Winery: Europa Village
Product/Varietal: 100% Grenache
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
How They Describe It
This Rosé is what you would get in your glass if there was an “adults-only” Halloween…
Ripe stone fruits, wild strawberries and rosemary delight the nose; the palate sensation is that of biting a ripe, fleshy & juicy nectarine that has been soaked in white wine. The finish is surprisingly fresh and clean. Stainless steel fermentation halted early to leave a touch of sweetness. This wine pairs well with steamed lobster, crab or shrimp either prepared simply or spiced up with garlic, pepper or chorizo.
How I Describe It
The Bolero Cellars 2018 Garnacha Rosa, a regular release from Europa Village Winery, shows clear with medium intensity. The hue is decidedly “salmon” — a middle ground for rosé wines between pink and orange (yes, there are orange wines!). While the color intensity is brighter than its European cousins, the hue hints at a winemaking style inspired by Old World methods.
Honestly, the nose I detected was completely different from Europa Village’s description — but that’s not a bad thing! Firstly, it leaves room for drinkers to judge the aromas for themselves. Second, what I smelled was absolutely fantastic.
There’s an explosion of tropic and citrus fruit. Grapefruit and lemon zest cut through mango, pineapple, and cantaloupe. Banana and pear manifest more subtly, and a nib of red cherry and honeysuckle suggest a tiny bit of sweetness.
Similar to the nose, the palate on the Bolero Cellars 2018 Garnacha Rosa centers on tropical and citrus fruit. Most prominently, a combination of watermelon, cantaloupe, lemon, and grapefruit bursts on the attack. Pineapple, mango, and lychee settle on the mid-palate. Honeyed cherries bring up the finish.
This is an off-dry, fruit-forward wine (slightly more residual sugar than fully dry, but still far from sweet). At 13.3% ABV, alcohol level is medium — a nice quality which gives the wine additional structure, considering fermentation ended a bit early. Medium-plus acid balances well with the residual sugar. The 2018 Garnacha Rosa has medium body, a medium finish, but brightly pronounced flavor intensity.
Why is This Wine Special?
First, a mea culpa. If you’ve been following Temecula Wine Ratings, you’ll recall we reviewed two of Europa Village’s other wines, one of which was their Garnacha red wine. Each time, the naming convention changed slightly.
Europa Village is a master brand, producing wines from three unique wineries. Vienza wines use varietals originally from Italy. C’est La Vie Wine Chateau produces French varietals. And Bolero Cellars makes wines which traditionally come from Spain.
In the coming years, each winery (Vienza, C’est La Vie, and Bolero) will have its own “village” on the Europa Village property. Think Disneyland for wine. To date, only Bolero is in the final stages of construction, and will likely open around the time the COVID-19 restrictions for travel are lifted. In the meantime, Europa Village still has its original tasting rooms, where all three brands can be found.
So, with that understanding, in the future, Europa Village wines will follow the naming convention you see on this review.
In full disclosure, Europa Village donated the bottle described here. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.
Now, on to the Bolero Cellars 2018 Garnacha Rosa, itself. Like other Spanish and Rhône varietals, Garnacha (AKA Grenache) grows extremely well in Temecula. Even better, it’s an incredibly versatile varietal. Its red wine is deliciously jammy, even when fermented dry. When turned into a rosé, Garnacha takes on a whole new life. Chill the Garnacha rosé, like white wine. With summer on the horizon, this makes the 2018 Garnacha Rosa an outstanding wine for drinkers looking for something crisp and refreshing, but with a bit more body than most Sauvignon Blancs or Pinot Grigios. Moreover, because of the brief skin contact (i.e., what gives the wine its rose color), the flavor profile is much more diverse. In other words, if you’re traditionally a red wine drinker looking for something which can be enjoyed chilled, the Bolero Cellars 2018 Garnacha Rosa is a terrific way to go.
When & How I Would Drink It
As previously mentioned, the Bolero Cellars 2018 Garnacha Rosa is a flavorful wine, with a bit of residual sugar, which is meant to be served cold. If you have access to a pool, a lounge chair, and either a grill or a skillet, you’re golden.
Above all, the 2018 Garnacha Rosa begs to be paired with spice. Pour your first bottle alongside tortilla chips and homemade guacamole. Keep the party going with paella, al pastor street tacos, or grilled marinated shrimp. And because of the slight sweetness, you could even pour a glass with flan or macarons.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $25 (discounts for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 182 cases
Have you tried the Bolero Cellars 2018 Garnacha Rosa? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.