It’s a run-off! Rosé from Mendoza

Rats. Just when I have the chance to write about run-off – a possibility that rears its head every four years – there’s none in the bleeding fridge. See what I did there? Mention TWO ways to make rosé in one teeny breath.

What I’m really talking about is presidential election run-off, which occurred for the first time EVER last night in Argentina, and will actually happen on 22 November. And as coincidence would have it, running off fermented red grape juice is one way to create rosé. (Others are bleeding – AKA saignée – limited maceration and pressing.)

Never one to get too technical, especially on a Monday morning – and especially when I haven’t sunk some Colombian beans – let’s resolve some sip tips.

While there’s nada in the fridge, I have been sipping quite a few pinkos in a vein similar to a rain dance. Drink rosé, bring on the spring! So far, so fail.

But my razor-sharp memory offers up a couple of gems that provide an ever-so-slightly tenuous link to last night’s election.

Alfredo Roca Merlot Rosé 2015. A San Rafael-based bodega named after his grandfather, third-generation winemaker Alfredo himself has the air of a kindly abuelo who would sit you on his knees and lovingly feed you wine from a milk bottle.

Alfredo Roca Merlot Rosé 2015.
Alfredo Roca Merlot Rosé 2015.

He’s a trooper too: in July, he drove his wife and friends some 1,000km from their Mendoza home to Chubut to attend Madryn al Plato, no mean feat given his age.

I’m a fan of his Pinot Noir, and this unusual rosé, unusual in that it’s made from Merlot, also stands tall. A fruits of the forest hit, strawberry and raspberry form its backbone. Juicy fruit.

Alfredo Roca Merlot Rosé 2015, San Rafael, Mendoza, Bodega Alfredo Roca, 98 pesos. Cork. Pressed method. Drink at 8º-10ºC.

Crios Rosé of Malbec 2015. First, I told Susana Balbo’s daughter I wanted to be La Balbo’s daughter at a wine fair, not knowing her identity. Whoops. It wasn’t meant to sound weird. I’ve also told her son, winemaker José Lovaglio, the same anecdote. I couldn’t help myself. It was at the same lunch that Alfredo Roca attended, and I shouldn’t have tried to match him sip for sip.

Crios Rosé 2015.
Crios Rosé 2015.

Second, I put it on Chipper’s wine list.

Third, I included it as a rosé must in the 2015/16 edition of Time Out. That’s right, I have a rosey-wosey love affair with it. A liquid strawberry bomb. Bathe in it, then drink it.

Crios Rosé de Malbec 2015, Altamira, Uco Valley, Susana Balbo Wines, 109 pesos. Screw cap. Bleeding method. Drink at 8º-10ºC.



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