If there was an Olympic event in guessing the base wine-grape behind a rosé, I wouldn’t even be in contention for a bronze medal.
(Not that I’m in contention for any other Olympic event bronze medals, mind you.)
From the smell, I’d probably have guessed this fancily bottled little French number was a Pinot Noir, as it’s slightly, if very faint, savoury aroma (and pale, sunset orange-pink colour) reminded me of a Sancerre rosé I had some time ago.
But the taste was something quite different.
Having said that, it occurred to me some time later (still prior to Googling the bottle and unravelling its mysteries once and for all) that another Pinot Noir rosé I had even more recently (from Germany) had a taste that couldn’t have been much further from that Sancerre.
The reason I class rosé wines as white rather than red (although they are in a class of their own really, of course) is that the usual classification of their taste seems to be more akin to the sweet/dry range applied to whites than the light/full-bodied that normally applies to reds. But the fact that you can have the same grape appearing at the far ends of the sweet/dry scale (or near as dammit) makes them a tricky proposal from the beginning.
Anyway, to cut a long story short(ish), it turns out this French fancy was a fifty-fifty mix of Grenache and Cinsault (the latter being unfamiliar to me), and – while it underwhelemed at first with the sheer subtlety of its aroma and lightly fruity flavours of redcurrant and the less abbrasive but perhaps more pervasive strawberry – after being left open for a while, and once having been drunk unencumbered by accompanying foodstuffs, the lightly creamy side of this off-dry blush was allowed to unfold, until its summery charms well and truly made themselves known.
Truth be told, this is the ideal tennis-watching wine, in that it tastes for all the world like lightly sugared strawberries and cream. (Maybe with a thin, buttery biscuit base.) (Sorry.)
Actually, it doesn’t have quite the tang to reach cheesecake proportions of flavour, and if it was served with a dessert as flavourful as that it might begin to pale into insignificance – such is its subtlety – but all on its own with nothing but a glass and a still, summery afternoon to accompany it, there really couldn’t be any complaints at all.
In fact, sod the tennis. It’s finished now anyway, but this wine goes on.
Order for £7.65 from The Village Vine, Parkstone. Their serving suggestion is as an accompaniment to fish, which I wouldn’t have guessed myself, but it’s so crazy it just might work.
Image by Victoria Velky.