Crafted from red grapes, rosť wines are made by giving just enough skin contact with their juice to impart a light red color.
They are some of the most food friendly wines, crossing boundaries of crisp whites, with some of the heartier characteristics of reds.
This tasting saw four different countries represented, and displayed varied styles of barely pink, lighter wines to darker, more robust examples.
The top two wines were very much enjoyed, while the bottom two received no points, and were universally scorned.
First Place: Yangarra Shiraz/Grenache Rosť 2006 (McLaren Vale). Dark pink in color, which Kristin described as "like watered-down cranberry juice". Gilles called the color "an Easter wine". A tart, chalky nose; reminiscent of pomegranate and tangerine, and showing acidic freshness. Flavors of granny smith apple, with a pleasant, almost effervescent personality. Round in texture. Slightly tannic on the finish, where peach flavors show up. Generally better on its own than with food. Andy summed this one up with, "if a red wine drinker and a white wine drinker got into a fight, this is how they would settle their differences". Only Gilles did not give this his top rating. Received 33 points. Andy's bottle. About $15.
Second Place: Domaine Tempier Rosť 2006 (Bandol). Showing a pink/orange color, with pretty aromas of marjoram, mint, lemon verbena, and flowers. Kristin was reminded of an "herb garden". Strong on the attack, and featuring pink grapefruit (including rind), lemon balm, cough syrup, and citrus fruits. A better pair with food than the Yangarra. Very pleasant. Gilles gave this his top rating, and the other five tasters gave it their second highest mark. Received 26 points. Gilles' bottle. About $30.
Third Place: Toad Hollow Rosť Eye of the Toad 2006 (Sonoma County). Darker in color. Pleasing nose of watermelon Hubba Bubba gum, flowers, honeysuckle, and rose petals. Ali felt that it was a "happy, sunny day". A bit candied on the palate. David felt that it was "superficial", while Gilles thought it was "Cool-Aid-ish". Made from Pinot Noir. Received 13 points. Joyce's bottle. About $20.
Mas de Gourgonnier Rosť 2006 (Les Baux de Provence). Aromatically complex, with mushrooms, bacon, ammonia, acetone, citrus, raspberry, toasted wood, and caramel. Ali thought that it "smells like Secaucus". Featuring raspberries, tart apples, and oranges on the palate. Has sharpness and alcohol on the finish, where crab apple flavors emerge. The most dry of the night, with a refreshing quality. Made from organically grown grapes. Received 6 points. David's bottle. About $15.
Eberle Syrah Rosť 2005 (Paso Robles). Dark pink color. Nail polish remover, caramel, wax, leather, wet wood, ammonia, citrus oil, fake fruit, and forest/moss scents. Gilles described the aromas as "cobbler shop", while David noticed "Jello shot". Relatively thick, with noticeable sugar, and some rhubarb flavors. David thought of it as "disjointed", while Ali just went with "terrible". Gilles felt that both this one and the Lacrimaroa were "equally heinous". No points. Ali's bottle. About $17.
Mastroberardino Lacrimarosa 2005 (Campania). Much lighter in color, with a nose of locker room, fungus, cream, bubble gum, dish rag, and pineapple. David thought it was "offensive". Tasting like blue cheese, plastic, and wet cardboard. Gilles summed this one up as "the perfect loser". No points. Kristin's bottle. About $17.
Lucien et Andre Brunel Chateauneuf du Pape Les Cailloux 2003. Complex aromas of black cherries, tobacco, caramel, plums, green peppers, leather, peppercorns, and blueberries. Intense, saturated palate, with anise, steel, cherries, plums, minerals/stones, and some alcoholic heat. Powerful, complex, and long. From David's cellar. About $45.