Sunday, April 29, 2012

Virginia Rosé Tasting

2011 Virginia Rosés
Ann and I started off our holiday week with a "blind" tasting of four 2011 local rosés to pick one for the spring wine list at the restaurant. Blind is in quotes because with only four bottles of four vastly different shades of pink, there wasn't much surprise about which wine was which. We limited the tasting to the four local wineries that we do the most business with. I'm sure other wineries made fine wines too, but these are the ones that are already in our supply chain, readily available for purchase.

Joining us were Jen and Dewi and Kenny and Melanie. Mel is the assistant winemaker at Fabbioli Cellars.

The results really surprised me and that's why we do these head-to-head tastings. Here are my tasting notes and the results of our six votes.

Wine 1. Light salmon to copper colored, with a whiff of SO2 and funky strawberry on the nose, light, sweet, a touch effervescent, not wowing me, needs acid. Votes: 1 second, 2 third, 3 fourth. Points: 20. Avg Rank: 3.3.

Wine 2. Strawberry red with a closed nose initially. Opened up after 10 minutes to show some light strawberry and rhubarb notes on the nose also echoed on the palate. There were also some floral notes. A little hot and thus slightly out of balance. Votes: 2 first, 3 second, 1 third. Points: 11. Avg Rank 1.8.

Wine 3. Deep salmon color with big nose of strawberries, big fruit, mostly strawberry with a decided rose petal nuance, bright acid balancing sweet fruit. Votes: 4 first, 2 second. Points: 8. Avg Rank: 1.3.

Wine 4. Bright cherry red with hair perm nose. After 15 minutes a lot of SO2 blew off leaving an oxidized nose. Huge sweet fruit, but sulfur pervades the palate, acid is not balancing, effervescent, flabby. Votes: 2 third, 4 fourth. Points: 22. Avg Rank: 3.7.

After unbagging the wines, the results by rank are:

1.3 Boxwood
1.8 Linden
3.3 Fabbioli
3.7 Glen Manor

We will be serving the Boxwood at the restaurant this summer. I have to say though that if I weren't bent on supporting the home team, I have tasted dozens of French and Spanish rosés from 2011 that I rated much more highly than even the Boxwood.

P.S. Update May 9, 2012: Jeff White from Glen Manor called to say that bottles shipped to the distributor are showing a lot of SO2 while those that remain at the winery are tasting fine and customers are liking them. Go figure. Maybe transporting them shocked them all over again.

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