Review at Length: Josh Cellars Rosé 2015
Josh Cellars Rosé 2015
North & Central Coasts
Rosé is a perfect summer sipper – a quaffer, if you prefer the term. Easy to consume mindlessly because it is so refreshing and simple. Perhaps you prefer it poolside, while you get your tan on. Maybe you’d rather have it as a companion while you labor over a hot stove or a grill. Some of you may even think rosé is overrated, and is just a craze. Personally, I fall under all of the above categories.
So what led me to purchase this bottle? For one, the price! I found this at my local drugstore on sale for $10.99 (marked down from an already low price of $11.99), and with a $1.00 off coupon in hand, I happily walked up to the register. Second, I had really rough week. Like, really rough. I just wanted something simple and fun to drink my cares away. The great thing about rosé is that you can never go wrong with it (disclaimer: rosé is not the same as white zinfandel, do not get these confused! White zin you absolutely CAN go wrong with). Lastly, I had never seen this rosé before this year, but recently it started popping up everywhere in my area. My curiosity was piqued – I needed to try it.
The 2015 vintage is actually the initial release of this rosé from Josh Cellars, and is a blend of 89% Barbera, 6% Muscat and 5% Syrah made entirely in stainless steel. For a new world wine, this is surprisingly mineral-heavy on both the nose and palate. However, the winery actually describes this as a having a “Mediterranean rosé profile”, so this makes a bit more sense. Talc greets the nostrils, very similar to baby powder. The alcohol is a bit intense, but for a cheaper wine I am willing to look past that. The palate is dry and crisp with flavors of raspberry, citrus, sour apple and unripe strawberry. The finish shows a mineral tang of wet slate that is slightly bitter, but I found this to calm down a bit on the second day. With time, this bitterness gives way to a bit of spicy acidity.
These acidic, bitter notes are definitely evidence of the Barbera grape varietal. This Italian native thrives in the warm California climate, producing limited tannins but significant acidity. The Syrah appears to mostly be blended in for color, but may also provide some of those mineral notes at the end. Surprisingly, I found very little influence from the Muscat, which should provide a nice round sweetness. So if you like your pink drinks fruity and sweet, maybe this rosé isn’t for you.
Overall, not my favorite; but it was enough to do the job of quenching my thirst and chasing away the woes of my week.