The 2021 Kosher rose season is open and I am still underwhelmed – scene 2

Since the last time I tasted and posted notes on the new roses, NorCal was still in the dead of winter/Spring and it was not very Rose weather. At that time, like now, I was deeply underwhelmed and thought it was going to be another stinker of a year for roses. Thankfully, since then, I have had two roses that returned my belief in rose, though that is two out of 48 roses that I have tasted. Overall, the scores are lower than last year and those were lower than the year before, essentially, less happy!

So, this post is scene 2 in the rose open season, and I have now tasted all the roses I would dare/care to try, and FAR TOO many that I did not want to! Sadly, many wines are still not here. We are missing a few new wines from Chateau Roubine, the new 2020 Vallon des Glauges is lurking somewhere in the USA, the 2020 Recanati roses are not here and neither are Yatir or Yaacov Oryah. So, yeah we are missing some that normally come here, but I have tasted almost everything that is here in the USA< outside of some that I could not bring myself to taste, I am sorry.

While rose wine in the non-kosher market is exploding – especially Rose wine from Provence; a wine region of France, kosher roses have ebbed and flowed. Last year, the kosher market for roses slowed down a bit. This year it has returned to absolute insanity and sadly they are all expensive and boring, again, at best.

QPR and Price

I have been having more discussions around my QPR (Quality to Price) 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 stayed the same from last year, so far though many expensive roses are not here yet! So far, 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 drinking, but not 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, some 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. For example, if a rose gets a score of 87 points, even though that is not a wine I would drink, if it has a price below 23 dollars – we have a GREAT QPR. Again, simple math wins. Does that mean that I would buy them because they have a GREAT QPR? No, I would not! However, for those that still want roses, then those are OK 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, Vitkin, Oryah, and Recanati roses. In reality, there is NO QPR WINNER yet, of the 30+ roses I have tasted, not even close, sadly.

The French roses are OK, but nothing to scream about. I still remember fondly the 2015 Chateau Roubine, I tasted it with Pierre and others in Israel, what a wine! I bought lots of that wine in 2016. Last year, the 2019 Cantina Giuliano Rosato was lovely, and the new 2020 vintage is almost as good.

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 a few Cali, and the more obscure Israeli wineries that I normally get to when I am there. Still, what I have tasted is not good. A literal repeat of last year, sadly.

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, 2020 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 feel that wineries were either hampered in some way with the 2020 rose vintage, or honestly, they just threw in the towel, The 2020 vintage is as bad or worse than the 2019 vintage, and 2019 was the worst one in the last 10 years, AGAIN. The roses of 2020 feel commodity at best, they feel rushed, with 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. I get it running a winery is a tough business, and you need cash flow, and the best cash flow product out there is Rose and Sauvignon Blanc wines. At least there are some good to WINNER Sauvignon Blanc wines from 2020. In Rose, for 2020, so far there is none.

As always, I will be chastised for my opinions, my pronouncements, and I am fine with that. This is a wake-up post, last year there were one or two roses at this point. This year there are none! In the end, I will repeat this statement many times, I would rather buy, the Gilgal Brut, 2019 Chateau Lacaussade, 2020 Hagafen Riesling, Dry, 2020 Sheldrake Point Riesling, 2018 Ramon Cardova Albarino (2019 is not as fun but solid), 2019 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 O’dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Pacifica Riesling, 2019 Netofa Latour White, 2020 Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc. There are far better options, cheaper and better options in the world of white wine! PLEASE!!!

I was thinking about going with the title: 2020 kosher Roses suck hard – who cares? Because that is how I feel. This vintage is a massive letdown, AGAIN, worse than 2019, prices are still 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. 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 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.

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 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 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 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 2020 Domaine Netofa Rose.
  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 EP! 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, dry, but not complex in any way.
  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 up to dark red. Yes, there have been wineries that 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 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 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? I have nothing against, P&J – I 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 – quickly. 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 have 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 2020 roses

So where are we in 2021 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 2017 and 2018 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, 2020 wines should be sold out by the summer of 2021 – simple! Sadly, I still see 2018 wines being sold all around! There is simply too much older rose lying around and too many new 2020 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 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, even earlier than last year. I wish they would have all arrived already, and some have, but with the world we live in, it is still better than last year. Please dump the old roses and move on!

Best rose so far in 2021

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 over the next couple of weeks. I will probably taste as many as I did last year, again given the logistics of life today. That will still be fewer than in 2019.

If there are two ideas you get from this post that would be great. ONE: Drink only 2020 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, sadly only a couple of these are worth buying – but so far are the best options here in the USA:

  1. 2020 Chateau Sainte Marguerite Cuvee Fantastique Rose – best rose I have tasted so far – no matter from where
  2. 2020 Or Or de la Castinelle Rose – best QPR rose out there and only QPR WINNER
  3. 2020 Cantina Giuliano Rosato – a fun wine at a great price
  4. 2020 Sainte Beatrice B – is the best of the European Mevushal Rose, with the Roubine a touch behind
  5. 2020 Hajdu Rose – is the best of the Cali roses (that I have tasted so far)
  6. 2020 Domaine Netofa Rose/2020 Dalton Rose – nicest of the riper roses (that I have tasted so far)
  7. 2020 Lahat Vignette Rose – is the best of the Israeli rose, but expensive

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

2020 Chateau Sainte Marguerite, Cuvee Fantastique Rose – Score: 91 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, and 10% Rolle (AKA Vermentino). The nose on this wine is lovely with great notes with peach, mineral, grapefruit, lovely apricot, lemongrass, and green note. The mouth is lovely, acidic, refreshing, with good acidity, nice fruit focus, with a lovely mouthful, showing classic strawberry, raspberry, lemon/lime, more peach, mineral madness, and rich salinity, wow! Lovely! The finish is long, with flint, rock, saline, lemon, tart pink grapefruit, and lemongrass, lovely! Adding in the white wine helped. Drink now. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Or Or de la Castinelle Rose – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
Finally, there is a rose wine in the USA that I want to buy and drink! Bravo! The nose on this lovely wine is ripe, well balanced, but super bright, acidic, and with nice minerality, showing notes of lemon blossom, Meyer lemon, strawberries, and crème, with saline, rock, and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine shows a nice weight, with gripping acidity, nice fruit focus of grapefruit, strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, and hints of orange, with mineral galore, and lovely green notes. This is refreshing, bright, tart, and just what I want in a rose. The finish is super long, tart, with great acidity, more lemon, gooseberry, pomelo, and slate lingering long, with orange blossom, and more Myer lemon! Bravo! Drink now!! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Cantina Giuliano Rosato – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is lovely, not as epic or as minerally laden as the 2019 but a lovely rose, in a vintage where there are so very few Rose I would drink. The nose on this wine is lovely, bright fruit, tart, with bright aromas of red fruit, strawberry, and crème, bright passion fruit, citrus, with lovely orange blossom, and orange rind notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a nice weight, shows a good fruit focus, with nice strawberry, tart, and juicy raspberry, bracing acidity, well-balanced, refreshing, showing saline, olives, and a nice mineral focus. The finish is long, green, mineral, slate, and tart, refreshing, and fun! Nice! Drink now! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Lahat Vignette Rose – Score: 90 (QPR: POOR)
The wine is made from 100% Grenache. The nose is pretty, very elegant, floral, with lavender, violet, green notes, watermelon, gooseberry, strawberry, and more floral notes – very elegant. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice but I crave acid, and while I think it could use more acid, this had enough and it was lovely, with bits of tannin, watermelon, strawberry, flint, really nice! The finish is long, green, peach, with flint, smoke, and tart gooseberry lingering long. Nice! Drink up! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Chateau Sainte Marguerite Rose – Score: 90 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, and 10% Rolle (AKA Vermentino). The nose on this wine is quite nice, with minerality, lovely strawberry, raspberry, peach, lemon, grapefruit, peach blossom, and lemon blossom. The mouth is correct, enough acid, mineral galore, smoke, flint, and nice fruit focus, but missing in the middle. The finish is long, floral, with flint, green notes, and red fruit, nice! Drink now (tasted April 2021)

2020 Flam Rose – Score: 89.5 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is nice, with floral notes, with strawberry, flint, and red fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, with good acid, nice mouthfeel, with a good fruit focus, nice strawberry, currants, and good grapefruit. (tasted January 2021)

2020 Herzog Limited Edition Rose of Pinot Noir, Tasting Room – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is sweet, with intense floral notes, candied fruit, and rich mineral. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is solid, with intense rhubarb, pomegranate, and strawberry, with enough acid, nice rosehip, sweet fruit, and berries. The finish is long, tart, sweet, and ripe but balanced, nice! Drink now. (tasted April 2021)

2020 Hajdu Rose – Score: 89 (QPR: EVEN)
Look, the 2020 vintage in California was tough, but we must score on what we tasted. The nose on this wine is a bit muted, last year it was far fruitier and nicely balanced, this year it is muted with notes of pomegranate, sweet vanilla, strawberry, and crème (think a pile of strawberry with a nice dollop of whip crème), with rosehip, floral notes, and sweet fruit. The mouth on this medium+ bodied wine has a nice balance, it is riper than I like, but it is still well balanced, with nice acidity, gooseberry, strawberry, nice grapefruit/Pomelo, vanilla, and crème notes. A nice wine with slate on the finish. Drink now! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Tabor Rose – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a bit better than the Psagot as it has no hollow. The nose on this Barbera rose is lovely, classically inclined with strawberry, and crème, passion fruit, kiwi, guava, and nice orange blossom. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has that refreshing feeling you want from a rose, there is no complexity, outside of the bracing acidity, the fruit is there, more strawberry, intense pith, and good slate. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Chateau Roubine, Cru Classe (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: POOR)
This is a wine that starts to bring back memories of old when the 2015 vintage was first released kosher, what a wine that was, sadly, the mouth leaves this wine far behind that stalwart. The nose on this wine is lovely with mineral, flint, pith, orange blossom, rose water, smoke, and loads of red fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine starts with a clear hollow, but that gets fixed with a bit of air, with notes of strawberry, cherry, sweet raspberry, quince, and pear, with flint, pith, orange notes, and orange zest on the long finish. Drink now. Nice! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Sainte Beatrice B (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is riper than the Chateau Roubine but it is also more balanced and complete. The nose on this wine starts to move more tropical, with guava, passion fruit, orange, nectarines, and lovely orange blossom, green pineapple notes, with saline, and sea salt. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine shows a nice weight, it is riper than the Roubine, but the ripeness is well-controlled, with strawberry, raspberry, guava, nectarines, and orange cuties, with citrus, and pith. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Domaine Netofa Rose – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is fun, somewhat ripe, but balanced enough and made better than other riper 2020 roses. The nose on this wine is a bit ripe, with notes of ripe strawberry, lovely floral notes, ripe pomelo, citrus, and good flint. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, well-balanced, with lovely control, showing brightness, and a lovely refreshing feeling, though a tad riper than I would have hoped, with ripe strawberry, dark cherry, hints of plum, with great acidity, flint galore, lovely orange pith, orange blossom, and orange notes on the long finish. Nice!! Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Dalton Alma Rose – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose on this rose is nice, it shows notes of flint, orange blossom, riper notes than I want but still balanced, with green notes of passion fruit, strawberry, and orange blossom. The mouth on this medium-bodied is fun, solid, with clean lines, good acidity, a nice overall rose, with strawberry, and flint galore – very nice! The finish is long, green, and lovely, with good pith and crazy good acidity and green notes. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Matar Rose – Score: 88.5 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose on this wine is lovely and this wine was close but sadly it lacks acidity and while it is well-balanced it falls apart quickly. To me, the nose on this wine is heavenly, flinty, ethereal, with quince, pear, orange blossom, red fruit, green notes, and lovely sweet yet balanced fruit, The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is where it loses it, the mouth starts with a blast of acid but there is this hole and the hole is annoying, with sweet notes of quince, strawberry, raspberry, pomelo, orange rind, orange notes, and hints of nectarines. Drink now (tasted March 2021)

2020 Dalton Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
Once again Dalton has made a wine that quaffs well! My issue they raised the price again! This wine used to cost 15 dollars, in the USA, it now costs 20! The nose on this wine shows classic Rose aromas, of strawberry, and crème, citrus, mineral, floral notes of rosehip, and cucumber, and pomegranate. The mouth on this lithe-bodied wine has very nice acidity, which adds to the body, with enough going on to get my attention but not for long, with strawberry, pomegranate, pomelo, more rosehip, nice acidity, slate, and green notes on a long finish. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Twin Suns Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
Upon opening this wine you cannot help but feel like you are in a cigar room, but that blows off quickly, and the notes are more flint-based than they are cigar/burnt smell-based. The nose on this wine is sweet, smoky, with notes of strawberry, cranberry, and floral notes of jasmine, with clear flint and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is really fun, it feels a bit smoky and ripe, the acid grabs you along with the incredible flint making you just scream – I you want more! The mouth shows notes of strawberry, pomelo, tart pear, cranberry, saline, slate, good fruit, and mineral. Nice! Drink now. Nice!! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Gvaot Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is nice, showing the rose notes of Bordeaux blend – not as fruity and strawberry that I find with Rhone and other warmer temperature varietals, with notes of raspberry, rosehip, violet, and cherry. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun enough the acid is there but there is a clear hollow and there is nothing to grab your attention, outside of the acid, with notes of rose petals, sweet pomegranate, raspberry, grapefruit, and lifesavers. Drink now (tasted March 2021)

2020 Lueria Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: POOR)
This wine is a blend of 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Barbera. The nose on this wine smells like 100% Barbera, but either it is one of the best roses I have had so far, with notes of classic strawberry, and crème, floral notes of violet and rosehip, with red fruit, citrus, and flint. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is fun, the acid hits you first, followed by a great fruit focus for a rose, with salinity and mineral lifting the strawberry, dark kirsch cherry, and lovely tart cranberry, red grapefruit, and olives into another level. Sadly, this lasts for about 1 hour and then the wine dies quickly and falls off the cliff. I would drink this wine quickly! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Psagot Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
This was one of the better Israeli roses I have had, so far, from Israel and while that sounds good, given the score, it is yet another nail in the coffin of rose wines, overall. The nose on this wine is nice, ripe, but nice, with candied notes of pineapple, guava, strawberry, not quite pomegranate, but ripe. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice enough but it has this hollow that never fills in, the acidity makes it refreshing, for sure, but the hollow and the candied fruit, even with all the pith and acidity that is on the finish make the wine feel a bit empty. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Carmel Appellation Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: GREAT)
I rarely speak about color but this color is hideous, it is strawberry red, tinged with some orange, not my thing at all for a rose, too dark and not appealing, IMHO. Anyway, the wine is nice enough, another miss for the 2020 vintage, but drinkable in a pinch. The nose on this wine is ripe but controlled, with loads of red fruit, strawberry, plum, raspberry, little to no floral or mineral notes, this is a ripe rose, I would have guessed Cali if tasted blind. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, with clear orange notes, along with raspberry, plum, strawberry, nectarines, with good acidity, another nice wine from the Appellation series. The finish is long, ripe, tart, with some green notes of gooseberry, red berries, and more tart notes on the long finish. Nice! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Tulip Rose – Score: 88 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is ripe, sugar notes, with nice fruit, apple, pear, gooseberry, and passion fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, round, with enough acidity, showing fruit, orange marmalade, and pineapple, with more RS and lime juice. The finish is long, green, sweet, and sweet, with good acidity, more pineapple, and enough balance. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Netofa Latour Rosado – Score: 87.5 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is the best part with notes of lovely flint, smoke, rosehip, classic strawberry, and crème, green notes, and roasted herb. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice but it has no acid, it is better than the other acid-free roses and there is a bit of balance, but this is disappointing, the mouth shows pith, flint, nice controlled fruit, no candy here, but again, the pith is what it keeping the wine together. The finish is long, pith, green, flint, and raspberry. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Chateau Roubine La Vie Rose – Score: 87 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is the only of the entry-level priced Roubines that is not Mevushal and it is the least appealing. The nose on this wine is more stunted and less refreshing than the B with notes of orange, quince, citrus, and flint. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine starts off hollow as well, but that changes, like the Roubine, and this is leaner than the Roubine it is also more but also less appealing, still, the fruit is here, but it is the acid and pith, and lovely mineral, smoke, flint, and rock. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Binah Rose – Score: 87 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose on this wine is blunted but it shows highly ripe, with sweet notes of candied cherry, pomegranate, plum, and bright raspberry, with floral notes of rosehip. The mouth on this medium+ bodied wine is ripe, but it is balanced, maybe a bit too acidic, showing a lack of focus, more fake than natural, with candied red fruit, tart pomelo, and watermelon, with tart red apple notes. The finish is long, tart, and sweet. This would work for those that like riper and sweeter roses with acidity. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Stoudemire Rose, Clarity (M) – Score: 87 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine shows better than the Lineage, with notes of strawberry, cherry, orange blossom, and sweet watermelon. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine wants to get it correctly, the acid is correct, the mouth is correct with strawberry, passionfruit, raspberry, cherry, and lemon rind, but the finish lets it down, it is short and empty. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Capcanes Peraj Petita Rosat – Score: 86 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine weighs in at an ABV of 14.5% so I was not expecting much, but overall it is a nice enough wine. The nose on this wine is what I expect from a rose, clean lines, fruit, not candy, bright notes, and tart fruit, with floral notes of rose, orange, and mineral. The mouth is where things go wrong, with a medium-body, fruit that is too ripe, but with good acidity to make that ripeness work, if that is your kind of wine, this wine is too heavy to be refreshing or stylistically a rose, but it is a nice enough light red wine. The finish is short and that is its real flaw, the pith helps. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Domaine du Castel Rose du Castel – Score: 86 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine is the best part with notes of tart fruit, quince, strawberry, pear, flint, mineral, and floral orange blossom. The mouth on this medium-bodied rose is where the wine fails, it lacks acid, it lacks vibrancy, it is there, with pith, flint, and sadly not much else. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Covenant Red C Rose – Score: 86 (QPR: BAD)
This rose is slightly better than the Blue C Rose. The nose on this ripe rose is candied, sweet, and showing hints of floral notes, mostly sweet fruit and candied lifesavers. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, candied, with acid, but man 2020 was a tough vintage for California. The mouth is not refreshing but it is balanced with too much candy and fruit for me. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Golan Heights Winery Mount Hermon Rose – Score: 86 (QPR: EVEN)
Look, this wine has no flaws, it is just too ripe, too sweet, and too candied, but for those that like sweeter, riper roses, that are also balanced, this is a fine choice. The nose on this wine is candied, with sweet notes of pineapple, floral notes of orange blossom, orange notes, nectarines, and sweet pear. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is ripe, showing candied watermelon, pineapple, nice acidity, nothing in the way of mineral or the sort, more of a full-throttle rose, with loads of ripe fruit, and balance. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Teperberg Rose, Essence – Score: 85 (QPR: BAD)
The nose on this wine starts nicely but the real issue with this wine is that it is hollow and empty in the mouth, sadly. The nose has nice notes of strawberry, and crème, raspberry, pomelo, and mineral. Sadly, the mouth is empty, some of the fruit it there, but the finish is short, and the mouth is boring. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Chateau Roubine R de Roubine Rosé (M) – Score: 85 (QPR: EVEN)
This is another flat rose, yay for us! The nose on this wine is boring, the mouth is boring, there is nothing on this wine, strawberry, round, flat, and boring, with pith, and orange blossom. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2020 1848 2nd Generation Rose – Score: 84 (QPR: EVEN)
The nose on this wine is nice enough with notes of rosehip, floral notes, citrus, and mineral The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is nice, with good acidity, and not much else, with more citrus, grapefruit, currants, and strawberry. The finish is long, acidic, and more currants and flowers. (tasted January 2021)

2020 Mony Rose, Reserve – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
This is yet another poor Rose wine that shows wineries do not care about what they produce. The nose on this wine is not interesting, it is not flawed, it has brightness, but nothing else. The mouth on this light-bodied wine is light, not very fruity, showing quince and apple and not much else, with rosehip, floral notes, and good enough acidity, almond pith, and smoke. As I said this wine is less flawed than it is boring. Drink now! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Jezreel Rose – Score: 84 (QPR: POOR)
The wine is a blend of 60% Syrah, 30% Carignan, and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. There is no acid in this wine it is flat as a pancake. The nose on this wine is candied and ripe with notes of pomegranate, floral notes, candied cherry, and not much else. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is flat, boring, candied, ripe, and not very interesting unless you crave candied red fruit. Drink now if you wish. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Or Haganuz Rose – Score: 84 (QPR: POOR)
The nose on this wine feels cooked maybe it is residual sugar, maybe it is just really ripe, either way, this is not a wine I would like, though it has more acid than others roses I have had so far from 2020. The nose on this wine is cooked and candied with candied red fruit, candied flowers, and just lots of ripe fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a nice weight and it is ripe, with some acidity, but there is nothing here, ripe cranberry, dark cherry, candied strawberry, and pith. Drink now (tasted March 2021)

2020 Chateau Greysac Le Rose de Greysac – Score: 84 (QPR: BAD)
The nose is a bit better than the Riganes rose – sad. The nose is a bit fruitier, with orange, flint, strawberry, lemon. The mouth on this wine is a bit better with good acidity, a bit more fruit, orange, lemon, and flint. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2020 Covenant Blue C Rose – Score: 83 (QPR: NA)
This wine smells like a cigar smoke room from the oak and sadly it lacks the acidity to bring it together, again, another wine with nice acidity but a gaping hollow in the middle. The nose on this wine is oak, smoke, toast, red fruit, and not much else. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is more oak, missing the middle, nice enough acid, and red fruit. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Nadiv Rose – Score: 82 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. This is the 2nd Rose I have tasted which added in a white varietal and it did NOT help at all, they both have ZERO acidity to show for themselves. The nose on this wine is ripe, with notes of flint, mineral, rosehip, and candied cherry. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lifeless, it has no acid, a bit of mineral, mostly nectarines, nectarine pith, orange, and peach. Flat. Drink up! (tasted March 2021)

2020 Gush Etzion Rose – Score: 82 (QPR: NA)
There is no need for notes here the wine is boring, flat, and not interesting. The nose quince and pear and some red fruit. The mouth is flat, lifeless, and boring. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Baron Herzog Rose (M) – Score: 82 (QPR: NA)
This wine is sweet, with RS (residual sugar), and ripeness that cannot be fixed with acidity. I liked the 2019 Baron reds but this is the first of the new label, LOVE THE new label, for the 2020 whites, and roses, but this wine is not my cup of tea. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Yaffo Rose – Score: 82 (QPR: NA)
This wine is not dry, I would call it off-dry, it has clear RS (Residual Sugar) and the acidity is OK at best. The nose on this wine is nice actually, showing none of the RS, with balanced notes of watermelon, strawberry, hints of flint, and ripe peach. Sadly, the mouth is a total mess, the RS is so evident it hurts and the balance is gone, no matter how much acid they added. Drink now. (tasted March 2021)

2020 Chateau Les Riganes Rose (M) – Score: 82 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is equally boring, dead, flat, with acid, another rose mess. The nose is boring, with strawberry, orange, and lemon, not much there. The mouth is round, nothing there, with acid, and not much else. Drink now! (tasted April 2021)

2019 Carmel Winery Mediterranean 2 Vats Rose – Score: 80 (QPR: BAD)
This wine is a blend of 33% Tempranillo, 30% Grenache, 29% Marselan, 6% Caladoc, 2% Chardonnay. The nose on this wine is sweet and candied, with notes of candied cherry, apple, sweet strawberries and crème, and candied pear. I am sure this wine would have been more interesting 6 months ago, but now, this wine is soulless, it has no acid, no heart, the fruit is flat, showing a sweet fruit front of candied raspberry, dry strawberry, and not much else, along with rose petals, and that is it. Sad, Drink now if forced to. (tasted January 2021)

2020 Herzog Lineage Rose (M) – Score: 80 (QPR: NA)
Sadly, this is off-dry, it has sweet notes and not my thing. The nose on this wine has a Muscat feel, with floral notes, pineapple, cooked cabbage, and red fruit. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has no acid, is sweet, ripe, guava, melon, and no citrus, no acid, tropical, and not much else. (tasted January 2021)

2020 Barkan Rose, The Gold Edition – Score: 75 (QPR: NA)
This wine shows nicely but the mouth is all over the place and disjointed and in the end highly uninteresting. The nose is bright but sadly the mouth is just an acid bomb with no focus, approach, or clear path/plan. Drink now if you must (tasted March 2021)

2020 Shiloh Rose (M) – Score: 73 (QPR: NA)
The nose on this wine is tropical and ripe, with hints of mineral, and citrus. The mouth on this wine is where it all goes bad, sweet, unbalanced, bitter, a mess. (tasted January 2021)

2020 Terra di Seta Meshi Rosato – Score: 65 (QPR: NA)
This wine is the only weak link to the incredible Terra di Seta winery. What can I say, this is not a wine I would or could buy or drink. The wine is off and tastes cooked and candied beyond belief. (tasted March 2021)

2020 La Foret Blanche Talpiot Rose – Score: 50 (QPR: NA)
This is an oxidized mess. I cannot comment on it more. The cork is a Diam, so the wine is the issue. Hard pass! (tasted March 2021)

Posted on May 6, 2021, in Israeli Wine, Kosher French Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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