Wine of the week: Marqués de Riscal Rose 2016

riscal roseThe Marques de Riscal rose is a $10 Hall of Fame wine that reminds us why rose is so wonderful

How impressive – no, spectacular – is this Spanish pink wine? It came as a sample with two other, more expensive and much trendier roses, and it was so much better than either that it was embarrassing.

So buy a bottle of the Riscal rose ($10, sample, 13.5%) and celebrate Rose Week and everything pink wine stands for in our battle for quality and value in a wine world that thinks we’re too stupid to know the difference.

The Riscal rose is made with mostly garnacha from the Rioja region in Spain, an impressive pedigree for a $10 wine. In this, it offers value and enjoyment, and is everything a Spanish rose should be. It’s clean and crisp, with some orange-ish floral aromas and berry fruit, and maybe a touch of wild berry something or other in the back.

So what made it more impressive than the $16 celebrity rose and the $25 Winestream Media favorite that were part of the same sample package? For one thing, it was more honest – a wine made with the grapes available and not to impress anyone. For another, it screamed value when the others were trading on their reputations.

Look for the Riscal rose to make the 2018 $10 Hall of Fame; drink it chilled on its own, or with any summer barbecue or picnic. It’s so well done, in fact, that I want to take it on a picnic as I write this post at 6:30 on a rainy morning.

It’s even terrific when the electricity goes out on a bright, sunny day, which is when I drank it – cursing the power company since this happens so often, and glad beyond belief I had this to make me feel better instead of the other two roses in the sample package.

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