Pink is definitely shaping up to be THE color for wine this summer. Both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast have run cover stories on rosés, and the general media at large have picked up on this trend and run stories in newspapers across the US, so rosé - your time is now!
Catavino's Virtual Rosé Wine Tasting last month really piqued my interest in pink, and I plan to continue my exploration of rosés this summer. As I mentioned in my previous rosé tasting notes, I'd been a bit traumatized by White Zinfandel in the past, so it's taken me a while to come around to the notion that not all pink wine is wretchingly sweet. Once I overcame that roadblock, I've really started enjoying rosés!
So I admit, I bought this wine for no reason other than it had a really cool bottle. Seriously, check that out - how cool is that?! I'm all for more interesting bottles, as long as they still fit within a wine rack, and just as importantly, fit within a refrigerator! (I'm frequently annoyed with Rieslings and Gewurztraminers in their tall skinny bottles that only fit cock-eyed in the fridge).
So anyway, I really liked the shape bottle. I did look beyond the bottle shape enough to note that this wine came from Côtes de Provence, France before purchasing it - I figured the French abhor sweet table wine, so I was pretty safe in avoiding anything remotely resembling White Zinfandel. Plus, Wine Enthusiast claimed that 8% of all the world's rosé was produced in Provence, so I figured they'd be a pretty safe bet.
But back to the bottle - not only was it a funky shape, it also had a raised sun and palm tree on the glass: again, trés cool. I've mentioned before that I'm a total sucker for wine bottles with raised images... See, I wasn't kidding. We're going to have to keep this one and make it into an oil candle or something.
Besides stating that it was from Provence, in typical French style the label was very unhelpful in conveying any useful information about the wine (grapes used, brief tasting notes, pairing suggestions, etc).
What I'd really like to start seeing on wine bottles is a website address! In a recent post, Winedeb mentioned that she found a web address on the cork - perfect location! If you're in a restaurant and you find something you like, you can just take the cork home with you as a "business card" of sorts. Why don't more wineries do this?? I'm sure the corks must cost a little more, but I think the cost would be more than offset by increased sales as people would be much more likely to be able to find the same wine again. I think this would be particularly helpful with French, Spanish or Italian wines - I always have a tricky time trying to Google for particular wines from non-English speaking countries, so having their web address would really help (even if I had to have Google translate the page, at least I'd be starting off in the right spot!)
Since its label was so unhelpful, I went online hoping to at least find out if this wine was made from Grenache, Cinsault, or Syrah grapes - all of which are likely given its Provence appellation. But alas, a few minutes of searching turned up no pertinent information, so I'll just have to live in ignorance...
Tasting the Pink
This 12.5% alcohol 2006 Roque Martin rosé was purchased for $10 at Rodmans. As you can kind of tell in the photo, it was a nice dark salmon color. My first impression was that there wasn't much on the nose - this may have been because it was too cold, as I started getting notes of light berries, maybe strawberry, afterwards. First impression of the taste was similar - it made me think of Dr. Deb's recent description of a wine as "gravel with a twist of lemon". This wine was very minerally, with nice acidity and a slight citrus edge to it. It hardly had any fruit (although I started tasting berries a bit later) although it still came off with a hint of sweetness.
This wine was thankfully not too sweet, so would work as either a summer sipper or paired with light fare, maybe even fish. I was not overly impressed by this wine though, and for $10 I would have to say it has just average quality-to-price ratio. I'm going to have to keep looking for the "perfect pink", and hopefully can find a favorite or two by the end o the summer!