Pretty in Pink09

Pretty in Pink – Rosé Wine Blind Tasting

Pretty in Pink13I’ve been called evil. And worse. Not only can I handle it, I revel in it. Why? Because I did a couple of evil things with pink wine. Muah ha ha!! (That’s evil laughter, by the way).

The Pretty in Pink wine tasting was a small blind tasting melding the Tex & Fritz Wine Club with the Vegas Wineaux Wine Club. It was all about the Rosé wines, and the challenges of choosing the correct wines using only winemakers tasting notes or snippets of professional reviews as a guide.

Here’s the challenge: there were seven wines on the list, but only six were to be tasted. They had to figure out which six were being tasted and which one was not. I was called names. heh heh heh.

The success rate ranged from none to four {{ahem}}. Yes, I participated. This is how it worked so that it would be completely fair: There were two people wrapping the wines – I wrapped each bottle in foil, removed the top capsule and handed them over to another person. The other person bagged the foil-wrapped wines in numbered, marked bags.  He had no idea of which wines were which and I had no idea of the numerical order.  So it was truly blind for all of us.

The wines were the following:

  • 2011 Domaine Fontanyl Côte de Provence
  • 2012 Aberdeen Angus Rosé
  • 2010 Sauvion Rosé d’Anjou (Loire Valley)
  • 2011 Beringer White Merlot
  • 2011 St. Supéry Rosé
  • 2011 Pigmentum Malbec Rosé
  • 2009 Rutherford Hill Rosé

Do you see the one wine that I threw in as a ringer? The “White Merlot”? On tasting, it stood out as being decidedly different from everything else because it was sweet. Cloyingly so, especially for a wine that’s not a dessert wine. That’s also when the dump bucket (aka “Mason Jar”) came out. It had been unnecessary for the first three wines. To be fair, however, its color was just as beautiful as the other shades of Rosé.

Pretty in Pink12In this type of wine tasting the wrapped bottles are poured using a measured pour spout which releases one ounce. We go through the steps expected at a tasting by serious wine people: we assess by sight the features of the wine, we nose it, then taste it, giving our impressions aloud at each step. Finally, we mark our sheets with our best estimate of the wine label. It is instructive for everyone, no matter what the level of experience.

After all, you can never taste too much wine. “Educational,” you know.

The WOTN was the 2011 St. Supéry Napa Valley, which I picked up for $14.99 at Marché Bacchus. Good price, beautiful fruit, food-friendly acidity, and delicious. The second wine was the 2012 Aberdeen Angus Rose, a 50/50 Malbec/Shiraz blend from Argentina. For about $10.00, it was another delicious wine and had a brilliant clear red color, making it visually attractive to our red wine lovers (me). The most unusual wine was the seventh, untasted wine – the 2011 Pigmentum Malbec Rosé.  It is a wine made in France from Malbec grapes grown in France – quite the rarity. It was loaded with tartaric crystals which look almost like jewels in a Rosé wine.

At the end of the night after all of the wines had been unveiled and drunk along with the food (El Pollo Loco with the Loco salad and roasted Pretty in Pink09corn side dishes – a nearly perfect pairing with Rosés, by the way!), only the Beringer White Merlot remained largely untouched. Which was okay. Now that they could see it, they knew why they didn’t like it.  Mass market “wine” that couldn’t hold the interest of a serious Oenophile, especially when going head to head against some truly fine dry Rosés.

I love Rosé tastings because they really do challenge the palate and the knowledge of each taster, and the lovely colors can be distracting. This was a lot of fun, and I will probably do this again with a different color/varietal of wine in the future.  They will probably call me evil again.  I can handle it.

Note:

Thanks to Tex for supplying the tasting notes for the evening.  Enjoy!

Wine #1 was light salmon in color w/ aromas of green apples, strawberries, lemons & nutmeg; flavors of green apples, passionfruit & kumquat.  This was the 2001 Domaine Fontanyl Cote de Provence, France — Wine Spectator (WS) 89 points — $13 @ Total Wine.

Wine #2 was light pink in color w/ aromas of cherries & berries; slightly acidic flavors of cherries.  This was the Abdereen Angus Rose, Mendoza, Argentina (50% blend of Malbec & Shiraz) — $9 @ Total Wine.

Wine #3 was dark rose in color w/ aromas & flavors of strawberries, cherries & slate w/ a short finish.  This was the 2009 Rutherford Hill Rose, Napa, CA (a blend of Merlot & Cab Franc) — 14.2% alcohol — $9 on sale @ the winery, normally $22.

Wine #4 was a darker rose in color w/ sweet aromas & flavors of watermelon, cherries & rose petals.  This was the 2011 Beringer White Merlot, CA (100% Merlot) — $5 @ Smith’s.

Wine #5 was pink in color w/ musty aromas of raspberries & apples; flavors of cherries, citrus & watermelon w/ white pepper on the finish.  This was the 2011 St. Supery Rose, Napa, CA (a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot & 4% Cabernet Franc) — $15 @ Marche Bacchus.  This was the favorite wine.

Wine #6 was light salmon in color w/ aromas & slightly sweet flavors of strawberries, cherries, vanilla & nutmeg.  This was the 2011 Sauvion Rose d”Anjou, Loire Valley, France (a blend of 70% Groslot & 30% Gamay) — 10.5% alcohol — $13 @ Lee’s.

Irene poured a 7th wine that was not part of the 6 wines tasted “blind” but was listed on the tasting notes as a possible answer.  Evil Irene!!!  This was the 2011 Pigmentum Malbec Rose, France (100% Malbec) — $10 @ Total Wine.

 

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