Monday, April 15, 2013

Haywire Gamay Noir rose VS BS rose

A friend and colleague passed me a couple of bottles of rosé the other day...

It sounds like the start of a "wine-geek" joke right? No - seriously, she passed me these two bottles of rosé and at the time I almost thought she was joking! You have to understand, Vancouver in March is a dismal sight most days: only a few degrees above zero Celsius (translated to Fahrenheit is about 50), pouring rain, winds blustering either off the Bay or down from the local mountains that are still covered in snow.

And she gives me rosé.

But there's more to the story! It seems two winemaker colleagues/rivals have set up a bit of a challenge against each other, with the public as both accomplices and judges... Enter the contenders for Best Rosé of the Bunch:

in the left corner, weighing in at a hefty 13.7% ABV is the Haywire Gamay Noir Rosé ,

and in the right corner dancing lightly at 13.4% is the BIG BS!
(That's Bartier Scholefield Rosé to you my friends)

These scrappy wines, blushing with the bloom of youth (unlike their winemakers) promised tight competition as soon as I opened the bottles. I did my due diligence, and made my way through the murky waters of on-line research. In doing so I discovered that not only did these gifted (special?) winemakers want "we the people" to judge the battle, but wanted our response in verse.

In verse? This joke just gets more and more odd...

A battle between two sibling rosé, the outcome judged by the public - in verse.

Well there once was a wine from Haywire
  who liked to spend nights...
... nothing rhymes with Haywire.

Truth be told, when I actually got around to tasting the wines the weather had changed; the air had warmed by 10 degrees or so, the skies had opened to allow glorious sunlight to bathe my deck and the wind had stopped blustering (unlike Scholefield) and become a gentle murmur. In short, I had reached my ideal rosé time. And I was reminded of the many things that Spring brings; green grass growing, the scent of new flowers, my wife's allergies, and love. And if one thinks of love, one must think of Shakespeare. And when I thought of Shakespeare I knew I'd found my response to these "Two Gentlemen of Okanagan"

But soft! What light through yonder bottle breaks?
  It is the East, and BS is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill Haywire's envious moon
  who is already sick and pale with grief ,
that thou, her maid, are more fair then she:
  Be not her maid, since Haywire is envious (and rightfully so)
Her vestal livery is but pale salmon to your rose,
  And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my BS. Oh, it is my love!
  Oh that Michael Bartier knew it were!
He speaks and yet says nothing - no - that's David, what of that?
   The wine discourses, I will answer,
I am too bold - the wine speaks not to me:
  Two of the fairest stars in all Heaven (the Okanagan Valley DVA)
Having some business in the wine business, do entreat my eyes
  to sparkle at their mischief 'til new bottles can be opened.
With gladdened heart I'll rest awhile
and watch two loves battle for mine affections;
in the end, 'tis I and my friends who come out on top!

2010 Haywire Gamay Noir rosé
Okanagan Valley VQA
91 points
  • visual:   clear; pale salmon amber core with watery rim, silver highlights
  • nose:   clean; medium+ youthful and developing aromas; slightly spicy earth tones, warm berry compote, lively floral notes reminiscent of great Viognier, crisp mineral undercurrant
  • palate:   clean; dry, medium+ raspberry/currant acid, light+ to medium body, medium+ alcohol (13.7%), medium+ intense youthful and developing flavors that mimick well the bouquet; the minerality sings with precision and is followed by a bountiful floral and fruit driven palate. Excellent balance and structure, medium+ length
  • conclusion:   truly a world-class rose, this wine is capable of holding it's own for several years but will not improve. Enjoy 2013-2016/7 
  • FOOD PAIRINGS:   floral toned wine with lively acids and great structure are built for food, and in many people's opinion - seafood. But consider this flight of whimsy: 7-hour braised rabbit (or poultry for the less adventurous) with raz-el-hanout on fresh thyme infused quinoa, steamed kale tossed with roast chestnut butter and apricot glazed garden-carrots... as I said.. adventurous, but with purpose! Rabbit carries little flavor of it's own, but will cosy to Arabic spicy blends and that spice will enhance the natural spice in the wine. The fresh thyme does the same but through contrast. The kale cleans the palate whilst the quinoa and chestnut open the door to savory tones and the apricot enhances the floral. A hint of butter will off-set the medium acids - this wine begs not to be paired with cream which will seem cumbersome (also consider Italian pairings like tuna in olive oil!)

2010 Bartier-Scholefield rosé
Okanagan Valley VQA
92 points
  • visual:   clear; medium sanguine or "bleeding" rose core... like a poached peach. Watery rim with copper highlights
  • nose:    clean; medium intensity developing aromas of warm dusty earth, clay pottery, tight minerality, dry herbal tea, white flowers
  • palate:   clean; dry, medium+ to full (tight) red and black currant acid, medium- body, medium alcohol (13.4%), medium + intense and developing flavors that mimick the nose... immediate focus is drawn to the very precise minerality and tight young berry tones that dominate, warm earth is a background that develops on a consistent palate with a soft floral finish. Truly excellent balance and structure with long length
  • conclusion:   a stunning wine that is just coming into it's own; concentration, acidity, length, structure - a wine to enjoy for years! Savor 2013-2018 and possibly beyond
  • FOOD PAIRING:    big, bold, distinct flavors mean that I could pair this will very different fare then the previous wine. I would use this much like the Chateau Mussar rose; a heavily seasoned gigot d'agneau (leg of lamb) roast over wood with charred eggplant caviar dipping sauce, steamed collard greens (or beet tops), fried flat-bread and goat's milk feta. This wine has the structure and dimension to require fully intense food flavors to match - this will take some of the richest food you can imagine and bring it into balance. Gracefully.

And so all joking to one side, truly these two wines on their own are enough to open the eyes of the consumer. If you've said before that great rosé only comes from Tavel, Provence, Spain, Chile... then you need to try these.

If you've said that rosé is only for the hottest days of Summer, then you need to try these.

And if you've already found yourself saying to the computer screen "But I don't even like rosé!" then you simply must try these. For the price, you will open a new door in the expression of wine and the expression of BC.

How do I know this? Because I said all of these things before trying these wines. And now? Now I can't wait to try my next bottle.... there's a reason the blog is called "A Student of Wine" my friends!

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun post! Dry rosé really is delicious any day of the year.