Alan McCorkindale Cuvée Rosé 2002

There’s something about incredibly naff labels on fairly spendy bottles of wine that catches my eye, every time. This bottle is from a Glengarry wine shop in a snobby suburb of Auckland somewhere east of the harbor; I picked it up on the way back to the airport last month. Given that today is St Valentine’s day, pink sparkling wine is a categorical imperative, so here we are.Sure, the label looks like a near-sighted librarian threw it together in Microsoft Word after a hell of a bender the day before, but what’s in the bottle is impressive. A dark onionskin color with a somewhat anemic bead, the nose is very much that of a proper red wine and is at first somewhat jarring. However, paying careful attention reaps rewards: there is definitely a lessy note thanks to extended maturation on the lees, and there’s that telltale fine aroma of brioche that marks this as a superior wine.Rich and full in the mouth, balanced by wonderfully refreshing acidity, the first impression I get is of freshly sliced Bosc pears, which seems incongrous with the, well, pinkness of the wine. Stepping back for a minute, the effect is of crushed roses in a forgotten corner of a spice market; then again, roses do have a spiciness inherent to them, so I’m probably just being overly enthustiastic here. All put together, this wine is mesmerizing; the bead may not be noticeable, but it provides a certain fullness in the mouth which is charming and rare. Add the spices, fresh pears, and rosy notes and I’m certain that no person in the world would prefer a box of chocolates to this bottle of wine. Delicious.Alan McCorkindale
Price: NZ $50 (appx.)
Closure: Cork

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