Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Pink wave

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Four rosés that have hit the SAQ’s shelves just in time for our spate of summery weather. All but the Bonny Doon are from the May 2nd Cellier New Arrivals release.

Patrimonio 2011, Osé, Domaine d’E Croce, Yves Leccia ($22.95, 11900821)
100% Nielluccio. A saignée method rosé. The juice is “bled” from the red wine vat after 12 hours’ maceration, cold-settled for 24 hours, then fined. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at 18ºC and lasts 15 to 20 days. The wine is not allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. Matured six months in stainless steel tanks. Lightly filtered before bottling. 13.5% ABV.
Bold medium pink. Wafting nose of red berries, nectarine, minerals and above all maquis. Silky bordering on dense. Bright but not sweet fruit, some mineral depth and a lingering savoury finish with a saline note. My pour came from a bottle that had been open about 24 hours, yet the wine was still fresh and vibrant (it reportedly had a carbon dioxide tingle on opening but not when I got around to tasting it). To my palate, the winner of the four. Though it screams vin de terrasse, it also has the wherewithal to accompany tapas and grilled chicken. (Buy again? Yes.)

Vin Gris de Cigare 2012, Central Coast, Bonny Doon Vineyard ($22.75, 10262979)
Grenache (62%), Mourvèdre (17%), Roussanne (9%), Grenache Blanc (6%) and Cinsault (6%). 12.5% ABV according to the winemaker, 13.5% according to Screwcapped.
A true gris: as pale grey/tan as it is pink. On both the nose and the palate, lots of minerals and garrigue but not much fruit. As close to bone dry as a rosé gets. Good weight and length. Truer to its Rhône/Provence model than some earlier vintages. If nit-picking, you could say it’s a little short on charm. Still, it’s likely the best pink wine in the SAQ’s regular catalogue. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Vin Gris d’Amador 2011, Sierra Foothills, Terre Rouge ($22.95, 11629710)
Mourvèdre (61%), Grenache (35%) and Syrah (4%). The name notwithstanding, this is a saignée method rosé made from juice “bled” from the red wine vats early in the maceration stage. Vinification is in used French oak barrels. 13.5% ABV.
Dark salmon pink. The most fragrant of the four: red berries, spice, dried herbs. Winey and mouth-filling but avoiding heaviness due to the acidity and held-in-check fruit. Long, savoury, even a little heady. This was the favourite of the wine advisor pouring the sample, who also speculated that, were it served in an opaque glass, most tasters would guess it was a red wine. More a food wine than a sipper. I’d pair it with something like grilled pork chops. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Marsannay rosé 2011, Domaine Bruno Clair ($23.30, 10916485)
100% Pinot Noir. One-third of the grapes are pressed on arrival at the winery; the remainder are whole cluster-macerated for up to 72 hours before being pressed. The musts are then blended and transferred to stainless steel tanks for 20 to 30 days’ fermentation at 18 to 20ºC. Matured 12 months in stainless steel tanks. 12.5% ABV.
While earlier vintages of this have often been exquisite, the 2011 is anything but. It’s like the life has been sucked out of it. The fruit – strawberry, I’d guess – is dessicated and oxidized. With nothing to counterbalance it, the acid makes the wine taste sharp. And then there’s the faint acrid note on the finish. Could be an off bottle but, if so, it’s reportedly not the only one. (Buy again? Nope.)

Written by carswell

May 6, 2013 at 10:36

2 Responses

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  1. Craig, I opened a bottle of the newly re-released Lady Bug rosé from Malivoire in ONT yesterday (with grilled, home-made chouriço and a basic veggie salad)… I was really happy to rediscover this wine. I may have to buy a case and bring them back on subsequent road trips to TO.
    At $16 it was a great QPR wine. And at 13% ABV with a light red vs dark rosé hue, it had just the right heft to make it stand out from other rosés. I would recommend finding a bottle if you can. Otherwise let me know and I’ll bring some back for you next time.


    May 6, 2013 at 13:28

    • Sounds delicious, Kevin. If you bring back a case, I’d gladly take a bottle.

      The SAQ has a number of interesting looking rosés arriving in the next week or two, including a trio of Bandols and Clos Canarelli’s pink Corse-Figari. It’s a pretty safe bet that they won’t be going for $16 though…


      May 7, 2013 at 09:30

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