Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wines I'm Drinking: Three Rosés from Grocery Outlet

Two of three rosés I picked up recently at Grocery Outlet were worth going back for more. I tasted the 2015 Head High North Coast California Rosé, the 2015 La Domitienne Sur le Sud Vin de Pays d'Oc, and the 2016 Comtesse Florence Côtes de Provence Rosé, all picked up at the Santa Rosa Grocery Outlet store. Brief tasting notes follow.

2015 Head High North Coast California Rosé: A very pretty, medium-deep amber-rose—by far the deepest in color of the three wines. Although it seemed a little distant at first on the nose, it offered hints of strawberries and caramel—or, more precisely, something that put me in mind of creme brulée. Rich and fruity on the palate, with toasty notes. Bold, highly extracted berry flavors, again with a toasty component. The fruity sweetness was nicely complemented by brisk acidity on the mid-palate, and there was a tart brightness that extended onto a longish finish. Ripe, rich, fruity, but dry and well balanced with acidity. A very bold, California-style rosé. Not subtle, but, in the right setting, the sort of wine that's far too easy to drink too much of. Still available as of May 23, 2017 at $4.99 a bottle.

2015 La Domitienne Sur le Sud Vin de Pays d'Oc: This is a 50/50 Grenache/Cinsault blend from the Vin de Pays d'Oc appellation—one of those exceedingly pale, light, southern French rosés that can be either quite bland or surprisingly flavorful. The La Domitienne was on the bland side, although even this one wasn't entirely uninteresting. Very pale pink. Not much on the nose. Slightly fishy at first, as these wines often are, but that dissipated. Light and not unpleasant on the palate and with a somewhat interesting savory flavor on the finish—a finish marked by light, grainy tannins and a delicate tartness. Acceptable, but not interesting enough that I felt compelled to go back for more. Probably better with food. Apparently sold out as of May 23, 2017

2016 Comtesse Florence Côtes de Provence Rosé: A rather amateurish-looking label, but I liked the wine enough to return to the store for a few bottles more. Another 50/50 Grenache/Cinsault blend. Again, a very pale, watery pink, but this wine had much more on the nose than the La Domitienne. There were floral scents and a citrus component. If pressed, I would have said gardenias and lime, but the floral scent was not quite as sweet and strong as a gardenia. Brighter on the palate than the La Domitienne. With decent acidity, but still a little soft. Quite dry. There's a very attractive delicate strawberry hint on the finish. In general, the palate is reminiscent of the nose—suggestive of perfume, limes, and flowers, and then strawberries. A much lighter, more delicate wine than the California-style Head High wine, but a solid rosé from the south of France suitable for everyday drinking. Apparently sold out as of May 23, 2017

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