Friday, August 16, 2013

Serpent Ridge Vineyard Grenache Rosé

When one thinks of Grenache or Garnacha, the thoughts turn to a host of different wines, from fruit-filled Rhone blends to tannic Priorat wines.  However, this varietal has an entirely different persona, which takes the form of a rosé wine. 

The process of making a rose wine is fairly straightforward.  Winemakers crush the grapes and allow the juice to macerate with the skins.  Wines get their color from this maceration.  At least with red grapes, the longer the grapes macerate with the skins, the darker the wine.  When it comes to making a rosé wine, the maceration could be as short as a few hours or as long as a couple of days.  After the winemaker has achieved the desired color, the juice is fermented (usually in stainless steel vessels) and then bottled.  While there are other ways to produce rosé wines, such as the saigné method or simply combining red and white wines, those methods are best left for other posts.

Ordinarily, one would expect a Grenache rosé wine to come from the Languedoc or Provence regions of France, or perhaps a Garnacha rosada from the Rioja.  However, Clare and I found a Grenache rosé produced by Serpent Ridge Vineyards, which is located in Carroll County of Maryland.  This rosé is produced by Serpent Ridge Vineyards.  

The wine poured a red that is a few shades darker than other rosé wines that I have had before, such as the Muga Rioja Rosé.  There was also a nice level of carbonation, which gave a slight fizz as the wine was poured into the glass.

As for the aroma and taste, the predominant elements were bright, fresh fruit.  The aroma had senses of red cherries, with some strawberry.  The flavor of the wine featured both strawberry and raspberry, which were delivered with a dryness that one can expect from a rosé wine.

This wine is something that can be enjoyed as an aperitif, and, it also works well with grilled seafood dishes (such as grilled shrimp or scallops), light vegetable dishes, and most any kind of salad.  It would also pair well with charcuterie and some hard cheeses, especially cheeses from Spain like Roncal or Idiazabal.

I have not seen Serpent Ridge wines in stores around where I live and I bought this bottle at the vineyard's tasting room.  This wine is worth a try if you are looking for an American version of a Spanish Grenache rosé.


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