The Wine Idiot Reviews: Grifone Rosè ($3.99)
Trader Joe's has this one line of wines called "Grifone" that multiple Trader Joe's wine-aisle-experts have suggested when I ask for a surprisingly good cheap wine. Usually, however, they point me to the Grifone Primitivo (which is one of the MOST surprising values at TJ's)--no one has ever pointed me to the rosé. And I think I may have discovered why.
Look, it's not appalling. It smells like apples and strawberries, but then it's...oddly...flavorless. Not in a terrible way? Especially when you consider the bottle cost $4. It almost tastes like apple-y spa water--you know, the stuff you get right after a message that comes out of a tank that has fruit slices floating in it?
I usually expect a certain amount of strawberry flavor in a rosé but this just doesn't deliver. I actually wrote in my tasting notes, "I AM SO CONFUSED RIGHT NOW." I wasn't put off, mind you--I think this would be fun to have available at a BBQ, in a bucket of ice alongside some Coronas. I don't think anyone is going to dislike it...but I definitely wouldn't buy this if I went to the store looking for a bottle of rosé to enjoy.
What the bottle says: *First, a note: they keep switching which way the accent on the e in "rosé" goes. I've stayed faithful to how they used it because it's hilarious--they do it correctly in the body text, but all the titles are wrong. "Grifone Rosé is made through the traditional skin contact method - during the fermentation the grape skins are left in contact with the pressed juice until our winemaker is happy with the color. The wine is then transferred to another tank to finish the fermentation process. This classic method combines the fragrant scents of a white wine and the elegant freshness of a young red wine. Our Grifone Rosé is crisp and intense with with fragrant aromas of raspberries and peaches, flavors of tangerine zest and watermelon with a hint of sweet white flowers and a crystalline mineralogy to round out the flavor profile, serve chilled."
What the Wine Idiot says: OK see this description is what gives wine-describing a bad name. COME ON. Sure, I suppose you could say those flavors are in there--IF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A GALLON OF SPA WATER WITH FOUR RASPBERRIES, A SLICE OF PEACH, SOME CHUNKS OF WATERMELON, AND ONE OF THOSE EDIBLE FLOWERS FLOATING IN IT.
Who's responsible for this? "Bottled by Roccadoro, Pontedera - Italy, Imported by Latitude Wines, Danville, CA"
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes, weirdly. Would totally expect this to be a screw-cap.
What do smarter people say about it? This is hilarious. Winey Girl over at Winey Me agrees with me: "It has taken me a couple of bottles, not by myself, of course, and several days to
come up with what I think about this wine. Unlike it's pretty color, I have no real clarity on my opinion, other than it's "nice." I loathe that non-descriptive word. Says nothing. So, as I think about what my taste demands, I remind myself it was a deal...Back at home, the room was divided on this wine. Yes, there was enough for everyone, it was free (to them) so everyone had a glass, and it was pleasant enough. In a room full of wine drinkers, this Grifone didn't get rave reviews. In fact, it really didn't get much response at all...On opening a bottle last night, I wasn't impressed at all. Decision made. Not my favorite, but it was light, and I am sure I will enjoy the other bottles blended with ice and raspberry ginger ale. (Think blended, by the pool.)." However, Erin at Clever Girl Reviews had THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE reaction and I sincerely wonder if she got an entirely different vintage: "Grifone Rosé has to be the best Rosé I’ve ever had under $10. It’s one of the better Rosé’s I’ve had, period. Toad Hollow and Hogwash are nice, but this wine has more intense and varied flavors with the perfect balance of acidity."