Perfect Strangers

Hot hot HOT here on the coast in California this weekend and rosé sounded like the name of the game. Couple little bottles jumped out at me, again: an American and a Euro.

I crammed my nose into the pink one first, and OH BOY. What a stinky little nose. And not so little. Funky and dank and barnyardy, old veggies in the bottom crisper drawer and a petrol elevation of the deep watermelon fruit. It is thick and round and a bit of a bruiser and 100% Grenache. That’s why I have it–the ONLY reason. I can count on one hand the rosé I’ve had from Paso the past decade. I learned a LONG time ago not to even bother tasting 99.99999% of it. This is definitely unusual in the nose, briary and starkly complex.

Moving into the Chiaretto… Ridiculous perfume. Intense floral. Lilac and gardenia and lily–thick, heady stuff: all. Strawberry and guava lead the plentiful acid here, crisp and dry and still fruity. Full nectarine mouth-feel. Beautiful stuff from an equally-beautiful, spare-no-expense, family-run winery I visited in Bardolino last fall.

The Paso Robles has a thick, viscous feel in the mouth. I’m going to put the alcohol at TWO FULL POINTS above the Corvina, although I am anxious to see the labels–as that hardly seems possible. Buttery in the finish, the flab here shines on all levels, and it points–again–to a style of rosé I prefer not to drink. The hot weather and definite extraction of things counter-indicative to a thinking-man’s rosé paint a picture of a pink which will be popular with the bedazzled-jeans crowd but not the purists.

Moving back to the Italian, I will be sipping on this all night. Thin and bright–but not meager–it proves again Chiaretto can show the focus and nuance of ANY Provence rosé and handily trump American versions of the *proper* variety for blush.

2017 JADA VINEYARD ‘1149’ Grenache Rosé Willow Creek District Paso Robles California 14.5
2019 LE MORETTE Corvina Chiaretto Classico Bardolino Veneto Italy 12.0

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