The Codorniu family of Spain has a magnificent history that goes back to the middle of the 16th century. Their wine making heritage is centuries old, and for the first several centuries they were producing only still wines for everyday consumption. However, in 1872 they began producing sparkling wines in the tradition of the wines from Champagne, France, and this move would forever change the Codorniu winery and the sparkling wines being produced in Spain. In 2004 Codorniu set another milestone by producing its first ever Pinot Noir Rosé Cava, which was a huge change because of the regulations of the Spanish government in allowing only indigenousness grape varieties to be used in the production of Cava. Thus Codorniu was the first Spanish sparkling wine to be made from the noble Pinot Noir grape variety.
I was given a bottle of the NV Codorniu Pinot Noir Rosé as a gift, and this sparkling wine is indeed very nice. The color of the wine is a brilliant salmon pink, and the aromas are of fresh berries, rhubarb, and earthiness. On the palate this wine brought forth flavors of fresh strawberries, red raspberries, rhubarb, some minerality, a touch of earthiness, and a certain creaminess. This is a very nice Cava, with good balance, crisp acidity, and a nice finish.
Toad Hollow Vineyards was founded in 1994 with the philosophy that wine, and the drinking of wine should be fun. The winery is located in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California. The Toad Hollow 2010 Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir is produced using old world styles that is reminiscent of a European Rosé. This is a wonderful dry Rosé (very little residual sugar), with many of the characteristics that one expects to find from a nice French Rosé. The color in the glass is pink, with some hues of amber. The aromas of this wine are of strawberries, with hints of floral, and some earthiness. On the palate this wine exhibits a nice earthiness, with subtle touches of red berries, rhubarb, and some spice. This wine can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif, or served with a light seafood dish on a warm summers day.
It’s sad that the White Zinfandel craze in the United States has hurt the image of Rosé wines the way it has. When people see someone drinking a Rosé, they automatically assume that they are drinking the sweet pink stuff which is so prevalent in our society today. However, there are a plethora of good Rosé wines coming out of Europe at reasonable prices. I recently found a very nice, easy to drink dry Rosé from Sicily, Italy that was priced under $7 for the bottle. The 2010 Pinetti Notte Rosé was wonderful with aromas of fresh strawberries and red raspberries. The flavor profile followed that of the aromas, with strawberries, red raspberries, and on the mid-palate the flavor of rhubarb was present which also brought a nice tartness to the wine. This is an affordable Rosé that can be enjoyed as an aperitif, or with a bed of greens topped with a raspberry vinaigrette. So buck the trends in the U.S. and give this good, inexpensive Rosé a try.
The Castello di Amorosa (aka the castle in Napa) is a definite destination point for anyone that is planning a trip to Napa Valley. Castello di Amorosa is a working winery that is housed in a 107 room ”castle” which is the brain child of its founder, Dario Sattui (Dario is also the owner of V. Sattui winery in Napa Valley). Dario’s plan was to produce wines that were primarily Italian-style, and showcase and sell them in an authentic, medieval castle. The tour of the castle was phenomenal, and after the tour we were able to sample a number of wines from Castello di Amorosa winery. The 2010 Gioia (joy-uh) Rosato di Sangiovese Rosé is a wonderful rosé produced from the Sangiovese grape variety. The color of this rosé is a bright pink color, and it has aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and cherries. The flavor profile confirms the aromas of strawberries, red raspberries, cherries, also with cranberries, and a hint of spice. The 2010 Gioia Rosato is a dry rosé, produced in the old-world style, with good mouth-feel and acidity. This wine would be excellent as an aperitiff, or to be paired with food.
I would highly recommend touring and sampling the wines from Castello di Amorosa the next time you are in Napa Valley.