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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Spanish Rosé from Gonzalez Byass‏

On one level, early autumn seems like an odd time to be reviewing a clutch of roses.

However, if autumn is the season for pale reds, such as Pinot, and heavier whites to go with game, then there is a logic to having a well-made food rosé at this time of year.

Moreover, in these centrally-heated days, as long as the wines are good and versatile, the season almost doesn't matter-  and who knows, we may still even get a bit of an Indian Summer ...

Vinas Del Vero Rosado 2010 DOC Somontano (£7.29)

This one is made from two quite beefy grapes, the Cabernet Sauvignon of Bordeaux and the Tempranillo of Rioja - and is a correspondingly deep red in the glass.

On the nose, there are red berries, a tarry liquorice and a touch of hoppy grapefruit.

The palate is full of strawberry and raspberry fruit with notes of prunes, plums and more liquorice; the acidity is ripe, rounded and mouthfilling with a just touch of mid-palate sweetness.

The finish is long, savoury and balanced.

This is a very pleasant wine indeed - in a more-ish, easy-drinking but sensible sort of way - and works as both a quaffer or with heavier picnic food, such as quiche, salad and cooked chicken, or even lighter game such as partridge served with a jus.

Vilarnau Brut Rosado NV DOC Cava (£10.49)

Deep red colour, this is made from a combination of the Burgundian Pinot Noir and the little-known Trepat, a grape native to north east Spain, with only around 1,500 ha of vines planted.

Restrained on the nose, it shows redcurrant and raspberry fruit on the palate with a pleasing, balanced acidity.
With some air, the nose develops and becomes a touch yeasty, the palate fills out with a touch of white pepper edge, the acidity becomes more rounded and the finish lengthens and becomes strawberry-ish. There is some mid-palate sweetness.
Overall, well-made and very enjoyable even if there is not a huge amount of complexity or intensity. Made by Methode Traditionelle (i.e. secondary fermentation in bottle) with 18 months' aging before disgorgement.
For more on the elusive Trepat, see this post from Fringe Wine - here.

Gonzalez Byass Altozano Tempranillo Shiraz Rosado 2010 VdlT de Castilla (£7.49)

The fruit-driven Altozano adds Syrah into the blend and shows more smokey spice and pruney fruit as a result.

The acidity is gentler and it is a more easy-drinking wine with lots of juicy red-berry fruit.

Beronia Tempranillo Rosado 2010 DOCa Rioja (£7.99)

Made from 100% Tempranillo, this has an intensity and focus with a balance between fruit, body and minerality.

Less fruit-driven, with some air it develops a lovely, rounded mouthfeel and a long savoury finish, making  it a great food wine.

Despite their various origins and grape varieties, there is a distinct "house-style" to all these wines - a crisp structure, prominent food-friendly acidity and a pureness of fruit.

All are technically well-made, rounded and fresh and whilst they express different characteristics, they feel united by a single, unified vision.

Recommended wine

It is hard to pick out a single wine - all are of equal quality and priced similarly, so there is an element of "you pays your money and you takes your choice".

Whilst the Altozano is perhaps the most crowd-pleasing and fruit-driven, for me the most interesting and well-made wine here is the classical Beronia for its minerality and food-friendliness.

Provided for review.

Tanners - http://www.tanners-wines.co.uk/
Noel Young - http://www.nywines.co.uk/
Ocado - http://www.ocado.com/
Winehouse - http://www.winehouse.co.uk/
Rhythm & Booze - http://www.rhythmandbooze.co.uk/
Also, Iberica restaurant in London - http://www.ibericalondon.co.uk/ibericalondon/

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