Rose

Review: 2013 Kynsi Barn Owl Blush Pinot Noir Rose

You know that euphoric feeling you get when the sun is shining, you’re lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds as you snuggle up alongside someone you love? Well my other half and I got a heaping dose of all that mushy stuff this past Valentine’s Day when we visited San Luis Obispo. We went for the wine, but also got a pleasantly fun surprise by saying at the quirky, and sometimes creepy, Madonna Inn.

Credit: Madonna Inn

Credit: Madonna Inn

Kynsi, a small winery we visited while there, made a special Pinot Noir Rose and we just had to bring some home. This Rose, which is more orange in color than pink, is crisp and lemony and just reminds me of summer days playing lawn games. The strawberry essence helps there, too.

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The rose is different than your traditional White Zinfandel or White Merlot, so if those are your jam, be weary that this isn’t as sweet. It does have a spritzy body and a creamy aftertaste, though, and best of all purchases benefit the Arroyo Grande Hospital Breast Cancer Fund.

Plus, we when we bought the wine, Kynsi–which has an air of Anthropologie about it, perhaps because it has a French Country charm with its dairy farm roots–gave us complimentary chocolate bark. Yum!

Nuts and Bolts

Winery: Kynsi
Type: Pinot Noir Rose
Origin: Edna Valley
Price: $24
Alcohol content: 13.6%
When to drink: Valentine’s Day, duh!

Review: 2013 Leoness White Merlot

Funnily enough, my future father-in-law loves this sweet easy drinker. The 2013 Leoness White Merlot is a hit in the tasting room at this Temecula winery because it’s the everyman rose. Too sweet for my taste to have too often– I prefer the 2012 La Ferme Julien Rose and for those who like it with a bit more body, dry and tart, go for the 2011 Carol Shelton Rendezvous Rose–but it’s perfect for a date night in with a comedy rolling on the tube.

And that’s exactly how I enjoyed this strawberrylicious wine. Seriously, you could drop a little seltzer in there and get some strawberry soda (I’m not recommending you do this, but I’m just trying to make a point about how juicy this rosy partner is).

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As we VOD’d “The Interview” and channeled Dave Skylark, my other half and I finished this rose in one sitting. The longlasting flavor gives you a full-mouth feel.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: Leoness
  • Type: Rose
  • Origin: Temecula
  • Price: $21 ($15.75 wine club, which I’m part of. This came in our quarterly package)
  • Alcohol content: 12.5%
  • When to drink: While watching a comedy on your couch, while snacking on some peanut butter popcorn, because, why not?

Review: 2013 J.L. Quinson Cotes de Provence Rose

I experimented a bit with this wine. I had brought a pretty good roe from Trader Joe’s, 2013 La Ferme Julien Rose, to a picnic–mostly because it was hot and I thought a rose would be refreshing and because it has a screwtop, which is perfect for al fresco drinking. My friend brought the 2013 J.L. Quinson Cotes de Provence Rose and mentioned that while browsing the wine aisles at Trader Joe’s, she came across both wines, but landed on the latter.

In light of this lovely coincidence, we sipped from both bottles, comparing the two.

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The Cotes de Provence, with its salmon color in the glass, smells like strawberry and is much drier than the La Ferme Julien Rose. To me, it tasted like light grape skins–it’s not too fruity– but it had a nice pep to it due to the acidity. It also wasn’t too flabby, a refreshing characteristic for a cheap rose.

Overall, I prefer the La Ferme Julien, but you can’t go wrong with either one on a hot summer day (they are both the same price).You can see my review for that wine in a previous post.

Nuts & Bolts:

  • Winery: J.L. Quinson
  • Type: Rose
  • Origin: France
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Price: $5.99
  • Alcohol content: 12.5%
  • When to drink: On a hot summer day, al fresco, while discussing vacations abroad or daydreaming about crystal clear waters off the coast of Croatia.

Review: 2012 Planeta Syrah/Nero d’Avola

Tangerines! That’s the first thing I thought of when I sipped this rose that look more orange than pink. I’ve been on a rose kick since I had the La Ferme Julien Rose and decided to order a glass of this sucker after waiting in a very long line at a pizza place that was having a Pi Day deal ($3.14 for a pizza) only to get out of line in frustration and hunger and go to a fancy Neopolitan pizza joint across the street.

I had this lovely pizza with mascarpone, mozzarella, roasted fennel and onions. Yum! I also had a glass of the 2012 Planeta Syrah/Nero d’Avola. Now this is a blend of Syrah, which is a varietal you probably recognize, and Nero d’Avola, a varietal I had no clue existed.

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Nero d’Avola is largely grown in Sicily (which is where Planeta is based) and also goes by the name Calabrese. It comes from a dark grape (nero means black) and according to wine-searcher.com “younger wines show plum and juicy red-fruit flavors, while more complex examples offer chocolate and dark raspberry flavors.Nero d’Avola typically has high tannins, medium acid and a strong body. However, it can also be very smooth if grown at higher elevations where the air is cooler and alcohol levels are restricted.”

This orangey wine, due to its citrus flavors, reminded me of brunch. It’s tart and slightly tingly from the acidity. After it warms up a bit, it makes your tongue want to rub up against the roof of your mouth because of the lingering flavor, kind of like a dog licking peanut butter off a spoon.

Nuts & Bolts:

  • Winery: Planeta
  • Type: Syrah/Nero d’Avola blend
  • Origin: Sicily
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Price: $8 for a glass at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana in Pasadena
  • Alcohol content: unknown
  • When to drink: I imagine drinking this during a summer lunch featuring lots of Italian antipasti dishes at a garden cafe–in Sicily preferentially–but your hometown will do. 

Review: 2012 La Ferme Julien Rose

Simple, but good. Those were the first words out of my mouth when I sipped the 2012 La Ferme Julien Rose while watching “True Detective” and twirling some spaghetti squash with pesto and peas onto my fork earlier this week.

It was such an easy-drinker I had to refrain myself from finishing more than half the bottle on my own. I believe my other half was skipping out on wine that night because he had to work late into the evening. The kind, generous fiancee I am, I twisted back the screw top and put some of this dry, fruity rose back in the fridge so he could enjoy it, too.

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And enjoy it he did. The next night we finished off the bottle I picked up at Trader Joe’s.

Grapes for La Ferme are grown on vines that sit atop the slopes of Mont-Ventoux in the Rhone Valley in France by the Perrin family. The Perrins are known for their Roussannes as well as their collaboration with Tablas Creek in Paso Robles.

This cherry blossom pink wine doesn’t smell like much at first, but the aromas come in the longer it’s out. It has strawberry flavors in there, but most of the fruitiness is muted. It’s dry, but not too dry. On a 1 to 10 scale of dryness, with 1 being really, really dry, I’d give this a 4. There’s not a leathery feeling on the tongue, in fact the wine is pretty refreshing. Some may call it watery, but I disagree. I think it has just the right amount of lightness. It’s cool and refreshing.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: La Ferme Julien
  • Type: Rose
  • Origin: Rhone Valley, France 
  • Price: $5.99
  • Alcohol content: 13.5%
  • When to drink: On a hot, hot summer day, possibly while switching off from lounging in a beach chair to hitting a slip and slide.

Review: Arrogant Frog Syrah Rose

Twist off!

I am a cork lover through and through, but I’ve been seeing more screw caps as I browse wine store shelves and honestly, they have their benefits. Think of all those times you headed to a picnic with a beautiful bottle of wine only to get there and uh-oh, you forgot the cork screw! This has happened to me many times and I have tried to life hack, unsuccessfully…more on that in another post.

I was scavenging for a rose at BevMo the other day during their 5 cent wine sale. They don’t have a lot of Roses covered by the discount, but Arrogant Frog Syrah Rose fit the bill.

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I unscrewed the bright pink cap earlier this week and poured the translucent pink liquid into a glass. The bottle calls it “Lily Pad Pink”–how cute! I was busy shooting off emails and picking out new glasses as I sipped. The wine smelled like cherry blossoms and tasted like them too, at least what I think they’d taste like. Very flowery; the taste of candied fruit lingered on my tongue.

It reminded me of cherry blossom season in DC, my favorite time of year when I used to live in the capitol. Look how pretty the trees are! I have this first picture hanging in my living room.

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I tried the Syrah Rose again a couple of days later at dinner and it got tarter with time, but for me, that was a good thing.

It’s creator, Jean-Claude Mas, is known as the “humble winemaker” and he harvests grapes from the five main valleys in the South of France: Aude, Orb, Herault, Peyne and Uzes valleys. How fun are those names!

I’d buy this again for a picnic or as a gift to a floral wine lover, but I probably wouldn’t get it again to keep around the house.

Nuts and Bolts

courtesy of food.com

courtesy of food.com