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90+ point rated wines under $20

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2008 Enkidu Wines Shamhat Syrah Rosé**
enkidurose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Sonoma, CA $20 @ the winery 9/16/10
A medium, watermelon-colored wine with a moderate nose of red berry, melon and grapefruit with hints of earth and sweet spice. Medium-bodied with a lush mouthfeel and moderate acidity, the fruit really comes through with strawberry, cranberry and minerals being at the forefront. Quite well-balanced and well-integrated though I wished for a bit more depth and persistence on the finish. Since made from mostly Syrah (with 10% Pinot Noir) and aged for 5 months in neutral French barrels this wine still has quite a bit of life in it. Wished I had another bottle to see what it would be like next summer. Better when not too cold.

2008 Halter Ranch GSM Rosé***
halter07rose.jpg Region Price Tasted Drank
Paso Robles, CA $14 @ the winery 7/2/10
Blend of 48% Grenache, 39% Syrah and 13% Mourvèdre
A medium, watermelon-colroed wine with bright aromas of red berries, melon, cherry, herbs and spice, like smelling a fruit stand. The palate is medium-bodied and round, filled with ripe strawberry, raspberry, cherry candy and watermelon with a hint of banana creme and spice on the refreshing and lengthy finish. A well-crafted wine from year to year, that perfectly balances the fruit and acidity from the Grenache while delivering great depth of flavor and spice from the Syrah and Mourvedre. Grapes are all estate grown and the wine is stainless steel fermented, seeing no oak. The only problem is it sells out quickly. One of the best QPR rosés from CA. Buy it if you can find it. (14.5%/500 cases)

2008 Mas Carlot Tradition Rosé**
mascarlotrose.gif Region Price Purchased Drank
Costières-de-Nimes, France $10 K&L Wines 5/23/09
Blend of 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah. A bright salmon-colored wine with a nose of ripe strawberry, raspberry, cherry and minerals. The palate is light-bodied with bright acidity and is filled with the same red fruits from the nose – the strawberry dominates – along with melon and hints of herbs, sweet spice and minerals on the fruity, refreshing finish. Better when not too cold. A well-crafted wine for the price, though not as complex as the 07 version. Made using the saignée method from 50-60 year old vines.

2008 Chateau Mourgues du Gres Fleur d'Eglantine Rosé**
08mourguesrose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Costières-de-Nimes, France $12 Palate Food + Wine 9/16/09
Blend of 75% Mourvedre and the rest Grenache, Syrah and Carignan.
This pale, salmon-colored wine is much lighter and more delicate than most versions from this region. More Provencal in style, this wine has a nose of ripe berries, herbs, melon and hints of stone fruits. The palate is light and refreshing with bright acidity and flavors of strawberry, melon, redcurrant and minerals with the berries really lingering on the finish. More savory, than overtly fruity with good balance. Not what I expected from this region and I wanted a bit more depth, but classy and well-made.

2008 Sobon Estate Reserve Rosé**
08sobonrose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Sierra Foothills, CA $11 @ the Winery 7/14/09
Blend of 86% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 4% Carignane A medium, salmon-colored wine with an aromatic nose of ripe red berries, sweet spice and a hint of minerality. The body is light to medium with a nice balance of fruit and acidity along with a round, almond-filled finish. The palate is filled with sweet strawberry and cherry flavors with notes of earth and minerals. A refreshing, if not exactly complex wine that is ready to drink and a good value for a New World rosé.

2008 Starr Ranch Vineyard Grenache Rosé**
starrranchrose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $18 @ the Winery 4/16/10
This rose is a bright, coral color with a moderately aromatic nose of red berries and watermelon with notes of sweet spice and herbs. The palate is light-medium-bodied with nice balance between the medium acidity and the ripe fruit flavors of strawberry and cherry vanilla. The medium-length finish was filled with notes of ripe apple and watermelon with a hint of smokeiness. A perfectly pleasant wine for the price, showcasing the ripe fruit flavors Grenache is known for. This small family winery is located in the Adelaide Hills on the westside of the Paso Robles region, producing only about 400 total cases each vintage. (40 cases)

2007 Blair Fox Cellars Grenache Rosé***
HayleeRose_label.jpg Region Price Tasted Drank
Santa Barbara, CA $16 Rhone Rangers Event 6/4/08
A medium pink wine with aromas of freshly crushed strawberries, raspberries, watermelon and sweet spice that jump from the glass. I could have spent the night just smelling this wine. The palate was light-bodied with a complex mixture of red and citrus fruit flavors and crisp acidity that was refreshing and made you ready for more. Even better than the 06 version which I also really liked. What good rosé is all about.

2007 Bodegas San Pedro Apóstol Campellares Rosado*
sanpedrorose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Rioja, Spain $9 Wine Discount Center 8/10/08
Bright, pink color with floral, red berry and citrus aromas that turn into a musky herbal scent with air. The body is light with good acidity and mostly strawberry, minerals and melon flavors with hints of orange zest on the finish. While pleasant upfront, there just wasn't enough depth to this wine past the initial burst of berries. The middle and end were pretty bland. Certainly a decent summer quaffer for the price, but there are better versions in this range from Spain.

2007 Cave de Tavel "Lauzeraies" Rosé***
tavellauzerus.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Tavel, France $14 K&L Wines 9/5/08
This bright pink/salmon-colored wine has ripe aromas of berries, flowers, spice and minerals that follow through on the refreshing and medium-bodied palate. As it warms the strawberry, melon and grapefruit flavors combine in a lovely, fruity melange that lingers on and on along with herbs and minerals on the soft finish. Multi-layered and elegant, this is what rosés are all about.

2007 Domaine de l'Hortus Pic St. Loup Rosé de Saignée*
hortusrose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Coteaux-du-Languedoc, France $12 Woodland Hills Wine Co. 7/19/08
An assemblage of 40% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, this pale, salmon-colored wine has a youthful nose of red berries, minerals and hints of tropical fruit that all carry through onto the light-bodied palate. The flavors are mostly strawberry with some melon and banana and touches of herbs. It was a bit medicinal when super cold, but lost that flavor as it warmed up a bit. Not as fruity as I like, but well-made.

2007 Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Rosé***
petitecassagne.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Costières-de-Nimes, France $10 Woodland Hills Wine 10/27/08
Blend of 50% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 20% Cinsault, and 15% Mourvedre.
A bright, strawberry pink color with youthful aromas of strawberry, raspberry, herbs and spice that follow through on the light-bodied but intense palate. The ripe fruit flavors of strawberry and cherry are offset by the minerality, structure and acidity, staying consistent even as the wine warmed. The finish was bright and lingering with more berry and a hint of sweet spice. A lovely wine for the price. (Organic)

2007 Domaine La Genestière Cuvée Raphael**
genestieretavel.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Tavel, France $14 Wine Discount Center 8/12/08
This bright, salmon colored wine is a typical Rhone blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette, Syrah and Carignan. The nose is filled with aromas of berries, cherries, herbs and minerals that follow through on the palate with nice acidity and additional flavors of citrus, apple and melon. Well-constructed with a lingering berry finish. Showed better as it warmed. A wine that shows what Tavel roses are all about. A bit more depth would have made this a real stunner.

2007 Domaine La Rocalière Cuvée Classique Rosé**
07rocaliereRose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Tavel, France $15 K&L Wines 4/11/09
A deeply-colored, strawberry pink wine with bright red fruit aromas with hints of spice and minerals. The palate is full of ripe cherry and strawberry fruits, yet with crisp acidity to keep the wine refreshing and well-balanced. The finish is long enough to leave notes of berry, minerals and sweet spice on the tongue. Doesn't have the depth of flavor I was expecting from a Tavel, but was enjoyable just the same. The ripe fruit flavors actually went well with our Spicy Tomato Chutney Pork Chops. A well-crafted wine for the price, that really shows its regionality.

2007 Domaine les Aphillanthes "Les Galets" Rosé*
amphilletes.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Cotes du Rhone, France $12 Woodland Hills Wine Co. 7/11/08
A blend 60% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise and 10% Mourvèdre all from organic grapes, this pale salmon-colored wine has aromas of strawberry and melon with a slight herbal note. The palate showed the same with some nice acidity, but not really enough fruit or flavor to make me instantly want more. It's perfectly drinkable, just a little thin and one-dimensional. Perhaps a little less Cinsault and more Grenache in the mix would have made it more memorable.

2007 Halter Ranch GSM Rosé***
halter07rose.jpg Region Price Tasted Drank
Paso Robles, CA $14 Rhone Rangers Event 6/4/08
A bright medium pink wine with aromas of red berries and cherries, with added zest from a savory, cracked pepper spiciness. The palate is medium-bodied and crisp with strawberry, minerals and sweet spice flavors with a crisp, grapefruity finish. Well-balanced and fruity with enough acidity to keep it from being too sweet. One I wish I could have purchased. Made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.

2007 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Rosado**
lasrocasrose.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Calatayud, Spain $9 Woodland Hills Wine Co. 7/25/08
This 100% grenache rose is bright pink in color with a ripe and youthful nose of strawberries, cherries, melon and notes of flowers. The palate has nice acidity, low alcohol and is filled with ripe berry flavors along with kiwi, sweet spice and a lingering finish of minerals and grapefruit. A truly lovely wine for the price, though may be considered too "sweet" for some. Wish I had purchased two bottles. If you like their grenache, you'll love this summer quaffer.

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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