Coloring Outside the Lines

Continuing on with my New World/Old World rosé-grab from the cellar, these two are very different from not only what I typically drink–Grenache rosé–but also worlds apart from each other. The Corvina Chiaretto is a serious *naturaler wine*, and comes off far more like an orange wine in color, smell, and profile. I know *orange wine* and *rosé* is a fine line to tread–categorically linked by method–and this one feels closer to the former on many counts. A bit of spritz is apparent in the glass–a glass headed deep salmon. Funky and natural–even bretty–it smells like cider, and round composty nuances nearly overwhelm the fruit: gravely plum and soft strawberry.

The Counoise/Cinsault Paso Robles entry is a deep onion-skin, clear and bright, with a nose of toasted peach and buttered popcorn, a thick chunkiness lurking–almost candied in nature. It feels quite aged–tip-toeing on oxidized–rich and round, a tertiary polish setting in even at 2.

Tasting the Calicantus brings a smooth, sunny wine to the palate. Spicy, mineralific and dry, the texture of the fruit integrated perfectly into its light, refreshing body. The zing of colloidal bubbles offset a direct attack of peach and pear, livening and complexing the mouth-feel. Cool and watery, a bit of welcome bitter briar completes the finish. The funkiness of the nose never goes away, but the wholeness of the taste deflects further criticism. An interesting wine–and vineyard–and story–you should get your hands on if at all possible. And especially the reds.

Back to the Ledge, which is tasting woodsy, with a serious chocolate and leathery streak. Brilliant acid punctuates the entry and middle, with Paso heat chiming in. The fruit a sullied berry; dryness evoking newsprint and dusty roads. Glycerous and unctuous, the watery core sparking interest over the middle, and everywhere: the concentration of fruit pops the rosé bubble. It feels a bit tired in the finish, and probably should have been dranken a year ago.

XVIII VILLA CALICANTUS ‘Chiar’otto’ Corvina/Rondinella Bardolino Italy 12.5
2019 LEDGE VINEYARDS ‘MCA Rosé’ Counoise/Cinsaut 95/5 James Berry Vyd Paso Robles California 13.5

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