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Everything’s Coming Up Rosés!

Dry rosés aren’t just warm weather quaffers here at Gang Central; we drink them throughout the year. We have had the opportunity to taste some very nice selections over the past several weeks, however, so now seems as good a time as any to file a report on these six delicious pinkos. They represent different styles and price points, so there are good choices here for a variety of tastes and budgets. We start things off with three selections from two of our very favorite California producers.

2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Paso Robles Dianthus, 60% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 15% Counoise, 14.5% Alc., $27 SRP: Dianthus is a new name of Tablas Creek’s estate rosé (in former vintages it was simply called Rosé), and refers to a genus of flowering plants known for their deep pink blossoms and known colloquially as “pinks”. Bright strawberry pink color, with lively, not quite candied strawberry and raspberry flavors and aromas that are ripe, intense and delicious; subtle minerality and a hint of herbaceousness add to the appeal as it opens and warms in the glass. Medium-full bodied, with good acids and decent length on the finish. I like this, but not enough to warrant the $27 price tag. 1200 cases produced. Find this wine


2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Rosé Paso Robles, 75% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 5% Counoise, 14.0% Alc., $20 SRP:
The pale salmon pink provides a sharp contrast to the bright color of the Dianthus. Rich and intense, but not as ripe as the estate rosé, offering nice strawberry, watermelon and mineral character. Medium-to-medium-full body, with zippy acidity and good length on the finish. I might just like this one a little better than the Dianthus; it’s more along the lines of the Provençal style, though still bigger and more fruit forward than most of those. The price is more pleasing as well. The grapes for this wine were sourced from five top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles:
31% Grenache and Tablas-clone Mourvèdre from Briarwood Vineyard (Templeton Gap)
19% Mourvedre, Grenache and Counoise from the Tablas Creek certified organic estate vineyard
19% Tablas-clone Grenache from Starr Ranch (Adelaida Hills)
19% Grenache from Catherine’s Vineyard (El Pomar)
12% Tablas-clone Grenache from Self Family Vineyard (Templeton Gap)
1250 cases produced. Find this wine

2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé, 100% Syrah, 14.10% alc., $20 SRP: One of the paler rosés that we’ve seen; the color (or lack thereof) belies the effusive perfume that practically explodes from the glass with floral strawberry and raspberry aromas. The intense, almost exotic flavors echo the nose with great exuberance, and ample acids keep everything moving along nicely on a medium-full bodied frame. Unctuous, almost thick in texture, and a real pleasure to sip whilst playing the 12-string on a warm spring evening on the back deck. The fruit was sourced from Crane Ranch Vineyard, in the Oak Knoll District; it spent 5 months in mature French oak. 419 cases produced. Find this wine

2012 Vina Robles Roseum Paso Robles Huerhuero Vineyard, 54% Mourvedre, 34% Grenache, 7% Syrah, 5% Viognier, 14.2% alc., $13.00: Raspberry pink, with big, rich strawberry and raspberry flavors and aromas that show more than a little earth underneath it all; one of the most intense rosés that we’ve ever had, including the Corallina and Dianthus noted above. No one will ever mistake this for something from Provence, and Paso Robles seems so obvious, with its heat. Medium-to-medium-full bodied, with good acids and length, and if it’s not my preferred style of rosé, I can’t help but like it anyway. It’ll pair well with pretty much all of the usual suspects off the grill or in the picnic basket, and the price tag is more than fair. Find this wine

2011 M. Chapoutier Pays d’Oc Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rosé, 13.5% alc., $13.99: I tried this based on our positive experience with the 2009 M. Chapoutier Domaine De Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem in April, and it too proved to be enjoyable. Peachy pink in color, with rich watermelon and strawberry character shaded with chalky minerality; nice intensity, medium-to-medium-full body, with good acids and length. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Find this wine

Imported by HB Wine Merchants, New York, NY

2011 Lieu-Dit-Cocagne Coteaux du Vendomois Rosé, 100% Pineau d’Aunis, 13.5% alc., $9.99: Easily the best QPR value of the six wines reviewed here, and also the funkiest, which may be why I like it so much. Salmon pink in color, with a somewhat musty (in a good way) strawberry and watermelon personality. More than medium bodied, with impressive concentration, zippy acids and good length; an off-the-beaten-path rosé that we’ve enjoyed on several occasions. Find this wine

Imported by AHD Vintners, Ltd., Warren, MI

Reporting from Day-twah,

geo t.

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  4. Somm – another wine geek film coming soon
  5. A Country Neighborhood Red from Tablas Creek

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