A review of Rosewood Wines – By. Jennifer Britton

On Tuesday October 23rd Rosewood Wine Estates held a private tasting at George Brown College in Toronto to showcase their portfolio of wines.  Best known for their Mead’s (wine made from a base of honey) Rosewood brought together a group of writers and wine lovers to try their entire portfolio.  Beyond the wines however the goal was also to showcase the ability of their wines to pair well with food.  Hence the selection of George Brown as the venue where the talented chefs created a special menu designed to showcase the wines and their match with a variety of foods.

I have spoken to a few people who were in attendance and it appears this all came across.  TOwineman was well represented by Jennifer Britton who acted as our correspondent and reported back.  Beyond being my sister, Jen is a wine lover in her own right and a veteran in the service industry.  Who better for Rosewood to leave a good impression on?  Well apparently they succeeded, and with that I turn the blog over to Jen to recount the event for you in her own words.

Recently I had the pleasure of representing towineman.com by attending a private tasting with Rosewood Estates Wine at the Chefs House at George Brown College. We were welcomed warmly to the open kitchen restaurant by the Rosewood team. There was a lovely set-up for the tables with a spot to take notes as well as 5 large wine glasses for the tasting. Once everyone got settled, the team started with the tasting. I loved not only that I got to sample the Rosewood portfolio of wine, but also the fact that they were all paired with food.

The wine we started with was their 2011 Harvest Gold, paired with a delicious Chicken Tikka with Mango Chutney. This wine is Rosewood’s signature dry mead, meaning a wine made from a honey base. It had a sweet honey tang and struck the right balance between sweet and savory with the chicken. Paired with the Chicken it brought out a wonderful amount of heat.

The second wine grouping we moved onto tasting were the Whites. We paired each wine in this group with a White Fish Ceviche. The first wine was the 2011 Semillon which was sweet and crisp. It also had a lot of pepper notes as well as hints of pineapple and pear. This choice was very fruitful and a great pair with seafood. The second wine was the 2011 Mima’s Block Riesling. This wine has wonderful sage and lemon notes with an aftertaste of fresh apples. This white was crisp and smooth and brought out the lemon in the seafood. Interestingly I am normally not a Riesling fan, but this wine was a great balance of sweetness and actually ended up being my number one pick for the whites. The last of the Whites was the 2010 Sussreserve Riesling. This choice is a 7th harvest and had strong apricot and tree fruit flavors. It was a sweeter wine, but actually had a mild taste and smell.

Stepping away from the wines for a second I must mention the staff.  During the presentation the Hospitality students at The Chefs School, who were very wonderful and attentive, waited us on. They were friendly and very motivated and made the tasting an overall success.  My thanks go out to them.

We then moved on to the Pinot tastings, which were paired with a Fried Mushroom Arancini.  We opened with the 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve. This wine was a natural fermentation wine with notes of pepper.  It was very spicy but had a smooth smell and taste. The second we tried was the 2010 Pinot Noir Reserve. This choice was less spicy with more berry notes. By comparison the 2010 was much smoother than the 2009 and had a slight hint of chocolate in the flavor. It did however have a much more bitter aftertaste. 

From there we moved onto the rest of the reds. This bunch was paired with a delicious Braised Lamb Shank Tortellini, which was fantastic! The first red was the 2010 Cabernet Franc, which was very dark in colour with grainy flavors and hints of jam. It was very fruity with strong berry and a little spice. With that complexity and gorgeous colour it was my pick for best red. The second was the 2010 Merlot, which was a very pure tasting wine. It was the best pairing with the red meat and had smooth and nice subtle flavors. The last of the reds was the 2010 Merlot Reserve, which is fermented for 5-6 days and sits for fermentation for 3 ½ weeks after. This wine had strong oak notes and had a very bitter aftertaste.

Lastly we had the 2008 Mead Royale. I think this wine was probably the most anticipated on the list for a lot of the attendees. The wine is 6-month barrel aged and is a consumer favorite. It is made with pure honey, water and yeast and is much lighter in color than most whites. It had a very strong floral smell as well as the extreme notes of honey and sweetness. It was paired with and aged oak Gouda, which toned down some of the sweetness of the wine. Although a great price and a wonderful honey, sweet wine, this wine was too sweet for this particular taster.

All and all, this was a wonderful tasting that I was more than happy I was able to attend. The food and the wine were both wonderful and I would recommend Rosewood Estates wine to all the readers out there. The wine is not only wonderful but it’s a great value at the LCBO. Happy tasting! 

We would like to thank Jen for her attendance and her thoughtful recap of the event.  Catch up with Jen on Twitter here.  We would also like to thank Rosewood Wine Estates  and George Brown college for their hospitality.

To learn more about Rosewood Wine Estates check out their website http://www.rosewoodwine.com/

– Mark
Follow me on Twitter: @towineman

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