2011 Maxwell Creek Rosé Wine Napa Valley

2011 Maxwell Creek Rosé Wine Napa Valley

2011 Maxwell Creek Rosé Wine Napa Valley

I don’t know how things are going weather wise for you all, but Ann Arbor has finally had a few sunnier days and temperatures have begun to rise. All this lured me into craving a rosé (or blush) wine. I have a weak spot for Rosés. Always had. While growing up, one of my favorite wines was a Portugieser Weißherbst made by my winemaker friend Pitt Zimmermann in my hometown. Portugieser is the grape, and Weißherbst is a German denomination for a rosé wine that is made from just one grape variety and from one single vineyard. I loved that wine: It was always served very cold, was quite sweet and always hit you with strawberries all over the place.

Over the years, it has become a bit too sweet for my taste buds, but when home I still enjoy a glass or two of this wine. Let’s call it one of the gateway drugs…

For those not familiar with Rosé, it is a wine made from red grapes. Unlike red wine, the pressed must does not sit on the skins and stems for long (or at all). Since the color in red wine comes from the skin, and the juice is white just like in a white grape, this leads to just slight discoloration in the wine, hence the name rosé (or blush). Many regions produce these wines, and there are some general rules: Rosés from Southern France tend to be the most dry of all Rosés. Very dry are usually also the Spanish wines of that kind. American and German Rosés tend to be sweeter, with more residual sugar. To me, there is a place for both. While the Southern European versions are great food companions, I actually enjoy a bit of residual sugar in terrace or garden slurpers, when I have the wine on its own.

I bought four of these bottles of Maxwell Creek during a flash sale on Wines Till Soldout and this was the first of the four I opened. I paid $9 per bottle, I believe. “Maxwell Creek Cellars” is located in Rutherford, California. A bit of research showed that it is not a “proper” winery, but rather a filler of wines apparently serving as a second label to sell off overcapacity. The great news about that is that it is usually produce from good wineries just sold under a generic name which comes with a steep cut in price. I was unable to unearth much more about this wine or label, so if you know more please let me know in the comments section!

The wine had 13.7% ABV. Winehoarder declares that the grape varieties used in the wine are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot.

First off, I have to say I LOVED the color of the 2011 Maxwell Creek Rosé. It was a darker red that I associate with strawberries. I so love that color and prefer it over the more salmony or orange looking rosés. The nose was very fruity, just what I wanted and had hoped for: strawberries, gooseberry and peach, some water melon. Really draws you in if you like fruit-forward aromas. On the palate, the wine was quite light-bodied, with good acidity and some tannin giving it body. To me, peach and cream flavors dominated, later gooseberry coming in. It also reminded me of one of the ubiquitous blends in Germany of sparkling wine and vineyard peach liqueur (just without the bubbles). There was some slight bitterness in the finish, which I think might come from the pretty high alcohol level, which overall led to an unbalanced wine. Nina remarked that for her, the wine was too sweet in the middle section and then not good enough at the end. I thought that was a pretty good explanation of what is going on. There is definitely some sweetness to this wine which many will probably not appreciate. The finish overall is disappointing.

But what can I say? The wine was not impressive or anything special (except for the nose). However, I think this is another example of a wine I only want to drink on a summer afternoon, sitting in the sun. And then it will hit all the right notes and all the right points. It was definitely not the right day to open this bottle with the 45-50 F we are having right now. But I am happy that I have three more bottles to open this summer.

Tagged , , , , , ,

16 thoughts on “2011 Maxwell Creek Rosé Wine Napa Valley

  1. Opened up a bottle of 2012 tonight and think your spot on. Nothing special but totally drinkable on a warm summer day. Color is beautiful and so is aroma. Taste is good but nothing great.

  2. You have an awesome blog! I’m going to enjoy reading it

  3. I’ve been seeing a lot of the smaller producers making Roses that are much drier than they were in the past – and more to my taste! It is a great time to be a Rose lover!

  4. […] line with my summery post earlier this week (we popped our first rosé wine this year, see here), I figured I share another of my favorite summer drinks, a Martini Bianco. I am not referring to […]

  5. Stefano says:

    Very nice, detailed review as always, Oliver. A pleasure to read.
    Enjoy the nicer weather!

  6. vinoista says:

    I personally cant get enough of Rose.Fell in love in France of course, but will try it from any region them make it. Recently tried a rose from greece!

  7. I don’t know anything about the Rose you had but it’s definitely a one glass on the patio kind for me. How old were you when you fell in love with wine?

    • I can totally see you liking them! You might want to give them a try if you can. Common lore has it (at least that is the story I am spreading) that I first got drunk on wine when I was 8…when my father offered me a sip of a German white that tasted like grape juice, so I downed the glass…:) But seriously, growing up in a wine growing village (around 20 wineries), it is pretty hard not to fall in love with it.

  8. It is “warm” in Phoenix already (should be in the 90s later this week!)…. so an easy to drink, unimpressive rose, sounds sorta great!

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: