Jeff’s Corner 4-26-18


Last Saturday we released the new 2017 Rosé of Malbec on our tasting bars, and it literally stole the show.  Bottles were flying off the shelves, and it was in most everyone’s glass after work except mine, which just about killed me.  I always try to wait and taste a wine for the first time when I write about it.

Well, as many of you know by now, we never get straight to the tasting notes in these stories, so here’s a little bit about rosé wine.  Most likely, the world’s first red wines more closely resembled a rosé than an inky Petite Sirah.  

Around 600 BC the Greeks found rosés from Provence in southeastern France (perhaps the birthplace of French wine), and by 125 BC they were known throughout the Mediterranean and coveted in the Roman Empire.  

In Southern Europe, dry rosés have often been the summer wine of choice for centuries, and then the wine world was turned on its ear when Sutter Home released a sweet rosé (white Zinfandel) in 1975, right?  Wrong.

The sweet rosé revolution actually began after World War II when two sweet, slightly carbonated (frizzante style) Portuguese wines exploded on the world’s wine scene called Mateus and Lancers.  They were bottled in oddly shaped clay-like bottles that forged an undeniable brand/image.  When I was a kid, we drank Boone’s Farm with the boys, and Mateus or Lancers with the girls.

Well, I’m going to boldly predict the new 2017 Rosé of Malbec is going to be the sweetheart GCV wine of spring and summer.  Like the 2016, it is 100% Malbec from the Sprayberry Vineyard near Midland.  Unlike the ’16, the ABV is much higher at 13.6% compared to 11.1%.  This gives the ’17 a much richer mouthfeel with greater texture.

The color is a lovely bright salmon and sparkles in our glass like a pink diamond, while delightful aromas bring to mind a fresh spring morning showcasing lots of vibrant red fruit.  Cherry, watermelon, and strawberry dance with floral notes of Carnation and Gardenia.  

The fruit flavors continue on our palate, and the most recurrent phrase while I am doing tastings is “watermelon Jolly Rancher”.  This is an extremely refreshing wine, with a lively balance between fruit and acid that lingers on in a brisk, teasing finish.

I say we take this lovely wine on a picnic with chicken salad on a buttery croissant and some fresh apple, pear, and red grapes.  Next week, we’ll take a look at that dark, inky Petite Sirah I alluded to in the second paragraph.

Until then, hasta la pasta…