Whispering Angel

Château d’Esclans

Whispering Angel

Côtes de Provence, France

2019 / $20 / 13.5%

It pains me to write this review.  It really does.  I’ve known about Whispering Angel for quite some time.  Before quarantine life, I saw it regularly at bars and restaurants.  I always assumed it was made famous by some influencer and now every basic white betch had to have it.  Whenever I’d talk to a basic white betch about Rosé, they’d always bring up “Whispering Angel this, Whispering Angel that.”  I’d always shrug it off as another unsophisticated Rosé drinking white betch.

Well guess who’s unsophisticated know!  This guy! 

The setting was ideal for Rosé (as you can tell from the photo).  Warm, sunny, Spring afternoon.  Peruvian corn, Chilean corn salsa, roasted salmon, and rice chips.  Oh man, just writing that sentence makes my mouth water and wish for more days like that!  There was of course, a fire burning, and the ice cream man’s truck bells ringing I the background.  It was an evening that made me forget about all the shit going on this world.

I’ll admit, all I wanted to do was hate this wine.  But it is, in fact quite delicious.  It’s the kind of wine you can drink on its own or pair with a light/salty meal.  It went exceptionally well with the Peruvian corn.  If you’ve never had Quicos, I’d suggest you head on over to Whole Foods and buy yourself some.  After you romp through Whole Foods you might as well find your nearest liquor store and pick up some Whispering Angel too.

This wine is exactly what you need when attending a pool party.  You’re there for the sun, the pool, the scantily clad individuals, but more importantly to party!  While today, you may not be able to party quite like the good old days, you can still dress down and get wasted in your home thanks to some Whispering Angel!

Ah the everyday wine guy sure does miss a good pool party right now.

Taste – 8

Smell – 8

Recommend – 7

Complexity – 6

Price – 8

Overall – 37 out of 50

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Zestos

Zestos

Rosado

Old Vines Garnacha

2019 / 13% / $13

When it comes to wine in the Fierro family, the only one who truly knows what they’re talking about is the Matriarch.  Mrs. Diana Fierro.  If you want suggestions – where to buy, what you should buy, etc.  She’s the one to ask, especially when it comes to white and Rosé wines.  Remember the scene from 300, where King Leonidas turns to his wife to get her approval?  In the Fierro household, before you open a bottle of wine you better get that nod from Diana, who claims to only buy Rosé from the Provence region in France (peep bottle from prior review); they’re usually the best.  For this review in honor of Diana I decided to open a Rosé from Spain to see how it fared.

Turns out this is a dangerous Rosé.  This is the bottle you open when you’re trying to have a good time, but still want to drink a great wine!  I could have easily downed a second bottle of this if I had one available.  It tricks you into thinking you’re drinking delicious water, but before you know it you’re in your boxers, two brownies deep, watching old episodes of Very Cavallari (wondering how Jay could’ve messed this up!?), and the dishes won’t be washing themselves!  This wine just goes down so easily while giving you some delicious tasting notes.

Needless to say, I discovered what “too hungover for remote learning” feels like the next day.  It doesn’t feel good if you’re wondering, especially since I’m waking up to the same ole routine – which I’m getting pretty tired of!  I need to see some other people besides my family members!  Drinking this Rosé made me miss the days of playing ass goose and throwing balls with the homies.  But instead, I’m drinking Rosé solo blasting Su Lee (certified 2020 banger – pretty much summing up 2020 so far).  Su Lee is for the people!

I digress.  I’ve had a few Rosés from the Grenache grape before and have always found them to be pleasant wines.  The Grenache grape just adds a bit of weight to it and holds that characteristic through the drinking process.  I prefer a heavier grape for Rosé because often when a lighter grape is used, they come out just that; much lighter.  Don’t get me wrong I like light wines from time to time.  However, a chilled heavy Rosé is much more pleasant to drink during the summer months, in my humble opinion.

So Diana, maybe it’s time you broaden your Rosé palate and discover what it feels like to be hung over for remote learning!

Now I find out Very Cavallari has been cancelled!  Could 2020 get any worse!?

Taste – 7

Smell – 7

Recommend – 6 – Just bc this is a DRINKING Rosé

Complexity – 7

Price – 9

Overall – 36 out of 50

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Château de Berne

Château de Berne

Inspiration Rosé

Lorgues, France

2019 / $20 / 13%

I bought this wine solely because of how mad it made me just from looking at it.  I believe that all wine should come in a traditional wine bottle and anything that doesn’t is just pretentious.  This bottle screams pretentious A-hole from the outside.  The audacity of a vintner to put wine in a square bottle – that resembles top-shelf vodka just drove me crazy.  So, naturally I bought it… for $19.  Who’s the A-hole now?  Hook line and sunk me.

But goddamn if I’m not feelin the Berne!  These sons of bitches actually put a high-quality Rosé in that square ass, and I’m even more furious than I was before.  Berne, why you have to go and make a delicious Rosé and throw it in this stunod of a bottle!?  It’s just superb and I’m not ashamed to say it.  Call me white girl basic, but Rosé is delicious and I’m proud of that!

Rosé undeservedly gets a bad rap.  There are few smells like the aroma of a freshly de-corked cold Rosé.  I’ll rank them for you.  Number one, garlic simmering in olive oil.  Number two, wood burning fire.  Number three, freshly mowed grass.  Number four, the ocean at sunrise (yes, there is a smell).  And number five, a freshly opened bottle of cold Rosé.  Cold, crisp, and right to Dan’s heart.  You don’t agree?  Well, go kick rocks!  Doesn’t hurt that number five goes perfectly with one through four…

This wine does everything a good Rosé should do.  It’s dry but smooth, has a hint of acidity and makes me dream of warm beaches and lobster rolls.  It also went surprisingly well with tacos!  Now normally when drinking Rosé, I’m trying to live my best basic white girl life (minus the Uggs, pumpkin spice latte, and clothes from Forever 21).  And that doesn’t usually come with a $20 bottle of wine.  So, with that being said.  I’d recommend this bottle to the person who isn’t quite sold on Rosé yet.  You’re either going to realize you’ve been missing out on something fabulous or you’ll continue to be a fool and miss out on one of God’s greatest creations. 

Speaking of God.  God do I hate this square ass bottle but love this good ass wine!

Taste – 8

Smell – 9

Recommend – 8

Complexity – 6

Price – 9

Overall – 40 out of 50

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Pierpaolo Pecorari

Pierpaolo Pecorari

Ros Alba Rosato

Venzia Giulia, Italy

Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Refusco

2018 / 12.5% / $15

I apologize that I wasn’t able to take a picture with this bottle full, especially considering that this wine had a unique, slightly orange hue to it.  It was different than what I’m used to, but quite nice to look at in the bottle.  Kind of like me in a suit…. You’re not used to it but when you see it, oh weeeee her some Mr. Steal ya Gurl!

Have you ever woken up and thought to yourself, “boy for dinner tonight, I could go for some tacos and Rosé?”  No?  Good, because I haven’t either!  But when one person wants tacos and the other wants Rosé, you have to compromise, right?

A little history on Dan.  He loves Rosé and he loves tacos.  Do you want to know what Dan doesn’t love; tacos washed down with Rosé.  This wine was no bueno con tacos but muy bueno sin tacos!

I don’t throw the word “best” around very often, but this Rosé is the best bottle of Rosé I’ve had to date.  It’s just phenomenal, plain and simple.  This is a wine that is clean, just dry enough, with a beautiful follow through.  The finish of this wine leaves you wanting to drink more and more of it.

Unfortunately, I only had one bottle on hand during the tasting, and it was consumed rather quickly.  As you’ve read above, this wine does not go with tacos.  However, it does pair well with seafood, BBQ, and amazingly with burgers.  I quickly purchased a second bottle the day after this tasting and enjoyed it with some Shake Shack, which made for a terrific meal with Pierpaolo.

As I’ve found with most Rosés, they lack complexity.  For the majority of my tastings of Rosê, their texture tends to stay consistent throughout the drinking process.  That theme continued with Pierpaolo; the taste didn’t change from first sip to last.  Not a deal breaker by any means but if there is any flaw to find in this wine that would be it.  Again, it’s just something to nitpick over.

Do yourself a favor and go find this bottle, buy two or three, and enjoy a warm summer day drinking some fantastic Italian Rosé

Taste – 8

Recommend – 8

Price – 9

Smell – 7

Complexity – 6

Overall – 38 out of 50

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Lab

Lab

Rosé

Lisbon (Portugal)

Castelão 50% / Camarate 30% / Cabernet Sauvignon 20%

2018 / 12.5% / $8

Full disclosure, I wrote this review before I realized this wine is produced and bottled by the same family of wine makers as one of my go-to budget friendly reds (Colossal – an earlier review). 

There are few things that can brighten up a cloudy, rainy day, like a bottle of Rosé.  And what makes it better is the fact that it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and this guy is finally on summer break!  Yea yea I know teachers!  Always with their days off!  Well stuff it, the kids make ya wanna drink more!  Especially when you have ones with attitudes like these!  If I was Mr. Garvey I’d be drinking on the job.

This particular Rosé was a new experience for Daniel.  It was a very medium bodied Rosé with a hint of carbonation to it.  And what made this a new experience for ole Danielson was the aftertaste that followed through pretty consistently.  The follow through of the wine had a slight liquorice taste to it.  And honestly, I hate the taste of liquorice but it was so subtle that it was quite pleasant.  If you’re a fan of liquorice, then you’re really going to like this one.  And if you’re like me who can’t stand the taste, it really won’t over power the entire drinking experience. 

Other than that, this wine was very much like any other Rosé out there.  Looked beautiful in the glass, has a crisp light smell to it, and is very easy to drink (and who isn’t a fan of a pooch as the design either?).  I can see myself pairing this with a variety of foods, or just drinking it on its own.  And if you’re a big fan of Rosé and don’t want to break the bank, this is an extremely budget friendly wine that’s a pleasure to consume.  It’s nothing special as far as Rosé goes but it gets the job done. 

It’s not going to knock your socks off but it’s certainly a pleasant surprise for the price.  And that’s exactly why I brought up Colossal.  Colossal is a great budget friendly wine that you can crack open for any occasion.  Casa Santos Lima is doing things right and they’re quickly turning into one of my favorite wine producers.  So, I suggest the next time you’re looking for a wine and find a bottle produced by them, give it a try.  It certainly won’t break the bank but will leave you wanting a second bottle! 

Taste – 6

Recommend – 7

Price – 10

Smell – 6

Complexity – 7

Overall – 36 out of 50

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Domaine La Manarine

Domaine La Manarine

Rosé Wine

Grenache

2018 – 13.5% – $14

Cotes Du Rhone, France

Acid – 2.7 out of 5

Dry- 4 out of 5

The 4th of the July in my book is the real start of the summer.  It’s a celebration not only of America’s birthday but a way to get you in to full swing of what’s to come during the remaining summer months (the barbeques, the beaches, the pools, the hikes, etc).  And there’s no better way to kick off summer than having a group of friends together for a weekend away on the beach.  Synonymous with friends and beach, is drinking lots of Rosé. 

For this review I’m going to shy away from my usual write up about the wine and instead write about how wine can be experienced/shared with others.  And just in case you’re curious this wine was ok, nothing special.  A really dry Rosé that for $14 is worth $14.  The company is better than the wine.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, wine has the magical ability to not only tell you about its place of origin but to transport you there.  Wine can transmit a sense of place, culture, people, and time.  Most importantly, it can bring family and friends together, seated around the table and provoke heated discussion about what the wine means to each person.  In this particular instance my friends weren’t the most eloquent individuals when explaining the wine, but still the enjoyment was there.  As one of them so brilliantly described, “mouthsome, crisp, the salt of the balls really opened it up.”  (He’ll remain nameless…)

Wine is special.  It’s meant to be shared.  Its purpose is to be enjoyed and there is no better setting than around a table with some of your closest friends or relatives.  You’re not always going to like the same wine and certainly won’t be able to describe or appreciate wine in a similar fashion, but you can guarantee bottles will be emptied with lots of laughs.  While drinking this wine I was reminded to enjoy every moment, to cherish those close to you, and live your best life.

A bottle of crushed, fermented grapes can bring individuals together to discuss what they feel, experience, and like.  Yes, sometimes people don’t take a tasting seriously and the wine may not be great, but those shared moments are what makes it all worth it.  So, go buy a bottle or two of wine, gather some friends to experience it with, and appreciate all those little moments that follow.

Taste – 6

Recommend – 6

Price – 9

Smell – 7

Complexity – 5

Overall – 33

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The Withers

The Withers

Rosé

El Dorado, USA

Grenache & Mourvèdre

2018 – 13.1%

Acid – 1.2 out of 5

Dry – 3.8 out of 5

$22

Rosé season!?  Wha!  Oh my god you’re a horse!? Wha! Actually, I’m not really a horse.  I’m a broom.  Oh my god you’re a broom!? 

Ok, now that I’ve got that out of my system, back to the wine.  Of all of the seasons, Rosé season is certainly a top favorite of mine.  It means three things: it’s pool time, beach time, and ice-cold refreshment time.  As nice as it is to enjoy a room temperature red during the fall and cold months, there are few things that can beat a properly chilled Rosé.  Whether it’s in the ice bucket next to your table, sipped poolside or while lounging, getting your bronze on at the beach, you’re in for a relaxing time.

The main reason why I enjoy Rosé so much is because it’s the perfect combination of the body of a red with the crisp refreshing characteristics of a white.  Like my last post about Riesling, Rosé can run the gamut from sweet to very dry.  I lean towards the dryer wines as I’m not the biggest fan of sweet alcohol and the morning after effects.  I also love Rosé because it can be paired with heavy foods such as meats and BBQ, whereas most typical whites cannot be paired with heavy dishes.

The Withers is on the dryer side of Rosés and certainly fits the bill when it comes to kicking back and relaxing.  You can absolutely drink this by itself or pair it with anything from fish to BBQ.  Many of my favorite reds have the tannic mouth smacking bite to them that The Withers manages to accomplish in this bottle of Rosé.  It has a nice body characteristic to it which can be due to the majority of the grape mixture coming from the Grenache grape. 

While this is certainly a good Rosé, I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the best of the best – especially given its relatively high price (around $20 a bottle).  I’m a bit down on this particular bottle because I’ve tasted The Wither’s Pinot Noirs before, which have been superb. Whereas their Rosé leaves something to be desired.  If I was looking to impress someone who is skeptical about Rosé I would certainly find another bottle around the same price that would do a better job than this one.

It’s a good wine.  But it’s mostly a broom, dressed up as a horse.

Taste – 7

Recommend – 6

Price – 8

Complexity – 6

Smell – 6

Overall – 33 out of 50

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