Thursday, April 19, 2007

Catavino Virtual Rose Tasting #1: the US Entry

Here are my first tasting notes for the Catavino Virtual Rose Tasting. First a big thanks to Gabriella, Adrienne, and Ryan for a great event, which I'll be continuing to contribute to over the next 11 days as I open two more bottles of Rose. In case you don't remember what this event is all about, just click on the link above to find out more. Next up: a French rose, followed by a Spanish rose (my first) and a summary of what I've discovered about these wines after popping the corks on three bottles.

Additional thanks to Ryan, who inspired me to think of a way to review a wine that isn't the standard color/aroma/palate. I decided to pioneer the "tag-cloud wine review," accompanied by an evocative picture that I think conveys the feeling of this wine. Let me know what you think--and if you can figure it out! I'm not sure this works, but it will be interesting to get your feedback. And if you hate it don't worry: it was pretty hard to do so the rest of my reviews will be as they have been!

LA TASTING ALERT: This just in. If you are in LA and want to try some interesting roses, Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock is having a rose tasting on Saturday, April 21st from 4-6 pm. The cost is $15/person, which includes 5 wines and gourmet cheeses from Auntie Em's Markeplace. Wines to be poured include roses from Spain, Argentina, Oregon, and California--so you will be perfectly situated to contribute to the virtual tasting forum! Colorado Wine asks you to kindly RSVP to or (323) 478-1985 if you plan on attending.

Without further ado, the review:

2005 Bonny Doon Vineyards Vin Gris de Cigare ($10.99, Beverages and More)

chilled cinsault copper dry fruity
grenache grenache blanc mourvedre quaffer red/white blend refreshing rhubarb rocks roussanne salmon-colored seared tuna with cilantro pesto pasta primavera strawberry summer syrah
very good QPR viognier watermelon


Orion Slayer said...

I look forward to following the link for the Catavino Virtual Rose Tasting. Until recently I have been put off by rose, thinking them too light. But recently tried a Malbec Rose that changed my mind.

It was an El Portillo Malbec Rose, 2006 (about $13.) Maybe it was the malbec, but the wine had an interesting and distinct flavor while being light and easy to drink.

I hope there are more pleasant surprises in the rose world!

Orion Slayer said...

I forgot to comment on the tasting notes style:

Though it is harder to read than straight text, it is poetic. I read a book once that was done in this style. It was more of the authors thoughts than an essay. However, you got more of a feel for how she felt and the relationship of her ideas to each other.

I wouldn't want to read every wine review this way, but it gives the reader a feel for your impression of the wine that straight forward tasting notes can't do.

winedeb said...

I was intrigued by your Rose' post, as I drink a quite a few of them here in KW due to our heat and humidity in the summer. I did a post a few weeks ago regarding Red Bicyclette 2005 French Rose'. Very nice flavors of rasberry and cherry, lovely cherry colored. Well chilled, it was a party in my mouth! Today at our local supermarket, I checked out the Spanish section which is not very big. But, I found a Gran Feudo 2005 Rose Wine. The winery is owned by the Chivite family. I have it chilling now and will let you know tomorrow my findings on it.

Dr. Debs said...

Hey there, OrionSlayer and Winedeb! OrionSlayer, you can try out blogging by posting your impressions on that Malbec Rose in the Forums section of Catavino ( Someone else had a Malbec rose, and they liked it too. And just to show you that we're all newbies Ryan Opaz hadn't ever had one! So you're a leader in this field. Thanks also for your comment. I felt the same. Cool, interesting--but please God not for every post!

Winedeb, have fun with that rose,and I look forward to your post. Florida is perfect for rose all year around, I imagine! And if you can, you should also post your notes in the Catavino forum ( that others can keep track of all the good options out there!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, group participation! I can't wait till next month to see what we all taste!

Rose, is so unappreciated. Today I had a Cab Franc at the wine fair I"m at, and I had my eye on a Pink Cava that I need to try tomorrow...Thanks for joining in and when I'm done with this fair I'll post more! Cheers, Ryan

Gabriella Opaz said...

Thanks for giving us the thumbs up on our virtual tasting. The more people we have working together on this, the better. It makes the experience richer and more interesting. I have the infamous Sogrape Vinos Mateus from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal chilling right now and will post on it when I get back from Monday. This wine deserves a worthy post, but for now I will leave you with raspberry jolleyranchers (sp?) and diesel fuel. A must try, but not a repeat customer!

Gabriella Opaz said...

Sorry, I forgot to preface my comment by saying that I purchased the large bottle with a "gift" 187 ml bottle that tasted with dinner tonight. Hence, my brief tasting note. I want to try it again on monday and leave a more deserving post.


Nate said...

I used to have the same general feelings towards rosés as OrionSlayer - they always seemed to simple and thin for me, and I just didn't see the real "point" to them when I could pop open a bottle of red and really enjoy myself.

Then I moved to Washington, DC.

The heat and humidity in the summers here are truly staggering - literally. Winedeb - I lived in Florida for a few years (St. Pete) I think DC has it beat for oppressive summer conditions.

Enter rosé - *now* I knew what they were for! So I have only just recently entered in to the rosé scene, but look forward to finding one for Catavino's tasting - thanks for the excuse!

Anonymous said...

I've had my head down so much I totally forgot about this - and tonight perversely I am drinking a rose! Now I have to review it...

I really love your "cloud" review - it's amazingly quick to grasp. If one of those bright Wine 2.0 guys could figure out a way to make it simpler to do you could really be on to something. I actually have some thoughts on that but perhaps I will leave that as an exercise....

winedeb said...

Had a very nice Spanish Rose' last night and have posted about it on my site today, Friday. Now I will try to search out a US one!

Dr. Debs said...

Hi everybody. First, great blog, Nate and great post in the Catavino forum ( the cabernet rose that you had last week. And I hear you about summer in DC--I recall the tarmac actually got spongey from the heat!

WineDeb, make sure you put a snippet of your post, or at least a link to your site, on the forum ( It takes only a minute to become a forum member, and then you'll be able to post all your rose reviews easily. And they're getting lots of visitors to the forum these days so it will get some new folks to your site!

And el Jefe, thanks for the thumbs up. The more I stare at it the more I think it is a style of review that would work especially well for visual folks who grasp its essence quickly. I still can't get all the fonts to keep to the size they're supposed to be, but the idea of a wine 2.0 solution would be cool. Maybe I'll review the Twisted Oak potty-mouth white I got from WineQ this way...