VV | Tassel Ridge Frontenac Rose
Name: Tassel Ridge Frontenac Rose
Producer: Tassel Ridge Winery, Leighton, IA
SNOW DAYS. If you grew up in a state prone to snowstorms, you understand how it goes…sometimes, they are needed and very much welcome; sometimes they are dreaded and not received well. As a teacher, I am 50/50. I enjoy the extra sleep and time, but don’t appreciate having to alter the rest of the week’s lessons due to the lost day.
The day started out with a 2-hour delay but quickly turned into a cancellation. Wine was on the top my list of “to-do’s”…I love curling up with a fleece blanket and a glass, in front of a movie. I’d already visited the store the night before, discovering a bottle from my favorite Iowa winery, Tassel Ridge. Hy-Vee had an entire cart of Frontenac Rose on sale for $9, claiming it was discontinued!! I find it hard to believe that the winery is discontinuing this variety, as it’s one of the popular bottles on the semi-sweet list. I decided that Hy-Vee must be removing it from its shelves. Hmmm…is it something to be sad about, or relieved? In other words…how’s the wine?
Naturally, I brought a bottle home and had it nice and chilled for the day (the wine-makers recommend 55 degrees—standard chilling temperature). Tom and I visited the Redbox and picked up “The Social Network” for the day. His drink of choice was Amber Bock and I was looking forward to opening up the Frontenac Rose.
Before pouring I read the label on the back. It states:
008 Iowa Frontenac Rosé is a semi-sweet rosé that displays plum, cherry, and berry notes on both the nose and palate. It is made from 75% Frontenac grapes and 25% La Crosse grapes which were grown in Mahaska County, Iowa, vineyards. Serve Iowa Frontenac Rosé chilled as an aperitif or just sip it on a hot day. Store at 55°F.
I’d tasted this wine several times before, on winery visits, but never brought it home. I remembered the wine getting a lot of good attention at the tastings…lots of people giving it high marks. Couldn’t remember exactly what it tasted like, but that was okay. I poured a healthy sized glass. It smelled like deep, rich plummy grapey jam (sorry for the amateur wording) with a hint of butterscotch. Yup. A little weird. The taste was good. Sweet, but with lots of thick, dark flavors. Kind of like black cherry pie filling.
A glass and a half was all I could manage before calling it quits.
Usually 2 glasses is normal for me, but I became overwhelmed with the sticky-sweetness and bitter aftertaste. Also, I felt as though I need a thorough teeth-brushing afterwards. I gave Tom a sip from my glass and he said “It definitely tastes churchy.” HA! Church wine for communion. That’s actually a very fitting description.
Final word on this wine? It’s okay. Serve it as a spritzer with club soda (stay away from lemon-lime soda on this one) or soak your strawberries in it for a tasty sundae or pancake topping. I won’t recommend it highly as a dinner accompaniment, unless you’re having chocolate cake with fudge frosting for supper. Dessert wine, sure it’d work…but there are better dessert wine picks out there.
Don’t give up on this brand, however. Next time I go to the store, I can’t wait to pick up a bottle of Tassel Ridge’s Twilight Red. It’s an amazing wine. Keep your eyes open for it here!