The 2015 Orin Swift Fragile Rose from the Côte Catalanes D66, Roussillon is not just another Rose. Fragile, is anything but what it's name would imply. This is not a lightweight Provencal wanna be. No way. It’s a full bodied red wine masquerading in the pink robe. If served at room temperature you would think that the wine was a Pinot Noir from Sancerre, as it has that kind of texture and body. But served chilled, well it takes on a whole other flavor profile.
Made from 100 year old vines of predominantly Grenache, with a hint of Syrah and Carignan, the black wax capsuled wine is one of the 2015 great Rose’ values. Holding a kinship with Swift's D66 and Shatter the old vine Grenache gives it a very deep, brooding style at first blush, yet it comes off light enough to be something different.
Unlike the more bone dry strawberry tasting Rose wines that hail from Provence, the Roussillon style is not the same. Sure the strawberry and rose petal scents and flavors are there, but due to the long extraction in stainless steel tanks, Fragile became an exceedingly well balanced Rose, with a superbly long berry finish. The wine screams food, especially heirloom tomatoes and proscuitto as the ham’s salty flavor and the tomato’s fruit and acidity is a perfect counterbalance to the richness of the wine.
So if you want a different style and tasting Rose, one with balls, go for Fragile.
Side note-Orin Swift's St. Helena operation was acquired by E&J Gallo last week. Interestingly, no reference was made about the D66 operation and the wines made in France or anywhere else internationally by Phinney.