Hugs and Kisses in Pink!
I was originally going to review a budget-priced French Rosé, but couldn’t do it. Let’s just say that initially it had what you’d expect from a Rosé – beautiful rosy pink color and fragrances of berries and watermelon. The flavor on the other hand, while it would appeal to those who think White Zin is da bomb, was somewhat problematic. As expected of a Rosé, I found flavors of strawberries, watermelon, pink peppercorns, and – uncharacterically – a soupçon of Manischewitz. Ew. It tasted sugared, and it just didn’t appeal to my (admittedly snobbish) palate. But, to paraphrase the “it’s five o’clock somewhere” t-shirts, *someone* somewhere will like it.
That someone would not be me. I needed a Rosé that acted like it was older than a high-school coed, with personality, charm, and strength. A grownup.
And since I was in the mood for a Rosé, I grabbed one of my bottles of 2009 Hug Cellars xoxo Rosé. Hugs and Kisses. Get it?
In word, Yum. And not just from the taste.
Let’s go through this one point at a time.
First of all, the eyes are pleased with what they see in the glass. A captivating deep fuchsia rather than a more everyday pink, the color is immediately arresting. Unexpectedly, it almost lumbers (for a Rosé) around the glass, leaving beautiful legs on the sides. The legs telegraph the 14.5% alcohol level, which is hefty for a Rosé, but not unexpected in a wine with this much structure and body.
The nose is equally appealing, with the characteristic berries, rose petals, watermelon, strawberries, and interesting touches of green tea and minerals. On the tongue, it is crisp, with good food-friendly acidity that adds to its character. The taste reflects the nose, with a long, dry, minerally finish. This is most definitely a food Rosé. As in red meat or mushrooms type of food. You need more than a salad with this one.
Truly enjoyable, it is both complex and simply refreshing. It can be a peruse wine, or it can be a quaffer, although I don’t recommend the latter. Enjoy it, have it with food, or have it out on the patio – slightly chilled – on a sunny summer day. Don’t drink this Rosé refrigerator-cold however; you’ll lose too much of its character.
Here comes the bad news – unless you’re a wine club member or visit the winery, it’s not available, not even online. However, I will strongly encourage you to contact the winery directly at info (at) hugcellars (dot) com. Augie and Raquel are wonderful people, and I’ve found that begging will sometimes work wonders!
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