The wine amateur

Here are some tasting notes from my friend labellestudio. It’s her first wine post! Will have to see if I can find this selection in my area. I hope so.

labellestudio

A few days ago I told a fellow blogger and wine expert Oenophilogical that I intended to write a wine review as a fun addition to this site. I am afraid this is not going to help my reputation as a serious person but why this serious all the time anyway? Let´s give it a try and move somewhat out of our comfort zone for once. 🙂

Heuchelberg Weingärtner 2011 Trollinger Rosé ~ Fruchtig süss ~ Württemberg

My husband discovered this wine a few months ago and bought it in a small beverage market. Three weeks ago he retaliated and bought another bottle… Rosés are often labelled as “women´s wines” in Germany, especially when they are on the rather sweeter side like this one but both my husband and I enjoyed it very much.

The color was a pale golden pink and the scent reminded me of wood, plaster, peppermint…

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J.L. Quinson Rosé 2014

Provence is known for their Rosé.  Finding a wallet-friendly offering from Provence, it was a foregone conclusion that I would buy a bottle.  Wouldn’t you?

Winemaker:  J.L. Quinson
Wine:  Rosé
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Côtes de Provence AOC, France
Price:  $7.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:   This blush wine was an interesting shade of pink.  It had a tinge of orange to it.  It was light-bodied with good acidity.  The bouquet was very faint with just-there scents of strawberry and pepper. Alcohol was at 12.5%.  Flavors I found were simple but pleasant, including strawberry, grass, and a touch of pepper.  Nothing surprising here in a very good way.  This is a Rosé I would be happy to drink again.

 

Albero Spanish Rosé 2014

A few months ago I mentioned that I had tried a varietal wine made of 100% Bobal grapes.  I liked it, so my blog friend whirlaway let me know when they saw this Rosé made from Bobal mentioned in a Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer.  Thank you, whirlaway, for giving me a heads up!  I definitely wanted to see what this one was like.

Winemaker:  Albero
Wine:  Spanish Rosé
Varietal:  Bobal
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Utiel-Requena DOP, Spain
Price:  $5.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:   In the glass this wine was fairly dark for a rosé.  It was pink, yes, but a dark pink.  It was light-bodied, and acidity was OK.  On the palate this Albero seemed dryer than it’s 12.5% alcohol content would suggest.  Tannins were light with a late onset.  Flavors for me included tart cherry, spice notes and a bitter woody finish.  It was interesting to try a blush wine made from Bobal grapes.  I think, however, that I want to try some more Bobal red selections.  This Rosé was not my personal favorite.

Click on the picture to read the article online.

 

A Rosé By Any Other Vintner ….

I believe I’ve mentioned this before.  I love a good mystery.  And that is exactly what I found in this bottle of Trader Joe’s rosé.  Actually, the mystery isn’t so much what’s in the bottle – although I don’t know that precisely either.  What intrigues me most is the question of who made this bottle of dry blush wine for the folks at Trader Joe’s to sell.  And the folks at TJ ain’t talkin’!

OK.  What do we know?  First, the label says it was vinted and bottled by JBA Cellars of Rutherford, CA.  Next, according to a report in the TJ rag Fearless Flyer, this wine “comes to us from a very famous Napa Valley winery – they make super wines that tend to be quite expensive.”  Following that clue, I was reminded that there are a number of well-known wineries headquartered in Rutherford – BV, Rutherford Hill, Frog’s Leap, Caymus, Inglenook, and Cakebread, among others.  That narrows the field, but not nearly enough.   Then I noted that Rutherford Hill Winery is one of a few that makes a rosé.  In addition, the owners are the Terlato family – father Anthony with sons Bill and John.  Hmmm.  Anthony, Bill and John.  John, Bill and Anthony.  JBA!  JBA Cellars?  We might have a winner here.  I don’t know, of course.  It’s only a guess at best.

Winemaker:  JBA Cellars for Trader Joe’s
Wine:  Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Rosé
Varietal:  Not Available
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  Napa Valley, CA
Price:  $6.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  The color of this Napa Valley blush teeters right on the edge of dark pink and light red.  On the nose I found mostly strawberry and a touch of loam with sweet floral hints.  Acidity was bright and the body was light.  At 13.7% alcohol, I’d call this a dry rosé.  Tannins were gently present.  On the palate I tasted a core of red berries (primarily strawberry) with tea leaf, a dash of pepper, some bitter herbs, and a zingy medicinal note on the finish.

By the way, I saw an online review of a prior vintage of the Rutherford Hill rosé.  Evidently, their 2009 was blended from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel grapes.  Is that true of this bottle as well?  I have no idea whatsoever.  If you know, do tell!

Screwtop Wine Bar: Worthwhile Waiting

The Wine Rangers headed out to another nearby watering hole to sample some vino.  I was the first to arrive at this very popular spot on a Thursday evening.  Not wanting to waste the time, I succumbed to the friendly staff’s offer to serve me a little something while I hovered – with quite a few other folks – waiting for a spot.

One thing I really like about this establishment is that their menu offers wines by the bottle, glass, and sip (half glass).  That provides almost an incentive (not that I need one – lol) to experiment.

After perusing the list, I ordered a half glass of the Early Mountain Viognier 2011 from Charlottesville, VA.  This Viognier was pale straw color.  On the nose I found spiced apple cider.  It was light-bodied with the characteristic touch of viscosity, and acidity was bright.  Flavors were a solid core of apple (no pun intended) with hints of spice and a touch of fig.  It was a pleasant sipper, and disappeared all too quickly.

As my fellow Wine Ranger, Heather, was running late, I had another look at the wine list.  Unable to resist the temptation, I ordered a half glass (aka sip) of the Villa Wolf Rosé 2012 from Pfalz, Germany.  The Villa Wolf was a pretty salmon color with a floral bouquet.  Although a light-bodied wine, it  had good acidity and a fun, almost flirty flavor profile of bing cherry and lemon/lime.  Flavors weren’t heavy but light and lively.

Eventually, the Wine Rangers were reunited, and the evening began in earnest.  But a report on that adventure will have to wait for another post.  In the meantime, I wish you worthwhile waiting, too.

 

Château Millegrand Minervois Rosé 2012

This blush wine from the Minervois area in the Languedoc region of France is a blend of Syrah, Grenache Gris and Mourvèdre grapes.  Château Millegrand is located outside the village of Trèbes.  Since 2003 it has been owned by Jean-Michel Bonfils and his sons who have undertaken significant renovations there.  Interestingly enough, less than a third of Millegrand’s vineyards are in the Minervois AC.

Winemaker:  Château Millegrand
Wine:  Minervois Rosé Table Wine
Varietal:  Blend
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:   Minervois AC, France
Price:  $8.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:   I would describe the color of this wine as a pale coral.  On the nose I got lightly sweet floral scents including chrysanthemum.  On the tongue, this dry French rosé was light-bodied with decent acidity.  Flavors were very gentle on the palate.  They included tart cherry, a green herbaceousness, floral notes, some minerality, and a touch of quinine on the finish.  Alcohol is at 13%.  It’s dry, it’s moderately complex, and it’s subtle.  No doubt this would, indeed, go nicely with those summer salads everyone says these blush wines should be paired with or with a seafood dish (pasta with shrimp, perhaps).  I have to say that I … I liked it!  Finally, a rosé I can say that about unequivocally.  Well, I’m just tickled pink!!  [I’m sorry.  I couldn’t help myself.]

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

Don Simón Seleccion Rosé

With these wines still strategically placed right in front of the checkout at my local Whole Foods, I just couldn’t resist another grab.  After all, there are four of these wines to choose from – Shiraz, Rosé, Tempranillo, and Chardonnay.  Maybe I’ll make my way through all of them!

Winemaker:  Don Simón Seleccion (by J. Garcia Carrión)
Varietal:  Rosé (unspecified)
Vintage:  NV
Appellation:  Castilla, Spain
Price:  $3.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:   In the glass this wine was what I’d call a medium-to-light pink.  On the nose I smelled strawberries.  On the tongue this was a very light-bodied rosé.  Acidity was OK, and alcohol is at 12.5%.  Flavors for me were primarily strawberry – the whole thing including seeds and leaves.  Mostly the fruit flavor, of course.  There was a hint of mineral near the end and a twinge of chlorophyll on the finish.  I know that typically rosé doesn’t need to breathe like many red wines do.  With this one, however, I did notice a settling of the flavors.  Initially, the strawberry seemed under-ripe, but with a little time in the glass it lost some of it’s tartness.  Also, this Don Simón rosé comes across more as a dry wine – seeming to me even dryer than it’s 12.5% alcohol would suggest.  Personally, I’m happy to say that it wasn’t one of those over-sweet, cloying rosés that initially put me off drinking them.  So ….  Simple?  Yes.  But at $3.99 a bottle, I don’t think there’s anything here to seriously complain about.  Unless you want a sweet rosé!

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.