It was pretty much the end of the season by the time Jean, Katie and I made our way over to Rosedale (although Katie, who lives down the street is something of a regular, I understand), and Rosedale’s Serendipity and Summer Blush were already sold out, which left us with four wines, two whites and two reds and a bonus wine, a new Sauvignon Blanc that the winemakers had been testing all summer.
The Tasting Bar is at the back of the farmstand, a two-sided bar that could hold perhaps 10-12 people comfortably. The walls are decorated with posters of both current wine labels and labels of wines that have been retired, providing both art and a sense of history and continuity. Being so late in the season it was fairly quiet that day, and we were able to find spots and begin our tasting right away. We kicked off with the
Simsbury White, an estate-grown Seyval Blanc. The nose was soft and floral with citrus blossom notes. The mouthfeel was also soft, and in the mouth the wine is dry with light citrus notes and subtle notes of acid on the finish. The predominant note was grapefruit, although it was light and somewhat delicate, and I appreciated the subtleness of the acid – anything stronger could have brought out the bitterness of the grapefruit. As it was the wine has a light sweet/tart bite that was rather interesting.
Three Sisters. Next up was Rosedale’s Three Sisters, named for the owner’s three daughters. This is an estate-grown Cayuga and is described in the tasting notes as “a classic summer wine.” The nose is brighter than the Simsbury White and has some spiciness to it. In the mouth, the wine is bright and tangy with much stronger notes of grapefruit and a nicely balanced finish. A very nice wine, and yes, a classic summer wine, but this will pair well with a wide variety of foods and should carry through nicely all year round. I could see this working well with casseroles and heartier fall soups.
From the two whites, we moved on to the two reds; first up…
Lou’s Red, named for the late owner of Rosedale Farms; the current owners are his children and grandchildren. Lou’s Red is a blend of four grapes: 20% Marechal Foch and 20% St. Croix, both estate-grown, and 10% Sangiovese and 50% Merlot, both brought in from California. In previous years, the wine was a blend of just three grapes, Marechal Foch, St. Crois and Merlot; the winemaker added the Sangiovese last year and found it really helped round out the wine. I really liked the nose on this wine, finding it spicy with warm notes of cumin and pepper. Undoubtedly the influence of the California grapes, as Northeastern grown reds tends to produce fruity rather than spicy noses.
The wine was lighter-bodied than I had anticipated, but I wasn’t disappointed. Soft and spicy with notes of dark stones fruits, plum in particular, and pepper, this is a really nice table wine. There are notes of leather on the finish giving it a somewhat soft finish that really balances the fruit and spice. This would pair well with heartier pasta dishes as well as lamb or veal.
Farmington River Red. The second of the reds is an ever-changing wine; each year the winemaker selects different grapes. For 2010 the Farmington River Red is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from California grapes. The 2011 vintage will be a Shiraz. Also in 2011, Rosedale Farms is considering adding a Pinot Noir from Chilean grapes to their wine list. But that’s next year.
This year, the Farmington River Red is a medium-bodied very pleasant Cabernet Sauvignon The nose is lightly fruity with notes of pepper. In the mouth the fruitiness continues with notes of blackberry and a smoky finish with a hint of peppery heat. Another very nice table wine, very drinkable with a wide variety of dishes.
The tasting finished with a bonus wine, a Kiwi/Pear Sauvignon Blanc that the winemakers had been taste-testing with visitors all summer long. The nose is soft and fruity with very strong notes of pear. In the mouth the wine is sweet, falling somewhere between a sweet table wine and a dessert wine. The mouth feel is soft, light and very smooth. The lightness is actually quite refreshing, and this wine would be great as an aperitif or with a light fruit and cheese tray. It would be heavenly with some of the softer cheeses such as brie or goat cheese, and might work paired with a blue. It would also pair well with lighter desserts such as fruit tarts or ice cream and berries. An interesting wine and one I hope the winemakers have on their wine list next year.
With the wine tasting concluded, Jean, Katie and I wandered through the farmstand and then headed over to a local restaurant to relax and chat over a glass of wine and a late lunch. Little did I know at the time that that afternoon was my last win(e)ding roads adventure for 2010. I had every intention of heading down to southeastern Connecticut to check out one of the last two remaining Connecticut wineries on my list before they closed for the season – but didn’t make it. And planned to head back over to the Shawangunk Wine Trail to visit a few more wineries on that list – yeah, didn’t make that either. Looking back, I can’t figure out what I was doing all those weekends, but as I get ready for 2011, one of my resolutions is to do a better job of hitting the trail this year.