not exactly blogger friendly. Shame on you Kenwood, are you listening, shame on you.

What I Think:

I’ve had many forgettable roses from Trader Joe’s this summer. Given the weather though I intend to keep on trying. So when this one hit the shelf (at a mere $4) I decided to give it a go. Initial searches once home showed a lot of confusion…what grapes were in this wine, depends where you look. Ratings ranged from 82-90 and there was not much overlap in the adjectives used to describe this wine. This coupled with the fact that I had to data mine Google to find any results left me not knowing what to expect.

Upon opening this I was pleased. Had some nice cherry and strawberry notes and overall was simple and light…perfect for an afternoon barbeque. The finish is crisp and dry with hints of flowers. One write-up described this wine as “featureless” which sounds less than endearing but in this case serves as a backhanded compliment. This wine is refreshing and offers just enough complexity to enjoy while not taxing your mind on a hot day. It may not be for you but I am going to grab another bottle.

Rating: Buy It