Henry Yuen (Chinese blog: http://taiyangbao.ca/author/henryyuen/? variant=zh-hans )
The other day, I sampled two different BC VQA Rosè from the Okanagan Crush Pad. From colour, aroma, texture to mouth feel, they varied in all aspects. Wasn't it surprising when I realized the two wines were actually crafted from the same grape varietal, sourced from the same block off the same vineyard! The only difference - " The grapes were harvested two weeks apart!" was the information I got from winemaker Michael Bartier.
Two Rosè so close together yet so distinct, and evidently another two fine products to showcase the talents, the soil, the weather we have right here in beautiful British Columbia’s wine country.
The two wines: Haywire Winery Gamay Noir Rose 2010 and Bartier & Scholefield Rose 2010 – released from the Okanagan Crush Pad recently and created quite a splash. I must say, these are two equally delicious Rosè wines out in time to welcome spring and the warmer days well into our golden summer. Chilled, these are guaranteed to be popular patio sippers regardless of your personal choice.
Sometimes winemakers need to wear that artistic hat in crafting their wines. It may be a big risk to take since they have to be playful and have the vision of what the end product would taste like, but it also is a positive challenge to one self and to Mother Nature’s gift. When the end result comes up on top, it is more than a big cheer, it is un-measureable fulfillment!
In this particular case the winemaker, Michael Bartier and wine consultant, David Scholefield decided to fiddle around with a witty concept - crafting two Rosè wines with the same fruit and named them differently. Playing with their last names (Bartier & Scholefield) and to lay the ground work, the B.S Rosè was made from grapes left on the vines for two more weeks before harvesting . But the real magic took place in the cellar!
The Haywire Rosè faced a shorter maceration time to restrain skin contact and was fermented in cook tanks while the B.S Rose was allowed more hours to macerate, longer skin contact period and was fermented warm. Addition to the tank works for both Rosè was the deliberate extended period of cellar time before releasing to allow extra maturity in the bottle. The 2010 wines would have normally been released in 2012 but instead, these two are just released.
The results: The Haywire Rosè yields a lighter pinkish salmon roe colour compared to the pinky red of the B & S Rose. While the Haywire Rose, with more acidity and fresh raspberry character, provides the “wow” effect; the B & S, linger in the palate with a subtle mix berries flavour and baked apple finish, offers a mellow delicate taste.
In an informal tasting with friends, the Haywire Rosè seems to gain a slight edge probably due to its bubbly texture. Yet everyone agrees both are exceptional patio sippers and can be enjoyed with or without food.
Please do not let me influence your choice and you should determine for yourselves! The gloves may be off for Michael and David to fight over which Rosè is the crowd favourite, but you do have a say as well. Simply go to the Okanagan Crush Pad site (http://www.okanagancrushpad.com) to cast your vote and enter to win a trip to the Okanagan!