Madroña Zinfandel Rosé

Madroña Zinfandel Rosé 1

During our Wine Tasting at Madroña Vineyard, (http://mferraro73.tumblr.com/post/146094751633/madroña-vineyard-wine-tasting-it-was-scheduled) we tasted a Zinfandel Rosé that we wanted to take a second sip to really think about it. Since we were in Bass Lake, CA, outside Yosemite National Park, we didn’t have a chance to go out to find some cheese.

Many of you will see the photo of this Zinfandel Rosé and think, oh boy, it’s White Zinfandel! This is another reason we wanted to try it again. Rosé wines can be made by a few different processes so let’s start with that. The unforgettable White Zinfandel is made by creating Red Zinfandel with the first press of the grapes and then reusing the skins a second time and seeing what color/juice is still in the skins to create a lighter juice. It’s easy to see that this is one reason white zinfandel has such a bad reputation. After this “lighter” juice is created, sugar is added and voilà, White Zinfandel is born! At least that’s how I understand it.

There are lots of people who love rosés, for the fact that they can be chilled and enjoyed in the summertime. I took part in a wine chat a couple months back and learned about some of the ways rosé can be made. The maceration method happens by the grapes being pressed and the juice sitting on their skin for a short period of time to create a pink juice. The saignée method is different since part of the red juice is “bled off” or removed when the red wine is being made. These rosés are typically darker and can be aged. Having learned about these methods, I was eager to find out how this Zinfandel rosé was created but sadly this was the first vintage of the wine so the tasting room wasn’t very familiar with the methods used.

Regardless of how it was made, we found it intriguing, so onto the tasting. We sat outside on our final night in Bass Lake, CA to take our second look. As I swirled the wine, I picked up peach aromas and a hint of strawberry, I could tell it would be slightly tart. Neil noticed strawberries, as well as, a sugary sweet aroma. When I tasted the wine, I found a tart, peach flavor but it was also sweet and tangy, with a citrus finish. My mouth started watering so I guess it was high in acid too. Neil identified oak softness on the outside of his tongue, acid and strawberries.

If it was a blind tasting we both would have guessed it was a white wine. It reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc and Neil thought it was the most crisp, “white-like” rosé that he’s tried. The only thing that would have helped me figure out that it was a rosé was the strawberry notes. Another reason we were so surprised by this wine was that it used Zinfandel grapes. We really enjoy Zinfandel wines for the spice, pepper and berries, but this wine really doesn’t have any of this. Now that we know so much more about rosé, I’d be curious to try other rosés with some of the red varietals that we enjoy to see if they have a different flavor profile than the red version too? That’ll be a fun experiment!

Although we didn’t have any cheese with this wine, we did ponder for a few minutes about which cheeses we’d pair with it. At first we thought a creamy cheese or a triple cream brie. Then as we thought about specific cheeses we’ve had we came up with le delice de bourgogne or the Robiola a 3 Latti. No matter which cheese, it’s a great summer wine to chill and enjoy during the warm weather.

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