The end of summer is nigh, and I decided that if I’m going to get some of my summer wines out of the way, Sunday evening was just as good a time as any. Even though it’s September, it really is still summer, with the “official” beginning of autumn coming on the 21st. Of course, it was 100°F in Vegas, so I guess summer is in the eye of the beholder. Not quite Surface of the Sun temps, but not too far off.
Santa Ynez Valley is at the southernmost tip of the Central Coast wine region. It is located in Santa Barbara County, and that area is known – because of its warm days and cool nights – for outstanding Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Anyone who saw the 2004 movie Sideways and who was able to visit the area already knows that. Now that’s enough for the educational part.
I grabbed a bottle of 2010 Curran out of my whites cooler, which I keep at 43°F. And I have to tell you, this is one pretty wine. Rose, Santa Ynez Valley
It’s the hue of wild-caught salmon (yes, there’s a difference), although more transparent, of course! It has body and depth; its 14.1% alcohol content contributes to its pretty legs and its “swirlability.” I made that up.
On the nose, I picked up a bit of strawberry, watermelon, white pepper, and rose petals. On the palate, the fragrances transferred to the taste, with a little cherry and pear thrown in. I loved the mouthfeel, and the wine was a perfect pairing with my dinner of steamed veggies (with garlic, lemon, and capers), and a generous salad with a light dressing. Because of its muted acidity, it didn’t clash with my back-to-healthy-eating meal.
I believe this Rosé has the ability to pair beautifully with dark meat turkey, salmon, veal, and seafood. “Big” meats, such as game or beef, would walk all over its delicate nuances. Just about any vegetarian dish would be an outstanding choice, with the possible exception of anything heavy in mushrooms, which screams for a Pinot.
After I ate, I went out on the patio and really just enjoyed the wine. It is pretty, fragrant, and delicious. And at its usual price of $18.00 – which, admittedly is a little high for a Rosé – the quality makes it a bargain at any price.
I still have one bottle remaining, but I promised it to the Wineaux Guy. Maybe he’ll forget and I’ll get to keep it. Don’t tell him.
2010 Curran Grenache Rose, Santa Ynez Valley
Tasting Room – Solvang