The 2020 Kosher rose season is open and once again I am underwhelmed – part 1

It is not yet summer but here in NorCal, it feels more like summer than spring, and the weather is making shipments really hard at this time of year. Normally, I would have been in Israel by now, one way or the other, and I would have at least had two tastings with the gang. Sadly, with the times we live in now, neither of those wonderful ideas is possible. Sad and strange days we live in. Also, this is round 1, there will be another 15 roses I will get through over the next week or so.

While rose wine in the non-kosher market is exploding – especially Rose wine from Provence; a wine region of France, the kosher market this year will be more subdued. In the past, distributors brought in as much as 60+ kosher rose wines, this year with the issues I brought up in my previous post – there is less of an appetite for all those wines.

QPR and Price

I have been having more discussions around my QPR score with a few people and their contention, which is fair, in that they see wine at a certain price, and they are not going to go above that. So, instead of having a true methodology behind their ideas, they go with what can only be described as a gut feeling. The approaches are either a wine punches above its weight class so it deserves a good QPR score. Or, this other wine has a good score and is less than 40 dollars so that makes it a good QPR wine.

While I appreciate those ideals, they do not work for everyone and they do NOT work for all wine categories. It does NOT work for roses. Look, rose prices are 100% ABSURD – PERIOD! The median rose price has gone up this year and it is around 22 bucks – that is NUTS! Worse, is that the prices are for online places like kosherwine.com or onlinekosherwine.com, with free or good shipping options and great pricing, definitely not retail pricing.

As you will see in the scores below, QPR is all over the place and there will be good QPR scores for wines I would not buy while there are POOR to BAD QPR scores for wines I would think about buying, based upon the scores, but in reality, I would never buy another bottle because the pricing is ABSURDLY high.

Also, remember that the QPR methodology is based upon the 4 quintiles! Meaning, that there is a Median, but there are also quintiles above and below that median. So a wine that is at the top price point is by definition in the upper quintile. The same goes for scores. Each step above and below the median is a point in the system. So a wine that is in the most expensive quintile but is also the best wine of the group gets an EVEN. Remember folks math wins!

Still, many of the wines have a QPR of great and I would not buy them, why? Well, again, QPR is based NOT on quality primarily, it is based upon price. The quality is secondary to the price. So, wines that are drinkable with an 88 or 89 score, though wines that I would not buy, have a low enough price to get a GOOD or GREAT score. Does that mean that I would buy them because they have a GREAT QPR? No, I would not! However, for those that really want roses, then those are solid options.

Please remember, a wine score and the notes are the primary reason why I would buy a wine – PERIOD. The QPR score is there to mediate, secondarily, which of those wines that I wish to buy, are a better value. ONLY, the qualitative score can live on its own, in regards to what I buy. The QPR score defines, within the wine category, which of its peers are better or worse than the wine in question.

Finally, I can, and I have, cut and paste the rest of this post from last year’s rose post and it plays 100% the same as it did last year. Why? Because rose again is horrible. There is almost no Israeli rose, that I have tasted so far, that I would buy – no way! Now, I have not tasted the wines that many think are good in Israel, the Netofa, Vitkin, and Recanati roses. Yes, there is ONE rose I would “buy” by my qualitative scoring approach, which is why I used the word almost above. That wine would be the 2019 Bat Shlomo Rose, but at some 28 or more dollars a bottle, it is highway robbery for that score.

Thankfully, the French roses have picked up the slack this year as has the 2019 Cantina Giuliano Rosato. Until I taste the remaining Israeli roses, I would stick with the two really good French roses and the Cantina roses.

As stated above, this year, I will not be able to taste all the roses like I have been able to do in the past, or get close anyway. This year, travel is not an option and many of the wines are not coming to the USA. So, sadly, all I can post on is what I have tasted. To that point, I have yet to taste the Israeli wines I stated above, along with much of Cali, and the more obscure Israeli wineries that I normally get to when I am there. Still, what I have tasted is not good.

So, if you know all about rose and how it is made, skip all the information and go to the wines to enjoy for this year, of the wines I have tasted so far. If you do not know much about rose wine, read on. In a nutshell, 2019 roses are a waste of time. Please spend your money on white wines instead. They exist for a better price, value, and garner better scores. IF YOU MUST have rose stick to the few that I state below in my Best rose so far in 2020 section, right above the wine scores.

Kosher Rose pricing

I want to bring up a topic I have been hammering on in my past posts, price! Yeah, I hear you, Avi Davidowitz, of KosherWineUnfiltered, please quiet down, gloating does not suit you – (smiley face inserted here). The prices of Rose wines have gotten out of control. QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) has become nonexistent, essentially here in the USA, for the kosher rose market. Finally, I am sorry, but I really feel that wineries were either horribly hampered in some way with the 2019 rose vintage, or honestly, they just threw in the towel, The 2019 vintage is the worst one in the last 10 years, AGAIN. The roses of 2019 feel commodity at best, they feel rushed, no real care, rhyme, or reason. They feel like we have peaked. They are nowhere near the 2015 vintage that put Chateau Roubine on the map for kosher wine drinkers. This year’s crop of roses feel half-hearted pure cash cows, and really without love behind them, AGAIN.

As always, I will be chastised for my opinions, my pronouncements, and I am fine with that. This is a wake up post, there may be ONE or two roses I would buy, but respectfully, given the prices, I would rather buy, the Gilgal Brut, the 2018 Ramon Cardova Albarino, 2018 Chateau Riganes Blanc, 2018 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, N.V. Koenig Brut, 2018 Pacifica Riesling, 2017/2018 Koenig Riesling.

I was thinking about going with the title: 2019 kosher roses, thanks, but who cares, AGAIN? Because that is how I feel. This vintage is a massive letdown, AGAIN, prices are too high, quality has hit rock bottom, and overall professionalism, IMHO, has gone along with the quality. Wineries have been getting away with less and less quality for years, raising prices, and this is the worst I have seen in the rose market overall. So, yeah, who cares?

Wine Color

What is a rose wine? Well, simply said, a rose is a wine that can best be defined as the wine world’s chameleon. Where white wine is a pretty simple concept – take white grapes, squeeze them, and you get clear to green colored juice. Yes, the white grape juice is clear – well so is red grape juice, but more on that in a bit.

White wine is not about color – almost all color in a white wine comes from some oak influence of some sort. So, an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris can sometimes look almost clear, depending on the region and how the wine was handled. Now oaked Chardonnay, of course, is what most people use as an example of dark white wine. As the Wine Folly linked above states, different wine regions oak their Chardonnay differently and as such, they are sold with different hues from the start. With age, the wine changes color, and the light gold moves to darker gold shades.

The only real exception to the stated rule above – that white grape juice without the influence of oak is somewhere in the clear to the green color spectrum, is – orange wines. We have spoken about orange wines – mostly thanks to Yaacov Oryah. Outside of Yaacov’s work there really is no orange wine in the kosher world to speak about. Orange wine is made exactly like red wine, which means that the clear grape juice is left to sit on the yellowish to dark yellow grape skins (depending upon what varietal is used to make the orange wine). Another name for them is skin macerated white wines or extended skin macerated white wines.

Red wine juice – straight from the grape comes out the same color as white grapes. You see the juice from grapes is mostly clear to greenish in color. The red wine color comes from macerating the juice on the grape skins. The longer the juice sits on the grape skins (wine must) the redder in color the wine becomes until it reaches its maximum red color potential.

The only real exception to the rule of a grape’s juice color is the Teinturier varieties. The grapes are called Teinturier, a French language term meaning to dye or stain. The list of grapes whose juice is actually red-colored is long – but the list of kosher wine options that is a wine made from these grapes – is the Herzog Alicante Bouschet. The Gamay de Bouze is not a normal Gamay grape, it is one of those grape mutations that are very red in nature.

Rose wines are the in-between story – hence the chameleon term I used above.

Rose Wine

Rose wine is made in one of three ways. I will list the most dominant manners and leave the last one for last.

Limited Maceration:

This is the first step of the first two options and the only difference is what you do with the rest of the juice after you remove it? You see, as we stated above, the color of the juice from red grapes is clear to green and for one to get the lovely red hues we all love from red wine, it requires the juice to lie on the grape skins – AKA maceration.

The rose hue depends on how long the juice macerates. I have heard winemakers say 20 minutes gives them the color they like, and some say almost half a day or longer. The longer the juice macerates the darker the color. While the wine is macerating, the skins are contributing color by leaching phenolics – such as anthocyanins and tannins, and flavor components. The other important characteristic that the skins leach into the rose is – antioxidants that protect the wine from degrading. Sadly, because rose wines macerate for such a short period of time, the color and flavor components are less stable and as such, they lack shelf life – a VERY IMPORTANT fact we will talk about later. Either way, drinking rose wine early – like within the year – is a great approach for enjoying rose wine at its best!

Now once you remove the liquid, after letting it macerate for the desired length of time, the skins that are left are thrown out or placed in the field to feed organic material into the vines. This is a very expensive approach indeed because the grapes are being thrown away, instead of doing the Saignée process which is described in option #2. This approach is mostly used in regions where rose wine is as important as red wines, like Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. Mind you, the grapes used in this method are most often picked early, as they are being solely used for making the rose.

Many producers, especially those in Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon, take a more traditional approach when making rosé wine. Grapes are grown and selected exclusively for rosé production, as stated above, and then often crushed as whole clusters, and then gently pressed until the juice reaches a desirable pale color.

Most think that Saignee wines would have a higher alcohol level, as the fruit used to make that wine is picked later, but actually, that is not always correct, as winemakers can water back the rose juice and get what they want, at least here in the USA. When you taste the wine, look for the acid, is the acid natural or out of place?

Saignée:

The second approach for how Rose wine is made, is essentially the same as maceration – the only difference is that they do not remove all the juice. In the second method for making Rose wine, the Rose is the afterthought – in DRASTIC contrast to the first approach, where the rose is primary.

Now, many winemakers may take affront to this statement, and one did actually, but that is my opinion. When the juice is removed to fortify the red wine, the rose wine, again IMHO, is an afterthought. That DOES NOT mean, that the winemaker does not take the rose wine seriously. Any decent winemaker that makes wine, should be doing it with 100% focus. My point is that if the rose was important to you, you would pull the fruit earlier, but hey that is my opinion, and yeah, I am not a winemaker.

So in places like California and Rhone in France, winemakers will pick the grapes when they reach their appropriate phenolics. Then to concentrate the wine, the winemaker will bleed some of the juice – hence the term Saignée in French which means bleed. By removing this juice, after the juice has macerated long enough, the resulting wine is further intensified, because there is less juice lying on the same amount of grape skin surface.

The interesting thing here is that the grapes used to make this kind of rose are normally one with higher Brix, as the grapes are destined for red wine. So, when you bleed the juice out of the must, what is being pulled out is juice at a higher alcohol level than Rose wines made using the first method (as explained above). So what do you do when you have a wine that is too high in alcohol so early in the game – well that is simple you water it down! Now remember this wine is already low on phenolics and color, so if you know that your rose will be high in alcohol when all is said and done, you have lots of options here. You can leave the juice to macerate for longer, yes the juice you finally pull out may well be darker than you desire. However, you will be watering it down, so it is all a question of numbers and winemakers who make these kinds of wines, are used to it and know how to handle it.

Now you ask what is wrong with high alcohol rose? Well, a rose is normally meant to be light and fruity wine, and personally, watered back roses are less so, but I have also enjoyed a few Saignee wines in the past.

Blending Method:

Finally, what do you get when you mix some white wine with some red wine – a rose by George a rose! This last method is the least common method for creating still rose wines. That said, it is very common in the world of Champagne and sparkling wines. Next time you enjoy sparkling rose wine, you can almost be sure that it is a blend of Chardonnay (white wine) and either Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier (red wine).

As stated before, in the pure rose still wine market, there really is very little of this kind of rose wine being made.

State of kosher rose wines

Types of Rose made:

  1. Red Rose wines: There are truly a few examples of this, but they have been made and they are not a rose wine. They are billed as a rose at times, but to me, they are essentially a light red wine, much like a Gamay
  2. Sweet/Ripe Rose wines: Sweet wines are created because either the winemaker could not get the wine to completely finish primary fermentation or because they stopped it. Sweet rose wines sometimes lack balance because they lack the screaming acid needed to make it all work. This year, the vast majority of the kosher roses were ripe, sweet, or unbalanced messes.
    That said, sweeter rose wines are the gateway wines to get people to try drier wines. The best of the sweet/ripe rose this year if that is even a statement that makes sense, would be the 2019 Twin Suns Rose, even though it is not as good as the 2018 vintage.
  3. Dry rose wines: Dry is not a subjective concept it is measurable in a lab and can be tasted as well. That said, what we as humans can perceive does seem to be subjective. Some of us will think a Sauvignon Blanc is sweet unless it is a Sancerre – you know who you are JR! Dr. Vinny was asked this question here, and essentially we can start perceiving sweetness at 0.5% residual sugar, but as the Doc says, sometimes a bone-dry wine can be perceived as sweet because of its ripeness and/or lack of acidity to balance it. To me, that was where the Chateau Roubine was this year. The Roubine La Vie Rose was dry and nice.
  4. Dark rose wines: Color in any rose or red wine is defined by the amount of maceration the wine goes through, as described above. Some people like that salmon color and some like that darker rose color. There are so many colors in the rose spectrum, and no, the darker roses are not based on what grape is used in the making of the wine, unless it is based on a Teinturier grape – which I have yet to see.

So where does that leave us? To recap IMHO, rose wine is meant to be light, refreshing, tart, and low in alcohol. It can have a varying rose hue, from Gris (gray in French – light color) to Salmon, to rose, and all the way up to dark red. Yes, there have been wineries who tried making heavier rose wines, that were essentially red wines, whom I will not mention and they have all been epic disasters. If you want a red wine – make a Gamay and leave me alone! Rose is about summer, tart, and refreshing wine.

White and Rose wine education

Royal Wines has done a great job of bringing in white and roses wines, but I must stress – we need more education! Any wine distributor today can sell a Cabernet Sauvignon in its sleep! Why? Because the kosher wine drinking public is programmed to drink big bold red wines! Nothing light and lithe, only sledgehammers! Now, who am I to disagree with what someone likes – if you like a particular wine great! What I would like to see is people finding a way to expand their palate – by doing so they will learn more about wines and maybe they will actually see why they like and dislike a wine more – education is the answer! Now to those who say – why bother, if they like it let them enjoy it? To that answer I say – sure, when u were three years old you liked mud, and you really liked spreading it all over your sister’s new white dress! Should we have let you enjoy it forever?? Of course not!

Now your reply will be, come on we are talking about wine – not about personal growth and their humanity! Of course, but like everything in this world – we should want to strive and learn more about what makes us happy and why! Are you still eating mac&cheese for dinner? What about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch? Nothing against, P&J – I actually like them, but I have grown out of them which is the point here!

If you like a Monet painting – you owe it to yourself to learn why? What grabs you when you see 100+-year-old paint on a canvas? So what he painted a haystack – good for him? What makes you want to stare at it for hours? The answer is inside of you – and you need to learn the answer. I hope we can all find the answers to what makes us tick, why we all love some things, and why we hate other things. That is called human evolution – it makes us what we are – human! Anyway, I am off my soapbox now, but I hope we can agree that growth is good – no matter the subject.

I beg distributors and wineries to get out and teach! Get out and go to wine stores and pour wines – pour wine to anyone that wants to taste or even to those that do not! Education is the foundation of this industry – and without it, we are doomed to stasis – something that terrifies me!

The temperature to enjoy Rose

Please do yourself a favor and enjoy rose wine at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Meaning if you leave a bottle of wine in your refrigerator and pull it out after half a day of fridge time or more, it will probably be at the refrigerator’s frigid temperature of 37 or so degrees Farenight – which is HORRIBLE for a rose. Rose at room temperature of 70 or so degrees is also not fun. It needs to be a bit cold, but not over the top. Please do not think that it needs to be iced down in an ice bucket either, that is for sparkling wines.

Drink the rose at the beginning of the meal

Rose is NOT a long-term drinking animal. It is not meant to be enjoyed for more than a meal. Why? Because as we explained above once it is fully oxygenated, it will go bad – really bad fast. The tart fruit notes and the acid will dissipate faster than air leaves a punctured tire. It is simply the life of Rose, drink it very young and fast. Never stock up on Rose, there is no purpose in that! Go to the store and buy a rose and drink it, if they have none, then no worries drink something else.

White and Rose wine drinking in the kosher wine world

The good news is that white wine is selling better than it ever has. There is a large number of very good, solid, white wines from California and Europe, with a few Israeli wines as well, that are reasonably priced and very enjoyable. Of course, there are also higher-end white wines that are even more fascinating, but overall the good news is that white wine consumption and availability has been on the rise in the kosher wine market, just not where I live, LOL! I still cannot pour white wine on my table, though in the end, who cares, I will enjoy it and the guests can drink more red wine, win-win.

The very sad state of affairs with the 2019 roses

So where are we in 2020 with kosher Rose wines? We are still selling old vintages and that has to stop. There are MANY brick and mortar and online wine shops, even in the hallowed grounds of NYC, that still have Rose wines on their shelves, from the 2016 and 2017 vintages. Why is that a problem? As stated above, Rose wines are NOT meant for aging. Rose wines should NEVER be sold after their drink by date, which is the summer after the wine’s vintage. So, 2019 wines should be sold out by the summer of 2020 – simple! Sadly, I still see 2017 wines being sold all around! There is simply too much older rose lying around and too many new 2019 Rose wines coming in. The outcome is that someone is going to eat a lot of rose wines, or they will push them on to the unsuspecting public, who really do not understand roses at all.

I BEG the manufacturers to work with the stores and merchants to eat the older wines, one way or the other, and get them OFF the shelves. Please DO NOT attempt to put them on sale, they are not wines that should be pushed to consumers, as it only ends up hurting the wineries and the companies selling them. Please remove them and figure out how to handle the loss. No one will be drinking Rose wines for Rosh Hashanah.

One part that is better than last year is that many of the rose wines are here already. I wish they would have all been here in March, and some were, but with the situation, we are in now, it is still better than last year. Please dump the old roses and move on!

Best rose so far in 2020

Well, let’s hold up here for a second. as stated above, I have not tasted all the roses out there yet. I will get more this week and some next week, but overall, I will probably not taste as many as I did last year, again given the logistics of life today.

If there are two ideas you get from this post that would be great. ONE: Drink only 2019 roses now. TWO: Drink refreshing roses. A rose that feels heavy, unbalanced, and one that does not make you reach for more, is not a rose I would recommend.

So with that said, here are the best options, if you must have a rose, for me so far:

  1. 2019 Chateau Roubine Rose, La Vie – winner of 2019 roses, so far
  2. 2019 Cantina Giuliano Costa Rosato – best QPR
  3. 2019 Chateau Roubine, Cru Classe, Premium
  4. 2019 Twin Suns Rose, Reserve – solid sweeter wine option

The best European Rose and the best rose overall rose, SO FAR, is the 2019 Chateau Roubine, La Vie Rose. The best California Rose, again so far, is the 2019 Twin Suns Rose. I have yet to taste the Shirah or Hajdu roses. Finally, the best Israeli rose, again that I have has so far, is the 2019 Bat Shlomo Rose.

The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:

2019 Covenant Rose, Red C – Score: 88 (QPR: POOR)
While this wine is nice enough it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median the price pulls it down to a POOR QPR score.
The nose on this wine is dry but it is ripe, there is nowhere to hide from the sweet citrus, darker red fruit, and almost candy corn notes. The mouth is dry, but the fruit is sweet, with dark cherry, kirsch in nature, with strawberry, sweet pomelo, and watermelon, and tart notes from the tart raspberry that helps to pick up the rounder mouth. The finish is long, red, and tart with sweet notes, slate lingering long.

2019 Domaine du Castel Rose de Castel – Score: 88 (QPR: POOR)
While this wine is nice enough it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median the price pulls it down to a POOR QPR score.
Finally a rose I want to smell. The nose on this wine is a mineral joy, pure and lovely with refreshing and bright fruit, tart red and citrus, with mineral, slate, saline, with loads of floral notes like rosehip and yellow flowers, lovely. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine does show some sweet notes, it grows stronger with time, and the acidity falls off, with tart raspberry, pink grapefruit, gooseberry, and yummy sweet and juicy strawberry. The finish is long, tart, and refreshing and it does pass the “I want more” test, with nice slate, floral notes, yellow flowers, and saline, with white tea. To me, this is a wine that is nice enough at opening but not long for this world or even at this time.

2019 Jezreel Valley Winery Natural, Pet Nat Rose – Score: 70 (QPR: NA)
This wine is at the highest quintile in price and one of the lowest in quality, but it is below the drinking score, so it gets an NA score for QPR.
The color is a shocking bright neon pink almost crimson, with light touches around the side, the color really does not normally interest me unless a wine is bricking, but this color is truly attention-grabbing. The wine is made of 100% Carignan. Where the dalton Pet Nat is at least a nice enough wine at a crazy expensive price, this is literally candied cherry and bubble gum wine, with watermelon, and more candied fruit, the structure is all over the place and the fruit is so absurd without the needed acidity. Sad. Again, another wine that is absurdly expensive and not even of good value. Move on.

2019 Flam Rose – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is at the highest quintile in price and it is lower than the median score, so it gets a score of BAD for QPR.
The wine is a blend of 74% Syrah, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Malbec. The nose on this wine shows strawberry and creme, with tart and sweet fruit notes. Again, this is the second time I am having this wine, and it is still not better, still too ripe, it lacks the acidity, much akin to the Gush Etzion, but it is just fruit, and there is little else to grab your attention. Not refreshing enough to pass the “I want more test.

2019 Covenant Rose, Blue C – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
This is a wine that started off nice enough but then fell apart and even then it was oxidized, but with my new QPR scoring it is two quintiles more expensive than the median rose price and it is not as good as the median scores so that is why this wine gets a BAD on the QPR score.
The nose on this wine is ripe, with notes of papaya, juicy strawberry, but in the background are notes of oxidation and pomegranate. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ok, the acidity is incredible, actually a bit out of control, the balance is lacking, the sides of the mouth pucker with acidity, the mid-palate is not flabby as much as it is uni-dimensional, with more oxidized notes, showing little of interest just more ripe fruit, ripe strawberries, with grapefruit, and lemon in the background. The finish is medium in length with more ripe fruit, oxidized notes linger long with cooked notes, and little vibrancy. The wine seems to fall apart quickly. It started as a wine with insane and painful acidity, but it turns into a uni-dimensional wine after 20 minutes of being open. Drink NOW!

2019 Bat Shlomo Rose – Score: 90 to 91 (QPR: EVEN)
While this wine is nice enough it is two quintiles higher in price than the median and as such even with a quality score higher than the median it should have received a score of POOR for QPR, however, it is in the second quintile for quality as well. Therefore, it is dead even.
This wine reminds me of the good old days of Bat Shlomo when their rose and white wines were solid to very good, think 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2014 Rose (even the 2015 vintage was not evil, 2016 is where the thing went very awry, I am happy to see a Bat Shlomo I like again).
This wine is 100% pure funk, a nose of funk, fruit, and very nice control, with loads of flint, and really lovely fruit in the background, with orange blossom, and hints of sweet yet bright clementines. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a good body, a solid fruit focus showing some sweet strawberry, tempered well with more mineral, rock, and flint, with lovely grapefruit acidity, lemon, and with clementines and sweet-tart marmalade. The finish is long, tart, yet balanced with sweetness, showing pith, hints of the sweet fruit, and more Orange blossom. Once more, this is a nice wine, but the price is absurdly high for the value. You can get a far better white wine for much less. Drink now!

2019 Tura Rose – Score: 70 (Mevushal) (QPR: NA)
This wine is super expensive and not of any interest to me, so NA.
This is an off-dry rose, IT IS NOT dry! When a wine label says it is dry and it has enough residual sugar that tastes like a would make a dentist take notice, IT IS NOT dry! This is a fruit bomb wine and I have ZERO interest in it. Yes, it made professionally, but it is not my cup of tea, not refreshing and far too sweet to be taken seriously, with little to no acidity to counter that much fruit juice. I know people, my good friend, who likes wine this way, but it is not my cup of tea, and it truly should say it is off-dry on the label. Move on!

2019 Domaine Herzberg Rose, Coteaux de Sitrya – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
Sadly, this wine is not as good as the Median score and it is more expensive than the median price, so this lands it as a BAD QPR wine.
Sadly, this rose has no acid and though the fruit is clean and proper, the lack of acid makes a low alcohol wine feel flat and flabby. Drink UP!

2019 Chateau Roubine, Cru Classe, Premium – Score: 90 (QPR: GOOD) (Mevushal)
Of the three Cotes de Provence wines that Royal imported, this one wants to be cold, but not fridge cold, this one wants to be more like 56 degrees or so, that way it shows its acidity best. This is the third or fourth time I have had this rose. Overall, the Royal French rose prices have gone up this year, bummer. Also, they made this mevushal this year.
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring, it is sadly expensive, higher than the median, however, it scores in the 2nd quintile, so that makes it a GOOD QPR score.
This wine is a bit better than previous vintages but nowhere near the 2015 vintage which is still the best ever. The nose on this wine is nice with loads of yellow blossoms, hints of jasmine, great mineral, and lovely classic notes of strawberry and cream, with green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is quite nice, it shows a good fruit focus, and lovely pith and acidity, but it is uni-dimensional in nature, with mineral, grapefruit, hints of orange, and melon in the far background, and green notes in the foreground with tart raspberry. The finish is a bit short as well, again the mouth searing acidity and pith make you almost miss the shortness, with lovely mineral, citrus, slate, and orange/grapefruit notes lingering long. Drink now.

2019 Goose Bay Pinot Noir Rose – Score: 70 (QPR: NA) (Mevushal)
This wine is too ripe for me. The nose is candied fruit, with a color that is too red for me. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has little to no acidity, with tutti-fruity notes, cotton candy, and candied cherry and strawberry. Not my cup of tea.

2019 Shiloh Rose – Score: 75 (QPR: NA) (Mevushal)
This wine is expensive as it is above the median price and one of the lowest in quality, but it is below the drinking score, so it gets an NA score for QPR.
The wine is a blend of 70% Barbera and 30% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is not as much cooked as it is just plain sweet, with sweet and ripe pomegranate and red fruit. The mouth on this wine does taste cooked, almost like cooked strawberry jam, with sweet Asian Pear, and plum, with some acidity, but again, it lacks the “I want more” test. It does show saline and slate on the finish.

2019 Matar Rose – Score: 86 (QPR: POOR)
Sadly, this wine is right on the Median line for quality and it is more expensive than the median price, so this lands it as a POOR QPR wine.
This wine is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Counoise. The nose on this wine is nice showing ripe yet somewhat controlled strawberry and cream, with orange blossom floral notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine starts off nice but dies away quickly, the acidity is there to start but then it disappears, with strawberry, gooseberry, grapefruit, and lemongrass, that gives way to an almost plush mouthfeel. The finish is long, nice red fruit, orange hints, and flint, with almond pith. Drink now.

2019 Jezreel Rose – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is right above the Median line for quality and it is more expensive than the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
This wine is a blend of 40% Carignan, 45% Syrah, and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is not complex, simple, with strawberry, floral notes (rosehip), and mineral notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe and sweet in nature, it is not overly sweet, and the acid is balanced, but there is too much sweetness for me, showing strawberry, watermelon, with pomegranate, grapefruit, and slate.

2019 Chateau Roubine Rose, La Vie – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring even though it is more expensive than the median price for rose wine, it garner’s a quality score that is in the 2nd quintile, so the math says the QPR score is GOOD. Overall, the Royal French rose prices have gone up this year, bummer.
This is the third or fourth time I have had this rose and the first time I really had it with no noise around me, still, my score only moved a bit from the previous tastings. The nose is lovely with loads of mineral, pith, showing floral notes of yellow flowers with orange blossom, along with strawberries and cream, and red fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a clear and present focus of acidity, with a lovely attack showing more focus and complexity, showing lovely tart and juicy strawberry, lemon, grapefruit, tart cherry, and crazy mineral. The finish is incredibly long with pith and rock, slate, and tart juicy fruit, and loads of acidity, wow!

2019 Gush Etzion Rose – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is right above the Median line for quality and it is more expensive than the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
The wine is a blend of 49% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, and 21% Syrah. A classic GSM style Rose. The nose on this wine is tart and bright showing great control, with funk, straw, hay, followed by tart cherry, red fruit, and lovely citrus, and mineral. Sadly, the mouth is where the wine goes wrong, it has no acidity, it is not refreshing or bright, it lacks the “I want more” sentiment, with dry raspberry, rosehip, floral notes, and lemon. The finish is long and funky and if this had more acid it would be a huge winner.

2019 Psagot Rose – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is the very definition of boring, not exciting and not horrible, QPR wise, I mean. It is just the median price line and the quality line, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
If you like cotton candy in your rose, this is for you. The nose is nice with notes of cotton candy, flint, raspberry, and sweet notes. The mouth is sweet with nice enough acidity, showing sweet strawberry and tart notes. Drink now!

2019 Cantina Giuliano Costa Rosato – Score: 90 to 91 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is in the 2nd quintile of quality scoring and it is RIGHT on the Median price line, so this wine gets a GREAT score for QPR.
This wine is more a Gris than a rose and I really liked it. The nose on this wine is pure funk, mineral, and more funk, with blossom and almost no fruit other than apple. The mouth on this medium-bodied rose is lovely, showing great acidity, focus, no flaws, showing notes of strawberry, tart raspberry, with green apple and spice galore and saline. The finish is long, green, earthy, and flinty, with loads of rock and smoke. Bravo! Drink Now!

2019 Le Rose de Chateau Greysac – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a nice enough wine, but with my new QPR scoring it is still is not as expensive as the median and its score is also above the median, so it is a GREAT QPR, though not a wine I would run after. Still, for the heady prices of rose today, this is a solid buy if you like this kind of wine.
This wine is not a Saignee it is pressed grapes with a few hours on the lees. The wine is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 14% Merlot. The nose on this wine is ripe, with candied cherry, raspberry, and almost plum-like notes with nice saline, mineral, and citrus. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, it comes at you with good acidity but man the fruit is very present and not really controlled, yes, there is crazy acidity, but the fruit is ripe and feels out of balance even with that acidity, followed by clear plum fruit fighting with grapefruit, orange, and lemon, it is a bit off-kilter. The finish is super long, crazy acidic and tart, wow, with slate and mineral, but man the off-kilter fruit, and the acid fight each other. Drink now!

2019 Dalton Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a nice enough wine, but with my new QPR scoring it is still is not as expensive as the median and its score is also above the median, so it is a GREAT QPR, though not a wine I would run after. Still, for the heady prices of rose today, this is a solid buy if you like this kind of wine.
This one showed less sweetness than the Psagot, but it is still very fruit-forward. The nose shows nice enough sweet notes with strawberry, raspberry, and sweet fruit, with bubblegum rounding out the notes. The mouth is sweet, too sweet, but balanced, too much bubblegum and sweet candied fruit. Drink now.

2019 Twin Suns Rose, Reserve – Score: 88 to 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a nice enough wine, but with my new QPR scoring it is still is not as expensive as the median and its score is also above the median, so it is a GREAT QPR, though not a wine I would run after. Still, for the heady prices of rose today, this is a solid buy if you like this kind of wine.
This wine is made from Graciano, a Spanish grape that grows in Califonia as well. The nose on this wine is tart, showing a great balance, with nice white blossom, with strawberry and cream, raspberry, nice herb, and loads of tart pear/Asian Pear in the background. The mouth on this lovely medium-bodied rose is a slight step behind last year’s success, showing some control, but it becomes watery too quickly, sweet strawberry, ripe raspberry, and a plush mouthfeel. The finish is long, sweet, ripe, yet balanced enough, with sweet red fruit, tart pear, hints of citrus, and flint. Drink now.

2019 Les Lauriers de Rothschild Rose – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring it is still is not as expensive as the median and its score is also above the median, so it is a GREAT QPR. With the heady prices of roses and the really good score, this is a no brainer!
First, note the new label – awesome! Next, this wine is 100% Cabernet Franc, I love it! The 2018 Les Lauriers de Rothschild Rose was a step back from the inaugural 2017 vintage, which was great. Thankfully, the 2019 vintage picks up where 2017 left off and we are all good here, IMHO!
The nose on this wine is rich and redolent, with ripping pink grapefruit, lovely tart strawberry, mineral, dried rhubarb, raspberry, and lovely floral notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine shows a nice weight, with good fruit focus, showing equal fruit focus to the 2017 vintage, with great acidity, nothing like the Greysac rose’s acidity, but that thing is CRAZY. The mouth has a drop of sweet fruit, showing tart passion fruit, a drop of candied strawberry, but that is it, with a lovely mineral core, and really nice tart citrus lingering long. The finish is long and tart, with ripping acid, great balance, lovely mineral, and pith lingering long. Lovely! Drink now!

2019 Tabor Barbera Rose, Adama – Score: 86 (QPR: GOOD)
The wine’s quality score is in line with the Median score and the price is below the median line so this wine gets a GOOD QPR score.
The nose is nice, less sweet than the other Israeli rose, with nice notes of grapefruit and strawberry, sweet notes, with some balance, showing nice pith, good focus, and some mineral.

2019 Herzog Rose, Lineage – Score: 87 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a nice enough wine, but with my new QPR scoring it is still is not as expensive as the median and its score is also above the median, so it is a GREAT QPR, though not a wine I would run after. Still, for the heady prices of rose today, this is a solid buy if you like this kind of wine.
This may well be the most balanced of the sweet roses, but I am not sure that helps. The nose on this wine is sweet, the mouth is balanced, but the notes are too much for me with candied fruit, little complexity, and uni-dimensional. It is a nice enough of a quaff. Drink now.

2019 Capcanes Peraj Petita Rosat – Score: 60 (QPR: NA)
This wine is less expensive than the median price and one of the lowest in quality, but it is below the drinking score, so it gets an NA score for QPR.
I must be honest, the label really caught my attention! Bravo on that, and yeah, that is where any good news ends, IMHO, in regards to this rose. The nose on the 14.2% ABV wine is exactly what you would expect from a 14.2% ABV rose, sweet, sweet, and ripe, with notes of candied and sweet cherry, pomegranate, floral notes, and not much else.
The mouth on this wine is just sweet, ripe, and has not freshness, it lacks the “I want more” score, and it lacks anything to make me think beyond the sweetness, ripeness, and nice pith that is on the long sweet finish. Drink now.

2019 Borgo Reale Rose – Score: 60 (QPR: NA) (Mevushal)
This wine is less expensive than the median price and one of the lowest in quality, but it is below the drinking score, so it gets an NA score for QPR.
The nose on this wine has nice funk, but that is where the fun ends, the wine is too ripe/cooked with sweet fruit, little control, and no brightness. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is heavy with no litheness or brightness, showing cooked fruit, no joy, and really nowhere to fin happiness. Drink NOW.

2019 Elvi Wines Herenza Rose – Score: 83 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is below the Median line for quality and it is below the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah. The nose on this wine starts off with sweet Rhubarb, pomegranate, juicy strawberry, and boysenberry, cotton candy, and some white fruit/melon. The mouth on this wine starts off with some mouthfeel but with time the wine opens and it falls flat, making it very uni-dimensional, with much of the same fruit as on the nose, with not enough acidity to make it all work. The finish is short and really not there, showing sweet candied fruit, and pith, but that is about it. Drink NOW!

2019 Terra di Seta Meshi Rosato – Score: 83 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is below the Median line for quality and it is below the median price, so this lands an EVEN QPR score.
This starts off nice but it too falls off the cliff quickly. It starts with good enough acidity, but the amount of alcohol on a Rose should never be 14%. It makes the wine to cloning and fat, and less refreshing than lighter alcohol rose. Nice enough. Drink NOW!

2019 Sainte Beatrice B Rose – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT) (Mevushal)
This is a nice wine, and with my new QPR scoring it is still is not as expensive as the median and its score is also above the median, so it is a GREAT QPR. With the heady prices of roses and the really good score, this is a great buy and throw in Mevushal, which no one cares about now, given our current circumstances, and it is nice indeed!
This is the third or fourth time I have had this rose and the first time I really had it with no noise around me, still, my score stayed the same. Overall, the Royal French rose prices have gone up this year, bummer.
The nose is nice with near green notes, but hiding in the background is sweet mango notes, strawberry, red fruit, orange, and fruit blossom. The mouth on this medium-bodied rose is close to La Vie’s acidity, showing great balance, loads of pith, with a nice fruit focus showing a mineral backbone and rich salinity with raspberry and tart strawberry, and grapefruit. The finish is a bit short and that gets covered up so well by the incredible lingering fruit, acidity, and crazy graphite/slate and mineral that comes up after the finish falls off. There are a clear tension and grip with this rose, and if you can ignore the short finish the lingering pith, graphite, slate, and orange all wrap up a wonderful rose with a great tart and refreshing experience. Nice! Drink now.

2019 The Butcher’s Daughter South Rose – Score: 75 (Mevushal) (QPR: NA)
This wine is less expensive than the median price and one of the lowest in quality, but it is below the drinking score, so it gets an NA score for QPR.
This reminds me of the rose I had in France from Victor called South Rose as well, but it had a different label.
The wine starts off ok but galls apart in a few minutes showing overly sweet notes of rhubarb and candied strawberry, with candied grapefruit. The mouth is flat with no acid, a bit of pith on the finish. Not very refreshing, too sweet for that. Drink UP

2019 Contessa Annalisa Rose, Veneto IGT – Score: 70 (Mevushal) (QPR: NA)
This wine is less expensive than the median price and one of the lowest in quality, but it is below the drinking score, so it gets an NA score for QPR.
This tastes like cooked grapefruit and strawberry, with a side of rhubarb compote, truly uninspiring, to say the least. Move on! Also, that cork is a BEAST to get out, and it has slight fizziness, totally uninteresting.

2019 Elvi Wines Vina Encina Rosado – Score: 87 (Mevushal) (QPR: GREAT)
This is a riper wine, and with my new QPR scoring it is still is not as expensive as the median and its score is also above the median, so it is a GREAT QPR. With the heady prices of roses and the really good score, this is a great buy and throw in Mevushal, which no one cares about now, given our current circumstances, and it is nice indeed!
The nose is candied fruit with lovely sweet notes, red fruit galore, with nice acidity, gooseberry, and dirt. The mouth is lovely with crazy acidity, dirt, and lovely raspberry, strawberry, pink grapefruit, and nice candied fruit. Nice

2019 Baron Herzog Rose – Score: 83 (Mevushal) (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is barely above the drinking line, qualitatively, but it is in the lowest quintile, price-wise, and it is one level down quality-wise, so it is a GOOD QPR.
The nose on this wine is actually nice, but the mouth is too ripe/sweet for me. Showing watermelon, ripe strawberry, sweet tea, and sweet pomelo.

 

 

Posted on May 6, 2020, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Sparkling Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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