Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rosenblum Tasting

I gather from some people I've talked to that Rosenblum has a "love it or hate it" style. The wines are certainly archtypically Californian - ripe, extracted fruit and high alcohol. But, to my Old World tuned palate, they offer something more. Most of their reds have great character, with lots of nice undertones - earth, spice, minerals - that throw the ripe fruit into relief, and make for a complex and satisfying package. I tasting the following wines at the local wine shop last month. I should also add that their Black Muscat, a fortified dessert-style wine, is excellent as well, and a great value at around $10 per half bottle. Some notes for other Rosenblum wines I've tasted in the past are also posted after this recent batch.

, Viognier, Appellation Series, Kathy's Cuvee, California 2006

Citrus and wonderful, ripe, sweet peach and tropical fruits, with creamy vanilla. Lots of character. Wow. This is the best Viognier I've had to date. This can be had for under $15, and at that price a tremendous value. Excellent / Exceptional (89 - 91). [9/6/08]

Rosenblum, Mourvedre, Appelation Series, San Francisco Bay 2004
Nice, interesting nose. On the palate, cherry, plum, violets, smoke, and spice. Frim finish. Very fruity and aromatic for Mourvedre. Lots of character. Great wine. Around $15, and a good value. Excellent / Exceptional (89 - 91). [9/6/08]

Rosenblum, Syrah, Rominger Vineyard, Yolo County 2006
Dark berries, earthy herbs, spice, and a touch of mineral. Very nice, but not nearly as interesting as the Mourvedre. If you can find this for $15, it's worth trying, but the price online seems to be around $20, and at that price I'd pass. Excellent (87 - 90). [9/6/08]

Rosenblum, Zinfandel, Appellation Series, Paso Robles 2006
Softish cherry with a touch of raspberry upfront, then blackberry, and a spicy finish. Quite good, but more or less 'just another' California Zin, and for around $15, not all that exciting (although it's not an unfair price). Excellent (87 - 90), but only merely. [9/6/08]

And now a round up of my older notes for their wines:

Rosenblum Cellars, Black Muscat, Gallagher Reserve, Central Valley 2005
A sweet, fortified red. Cherry/stawberry upfront, followed by dark berries, with almost tarry notes, and chocolate. Great stuff. Exceptional (90 - 93) [9/30/07].

Rosenblum Cellars, Petite Sirah, Appelation Series, Heritage Clones, San Fransisco Bay 2005
Dark purple. Blueberry, blackberry, mint, and juniper. Very rich. Textbook Petite Sirah, but has some pretty distinct character. Big finish. Could have a hair better balance. Worth trying, although perhaps a bit pricey at $20. Excellent (87 - 90) [7/28/07]

Rosenblum, Syrah, Vintners Cuvee, California 2004
Sweet cherry and plum, with minty herbs, mild earthiness and spice, and a hint of wildberries toward the finish. Suprisingly good. Very Good / Excellent (86 - 88) [2/17/07]

Rosenblum, Mourvedre, Appellation Series, San Francisco Bay 2004
Sweet cherry, with mineral/smoke, violet, and spice. Driven more by its undertones than its fruit. A formidible, even brooding wine that fills the senses from pour to finish. Parker would love this one. Excellent / Exceptional (89 - 91) [7/17/07]