(The Bottle In Front Of Me is a series of somewhat regular, brief tasting notes from the Rogue Estate’s resident wine guy, Ian.)
Jumping Off the Rosé Bandwagon
In my part of the midwest, the last 2-3 years have seen a massive increase in the popularity of good dry Rosé wines. The usual excellent French and Italian suspects are present, but added to the mix are Spanish, South American, South African, and even a few great Michigan pours. My local grocery is carrying at least 40 different Rosés this Spring/Summer, and only 1 or 2 are the dreaded sweet “White Zinfandel”.
I adore chilled rosé through the Summer, and I was hunting for something unfamiliar. I scored that in spades, from a place I never really knew existed.
Lanzarote is a Spanish territory in the Canary Islands, at the edge of the E.U., and off the coast of Southern Morocco. They were also the last stop of Spanish galleons on their way to the new world. It’s a volcanic island of striking, harsh beauty, with really fascinating viticulture. I had no idea what to expect from this mysterious little wine-making island before I opened the bottle in front of me.
2010 Bermejo Rosé (About $24)
Learn more about the winery (Spanish language only): http://www.losbermejos.com/index.php
Learn more about the bottle in front of me (Spanish language only): http://www.losbermejos.com/view_product.php?product=7ROSBUM869
SEE: A gorgeous medium amberish pink, almost terra cotta. The bright clear color fades to a transparent rim.
SWIRL: An extremely viscous cling to the glass which falls very slowly in curtains, not legs.
SMELL: Unexpected. An initial note of spiced apples fades quickly to an unusual funk, with undertones of oxidized cherries. Very light notes of honey and sulphur follow. This appears to have been a difficult wine to coax from the fruit available.
SIP: Heavy mouthfeel, dominated by tart cherry and sour cranberry. While not tannic, there are hints of red currant, oak leaf, and tomato skin.
SAVOR: The closest relative to this wine I’ve experienced is a fino sherry. Very rustic.
Final impression: Unlike any other rosé I have yet tried. Unique in my experience, complex, but a bit unapproachable. If you have a summer dish that you like with a very dry sherry, this might be a nice change of pace. Otherwise, there may be better values out there from mainland Europe.
Pair with: The obvious rules apply, but I had to taste a few bites to confirm. I might pour this with wood-grilled squid or small fishes, grilled sweet peppers, olives. It takes to woody herbs quite well–lavender, oregano, thyme and sage.