This is a review of a rose. First, let me explain; THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OF WHITE ZIN. Now, please read on if you would like to learn about an awesome value wine that is light and refreshing and perfect for summer time gatherings. If you don’t care to learn about this well-priced summertime companion, please return to your gulag and enjoy your borscht and white zinfandel.
Now, the distinction. A rose is a red wine made more like a white. There, I said it. Its not a sugar water excuse for wine made from rot gut cheap grapes with tons (literally) of sugar added to give it a flavor other than that of battery acid, which is what a white zin would taste like before the Kool-Ade man adds his flair to the mix. Roses are made to be drank in warmer weather with light fare and typically hail from warm regions like the Spain, Italy or in this case the South of France. Once the red grapes are harvested and pressed, the skins are allowed to float atop the squeezed out juice for a very short period of time to impart light red (pink) coloring and a touch of flavor. With the Buti Nages, which means gather nectar in French, the 12-24 hours of skin contact give the wine many of the flavors and aromas that Rhone nerds love in their weightier red wines made from sun hearty grapes like Syrah, Grenache and Mouvedre. White Zin conversely should be banned and forever expunged from the annals of wine history because it simply is not wine, I wouldn’t even use it clean rust from screw drivers.
The Buti Nages has a pale salmon color in the glass and is clear with lots of very small slow forming legs. The first smell didn’t reveal much; only a slightly sun baked cranberry or red fruit aroma likely the result of the growing conditions in the southernmost vineyard in France with dry, windy and warm conditions. Giving it a second whiff, I got more of a sweeter red fruit aroma that was very inviting. I also picked up on some cinnamon, almost like Dentyne gum, with raspberry and strawberry and some baking spice tucked in there. It’s an odd smell combo, but it works.
The first sip reveals that this is a true rosé. The Syrah and Grenache (it’s a 40/60 blend of the two) flavors are still evident but more subtle than a full on red, just the way a rose should present. I picked up on some cooking spice again, and sour kirsch. I had to really search for the red fruit, but eventually the cranberry and raspberry came through, especially on the finish. Spice was more evident on the front. There is a light jamminess to it, again a nod to its Rhone heritage where the vines spend time under hot sun and the stony soil radiates heat onto the grapes after sundown.
I found the wine to be bone dry and crisp from the acidity with a fairly short finish. The light body works well with the higher than average acid resulting in a very easy to drink refresher. The red fruit and spice flavors are complimented with a touch of minerality but all the flavors are light and no one flavor dominates. It’s got 13% alcohol and that combined with the acidity definitely give it a nice bite, but I’ll stop short of saying that the wine is unbalanced. I think the bite is really nice, especially when its hot out and makes the wine not only more enjoyable and refreshing but enable it to stand up to saucy barbequed ribs or pulled pork. You could also pair it easily with burgers au poivre or something far lighter like chilled shrimp or crab claws.
This is a great summertime rose, and ringing in at all of $12, a great value too. Its an excellent starting point for rose novices and would be welcomed at parties and BBQ’s. Buck the stereotypes and give this wine a shot, you will not be disappointed…. Unless you’re in to that whole Kool Ade White Zin thing…. In which case this aint for you!