A Rosé By Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

I was looking through my backlog of tasting notes and thought I’d do a “triple post” about some of the rosés The Rib and I have enjoyed this summer.  We love Rosés (and you should think about loving them, too!).  It’s still summer, still hot, and to steal a line from a fabled Fabienne, “any time of the day is a good time for Rosé” (go ahead and pour a sip or two of a rosé with your Denver Omelet on Saturday morning—you’ll thank me for the idea).

Among many, Rosé wines are equated to the patently American creation:  White Zinfandel.  “White Zin” conjures up images of middle-aged women out for a night on the town trying to recapture their [lost] youth, stumbling around a bar they’re way too old to be in with ice cubes in stemware filled with “pink wine.”  They’re also (probably) cattily gossiping about some other old broad in the bar alone, deeming her a “cougar” (Rawr!).  I’m just guessing that’s what you were all thinking once I mentioned “White Zin.”  I could be wrong, though.

For the record, I own this T-Shirt

Since some Rosés do fall somewhat in line with the above notion, Rosés writ large are often misunderstood and dismissed.  However, Rosés can be complex and refreshing, pair well with certain foods, and provide the perfect “just short of quaffing-quality” juice for sipping in the backyard on warm summer evenings.  Not for nothing, a “White Zin” has its place and despite my [somewhat] snarky (yet innocent) observation above, I say if you like it, drink it.  Just don’t bring it to Casa de Stub.


2010 Jean Curial Macon-Rosé, Burgundy, France

100% Gamay.  The nose of this one had a slight orange and vanilla.  I also got a little toasted almond and as it warmed, a hint of strawberry and cotton candy (yup, cotton candy).

The palate hit me with blood orange and burnt sugar.  It was a little tart.  The acid on this one would hold up well to food.  It was good—not great—but still worth a try for around $20, even though there are better Rosés to be had in this price range.


2010 Hendry Rosé, Napa Valley, California

The Hendry is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, and Primitivo.  It had a nose of strawberry, a little orange, and some vanilla notes.

The palate showed the orange well and threw in some strawberry for good measure.  The acid on this one was solid and “citrusy.”  After it warmed a bit, I got a little watermelon and a very slight vanilla.  For $17, the Hendry is not bad.  I would stick with sipping this one on the patio or in the back yard with some cheese or appetizers rather than pairing with an actual meal.


2010 Real Sitio de Ventosilla Ribera del Duero Prado Rey Rosado, Castilla y León, Spain

The nose of the Prado Rey had some nice strawberry and a hint of banana along with a little leather and earthiness.

The palate showed off the strawberry well, but this was almost a “banana party” (get your mind out of the gutter, dear readers…).  The oak on this one was very light.  The finish brought some bitter/unripe fruit notes.  Between the strawberry and banana, the Prado Rey hit me like (less-sweet) Laffy-Taffy (What do you call a monkey who loves potato chips? –A “chipmonk”).

Despite the unusual comparison to candy, this is a decent little rosé and is a nice pick for late summer garden parties—not too “winy” for non-wine drinkers and different enough that more experienced drinkers will appreciate its “uniqueness.”  Plus, you can take a bottle home for around $13.  I prefer the heavier oak and complexity of the 2009 (see review of that one here), but I will pick up another bottle of the 2010 to uncork before summer’s end.

So there you are—three Rosés you should try before the end of summer.  Aside from experiencing some new wines, you’ll also be amply armed with “pink wine” the next time you head to your favorite “cougar stand.”  Happy hunting!

Cheers From the Corkpit,


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