Tag Archives: 2014 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rose

It’s Time to Pack – The Rosé Daily Slosh

21 Jun

Nostalgia. Saw jacksoul opening for James Brown years ago having never heard them before. Haydain Neale was mesmerizing. His was a loss to Cool.

I love this time of year! No, seriously, I love it. “Why do you love it, Bill?”


Best sunsets ever

Glad that you asked. I love the anticipation of heading to the cottage – the start of summer. We were at the lake for a few days in May but not since. You see it’s a 3.5 hour drive each way and requires packing, unpacking, finding stuff that people have moved  (AARGH!), making beds, etc. So, an overnight isn’t in the cards. Plus, this year, I haven’t been up to do my usual “annual project”. Not sure why. I know “the annual” is the stairs down to the water but I haven’t grown any ambition over the past two months to get up there, work a bit, drink beer and wine with the guys helping. Suffice to say that I will waste a bit of my summer working. But, working in Muskoka on the lake is a high class problem, right?

And, I will need some wine to support the intellectual and physical labour. So, here goes:

Let’s just head to the main event – rosé. I realize that some of these are repeats from my annual Rosés for The Dock post but they are included in this weekend’s (June 25) release so I thought it bears repeating. Odd that “New Arrivals” at the mother ship are, in fact, “Old Friends” that never left. I will post on reds and whites later in the week.

I was in NYC last month and we hit a rooftop bar in the Meatpacking District populated by millennials with money. It was scary. The cliché is mullenials still on their parents cellphone plan. But these looked pretty independent. Great looking men and women. angelLoads of financial wherewithal clearly evident. The friend that had got us in to the place was considering a glass of wine and I suggested that, if she liked rosé, she would love the 2015 Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel #325076 $26.95. She did. This is one of the better if not the best Provence rosés at this price point (or perhaps at any price point) in most years. This vintage doesn’t disappoint. It’s citrus, crispy goodness. If you’ve been playing along at home, you know that my ‘go to’ rosé is most likely a Tavel. But, I love Provence pinks – particularly to have with something light or just on their own. I realize that there are many pinks at a little less of a tariff. But, splurge and quietly enjoy this by the lake with friends (imaginary and otherwise). Interesting that the imaginary ones always seem to enjoy the wine and it takes a little longer to get through the bottle.

chateaulatourStaying with Provence wine, the 2015 Château La Tour de l’Évêque #319392 $19.95 is a repeat offender here. I wrote of it in a past post here. Yes, I absolutely love it!

Tawse makes great stuff and their swing at rosé is no exception. The”Sketches” portfolio is an entry level wine but the only rosé that Tawse makes, I believe. Their 2015 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé #172643 $16.95  is full value. Definitely dry but maybe a teeny bit sweeter profile. My earlier review is here.

triompheStaying close to home, the 2015 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé #279117 $19.95 is a dry, citrusy, cherries and smack kind of wine. It’s organic too. A solid pick. Read my review of Southbrook Estates here. Great peeps doing good work. I like Cabernet Franc from Niagara and maybe that’s why a rosé made from it is appealing to me. Not surprising that rosé carries the fingerprint of the grape(s) from which it is made. In this case, herbal and quite aromatic. And, it looks delicious too. And, you know darling that it is more important to Louk Mahvelous than to Feel Mahvelous.

sorbaraI know that this is a rosé post supposedly, but there’s a wine that I’m going to try that you might find interesting – 2014 Cantina di Carpi e Sorbara Omaggio a Gino Friedman Lambrusco di Sorbara #419101 $15.95 is a sparkling red made from the Lambrusco grape. Now, before you concur up memories of Castelvetro or Baby Duck, this isn’t sweet or heavy handed. The Lambrusco di Sorbaras that I’ve had before were ‘pretty tasty’* and went well with charcuterie. Give it a try and let me know.



*The DuffWines rating scale and DuffsWines tasting terms are copyrighted. Accordingly, the use of the term “pretty tasty” without prior expressed written permission from Duffswines Inc. LLP. Corp. is strictly prohibited.

Rosés For The Dock Edition and A Single Guilty Pleasure

28 Apr

It’s the Dock Where I Rock the Rosés

You may remember the last 2 editions of Rosés For The Dock posts. Wait, what am I saying? Of course you do. You have them bookmarked and use them regularly as textbook examples of blogging excellence and rosé wisdom. Well, I won’t bore you with opportunities to click away to read them because you won’t anyway. I know what you do and where you go.

This is number 3! That must mean it’s 2016, sigh.

The mothership is pimping rosés this weekend (April 30th). And, if you pimp, they will come. Well, at least I will ’cause I’m easy, subject to suggestion, and a mark for sexy advertising. While else would I have purchased that Dyson vacuum cleaner. Did you notice the length of that handle, the way the woman wrapped her fingers…………….never mind – that was another post.

I received a text the other day from my youngest. Now, picture this – it’s 3 degrees Celsius outside my door (that’s about 40 F. for my US friends). I’m sitting around thinking. Nothing inspirational or profound – just thinking. “Ding” goes my phone. Ah, a text. I open it to hear from my itinerant life-time student. I quote, “Heyo, I’m heading to France tonight, and will be there until May 11th. Staying in Provence……writing…..library”



What? I know that he works hard and the travel is part of the gig kind of. But, did I say it was 3 degrees C? Quick check of the Côte d’Azur tells me that it’s……..67 degrees F. which is………… well, let’s just say that it was warmer than 3 C. And, when I think of Provence, I think of drifting on the Mediterranean soaking up the sun, eating something fresh and delish and sipping rosé. Ah, warm, sated.Consolation? It’s coming. The warmth that is.

This week there are 2 repeat Provence offenders from these pages.

gassierThe 2015 Gassier Sables d’Azur #033621 $15.95 is a wine that needs a significant chill and something to eat with it – like a green salad with balsamic vinegrette. Hey, just kidding. Pair it with sun alone and you’ll be fine. It has a very evident streak of acidity but is light and Provency.  Perfect in 67 degree and warmer weather.

chateaulatourThe other Provence wine that I want to talk about is the 2015 Château La Tour de l’Eveque #319392 $19.95. I have sang the praises of this cuvée several times. This looks like perfection in a rosé – a little hint of yellow amidst the pink  – smells of orchard fruit but don’t be fooled. On the swish and swallow, you get a load of palate cleansing acidity and a citrus burst. Love, love it! If you ever sit in the sun in a small cafe in Antibes (and BTW, I fear that my son is), snack on messy prawns and fresh tomatoes, this is the wine you’ll want.

mabyThere are two Tavels this weekend, I’m talking about only one of them – 2015 Domaine Maby La Forcadière Tavel #701318 $18.95 is another repeater. Tavels are much more substantial than the rosés from Provence or pretty well anywhere else, actually. They are said to be the red wine drinker’s rosé. Made predominantly with Grenache which gives you some idea of the vibe. This wine is dark pink, complicated, and spicy. Dry as a bone and muscly enough to stand up to a typical red wine meal. If you’d be overwhelmed with a tannic Cab or Syrah/Shiraz with your burger, drain this. Cottage barbecue pink.

tawseroseEveryone around Niagara seems to do a rosé lately. I admit that I really only drink two of them. The first is the 2015 Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé #172643 $16.95. If you want to know about Tawse, you can read my short piece here. This is a bit sweeter in profile than the others I’ve mentioned here but don’t think, “Oh, that’s sweet.” Think, “Oh, that’s suuuweeet.” It’s a peaceful, medium-bodied wine with some earthy notes in the glass but clean on the finish. Nice effort.

The other Niagara rosé I stock up on, in fact have just twisted open a bottle of, is 2015 Malivoire Lady Bug Rosé #559088 $15.95. A true food pink. Lunch on the beach? Serve well chilled. You can read my piece on Malivoire here. Worth a visit.

That’s enough for now. I’m sure we will be talking’ pink later this year.

As un homage to The Food and Wine Hedonist who has been blogging about guilty pleasures in music, wine and food lately, my guilty pleasure might be this song. Come on, everyone loves Elaine, admit it.



Rosés For The Dock 2015!

26 Jun

I spent far too long watching these “Playing For Change” renditions. What a cool concept.

I’ve discovered something. I like rosé. I guess it isn’t a shocking discovery. I am a wine agnostic. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not picky. That would make me a wine slut. That’s something different entirely..

I came to this discovery the other night. I popped a cork on a pretty bottle of Côtes du Provence. You know, one of those bottles that’s all curvy and cool. It was a warm night. The kind of early evening humidity and pending storm that we experience here in Southern Ontario almost every summer evening it seems. And as I sat and sipped on the patio, I thought, “This stuff is good” (note: censoring in Italics).

Most importantly, the wine matched the moment, the mood, the feeling that I was trying to achieve. I know it can sound wine snobby when someone says that they’re matching wine with the mood, the place, the people. But listen, would you scoff at ‘comfort food’ as a snobby concept held only by foodies? No. We all get it. Some foods fulfill the role of comforting us. Well, some wines fill a need too; get used to it, it’s just true ’cause I read it on the internet – right here on this blog, BTW. The night in question, I needed some wine that recognized the sun from earlier in the day, the heat, and yet provided some amount of chill, too. Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, rosés. Like them a lot.

In an effort to provide helpful advice, I’ve been killing rosés over the past month. Here are some of my impressions of the ones that made the cut.

We were in Rhode Island last week and I picked up a rosé from one of my favourite wine stores in Providence (ENO – 225 Westminster Street) – 2013 Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel. It’s a Kermit Lynch offering south of the border and that usually means good Rhone stuff. It’s a label that I’ve liked in past vintages and you’ve heard me wax on Tavels in general – I like ’em a lot. Well, this one surprised me. It was less expressive than I’m used to for Tavels. KInd of dumb, if that makes sense. It was more strawberry than darker fruits. A little disappointing despite past success of this label. I was looking for more substance – it just seemed flat. That leads me to believe that the moment wasn’t right (are you kidding? In my hotel room sitting on the side of the bed?) or I wasn’t really paying attention. Could be both, actually. When it arrives in our market, I’ll try it again and get back to you.

While we’re on Tavel, let me remind you of my review of the Famille Perrin Tavel here. I like that wine a lot. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it an A+.

carte noirAnother regular in our aisles this time of year is 2014 Carte Noir #319384 $17.95. I’ve reviewed this the past couple years at least. You can read the review of the 2011 and 2012 vintages here. This is a rosé from Côtes du Provence. There may be no other wine that best describes your experience of the place it comes from as clearly as a rosé from here. The bottle even says, “I’m cool, curvy just like Brigitte.” If you’ve sat at a café by the Mediterranean watching boats lazily rising and falling with the gentle sea, you know what this wine feels like. This is from Saint-Tropez, which conjures up images of fashion, Fiats, sunglasses, and the sun. It’s light, refreshing with cherries and a hint of herbs. Great summer wine – it’s going to the cottage next week. And, I managed to recommend this wine without a picture of Brigitte Bardot. But, I do still love her. Just checked her birth date. SHE’S 81! So, I’ve decided that I don’t really still love her in the same way that I used to and adjusted my fantasies significantly.

citraIn my research, I bought a rosé that I’d never tried before. The wine – 2014 Citra Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo #404541 $8.45 – yes it’s $8.45 and perhaps is the lowest priced wine to grace these pages. Having never had a rosé from Abruzzo, I did a little research. This wine is made in the Cerasuolo, a fairly new DOC in Central Italy. The red wines from here carry a lighter colour than their Montepulciano grape cousins – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I can’t find a single thing about the rosés. I’m assuming they are made from the Montepulciano grape as well. So, what does $8.45 get you? I have to say that it gets you a really nice wine. Just thinking – that’s another good thing about pinks – they don’t cost an arm and a leg. This has a tarriness to it among the cherries. I like that – tarriness. Almost copper coloured – it would look great on your patio with some substantial apps. It reminds me of the Tavels – bigger bodied but still dry, crisp and refreshing. A nice surprise at $8.45.

charlesetcharlesCloser to home – at least I think it’s closer – is the Washington State – 2014 Charles & Charles Rosé #406603 $15.95 is a watermelon coloured (or since it’s from the US should I say colored?) beauty. This is the perfect summer party rosé for me – there’s a populist feel to it – any guest that objects to its gentle, dry, lip-smacking-ness should be expelled from the deck! At the lake, the offender would be tossed from the dock. Plus, there’s a finish that has something going on that I can’t quite describe. That’s a good thing in wine – mystery. Please buy this and let me know what you think. My goal on this blog is to serve. Hey, just had a glass of this as I’m finalizing the post and it is good stuff.

gassierHave you ever sniffed, sipped, gurgled, and swallowed a wine trying to figure out what you were going to say in your blog? I know you have. Well, the 2014 Gassier Sables d’Azur Rosé #33621 $15.95 was one of those wines. Yes, it’s the cool shapely Provence bottle too. What to say about my experience? Well, I still get the Côtes du Provence outward feel – clean, fresh, and screaming, “Please, please, chill me!” But, it didn’t resonate with me. Always wanted to say that about a wine. What I mean is that compared to the Carte Noir above, or the Tour l’Eveque below, it just seemed less convincing. Does that make sense? I was looking for that Provence soul and it didn’t quite deliver. But, what did it do? Well, it was crisp, fresh, and dry. It needs a big chill and seafood stuff to munch. To be fair that might bring it to life.

levequeOK, let’s stay there – in Provence that is. I’ve reviewed this label before here – the 2014 Château la Tour de l’Eveque #319392 $18.95 is the one wine that I’m reviewing here that has a distinct floral thing going on. It is made using both red and white grapes which is counter to what I expect from traditional Old World rosés. It’s more common than I imagine, I bet. I just think of rosés as red grapes bleeding whitish juice. This would be wicked with an arugula salad. It has almost a spritz to it – maybe a bite that gives that spritzy feeling that would match the pepper of the arugula. Some white tree fruit – peaches coming through on the finish. This is full value. The most serious one from Provence.

Last but certainly not least are my two local favs. First let’s get the ladybug out of the way. The 2014 Malivoire Ladybug Rosé #559088 $15.95 is a frequent flyer here. It’s just a consistently yummy rosé. No need to say any more – pick up a bottle. It’s an Vintages Essentials product, so should be in about any LCBO. If you must, this is my last review of that label here..

sketchesThe 2014 Tawse Sketches of Niagara #172643 $15.95 holds some greenness on the sniff that isn’t present in the mouth – cabernet something or other used, I’m guessing. It is strawberry juice coloured and maybe that’s why you can’t shake the strawberry flavours. It might be the sweetest of the rosés reviewed here. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s sweet just sweeter, is all. And that gives it a bit bulkier feel too if that makes sense. I like just about anything that comes from these guys and this is no exception.

There you have it. Rosés to stock up on for the summer ahead. If you haven’t had one in a while, give them another try. Don’t be an anti-rosite. It just might transport you to Saint-Tropez and there’s lots of worse things that can happen than that.


%d bloggers like this: