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Jun 26, 2012 01:00 PM

Grenache Rose from Yesteryear?

The first wine I ever tasted was half a century ago as a college girl, back when almost no one was trying to be a connoisseur. It was Almaden grenache rose, our standard picnic and date wine, and it tasted just fine to me.

A frequent date format was this: Late in the afternoon, the guy would pick up some Chinese takeout (including everyone's favorites -- fried shrimp and egg rolls) and the couple would head up to Skyline Boulevard, above what is now Silicon Valley in the Bay Area. There they would find a nice grassy slope looking out at the ocean, spread out a blanket and eat and drink while watching the sun go down.

I've had a fond place in my heart for that wine ever since, but I think Almaden stopped making it eons ago.

Can anyone suggest an equivalent?

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  1. Look for a wine called Hogwash ( at around $16.. It's made by Tuck Beckstoffer and his partner. I'd say he and his family know a thing or two about grapes.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Midlife

      I've never heard of Hogwash, but then the Beckstoffer family DOES have a pedigree.

      Another producer, and from down the Coast a bit, would be Beckman. Really nice wines, and a killer "domestic" Grenache Rosé.

      I do not know the Almaden offerings, but the Beckman is a serious Rosé, though maybe not up to a Tavel.



      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Bill, I assume you took a look at the site. Tuck is Andy's son. When we owned our shop we sold a lot of his 75 Wine Company Cab, from Lake County property (at least it was then) that Andy and his other son had done extensive surveying of prior to purchasing. It appears to also contain some Napa fruit these days.

        Hogwash is Grenache from Mendocino and Paso Robles. Maybe not on the level of a Beckman, but a solid value.

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          The old Alamden grenache rose (which I enjoyed as well, "studying" in grad school) is, if I remember correctly, really a simple quaffer, with some sweet fruit and clean acid. And inexpensively not pretending to Tavel-hood. I'd think a La Petite Ferme Cotes du Ventoux mag, or a Spanish garnacha rosado (Navarra, say) or even Rioja rosado (Caceres), a Bardolino chiaretto or Portuguese rose would so fine. I think the more serious and steely gris roses would miss the mark here.

          1. re: bob96

            <I'd think a La Petite Ferme Cotes du Ventoux mag,>

            Bob, do you mean La Vieille Ferme's Cotes du Ventoux? I've not heard of "La Petite Ferme."

            1. re: ChefJune

              Petite... Vieille, ca m'est egal. Kidding, meant Vieille. The Perrin family also bottles red/white/rose from Ventoux/Luberon for TJ called La Ferme Julien that's a pleasant bargain.

              1. re: bob96

                Indeed. I need to go get a case... ;)

      2. I would head toward Mateus or Lancer's - other roses that were popular around that same time...but don't be surprised to find them horribly, sticky sweet.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          Mateus and Lancers - talk about a serious blast from the past. Thank you! :)

          Oh, & for similar wines to your Almaden Grenache Rose, you might also want to try some White Zinfandels. They may be a touch dryer, but can be very nice wines - especially well-chilled on a hot summer day.

          1. re: Bacardi1

            as an interesting aside -- Gallo Grenache Rosé has hit the shelves here in France for about €5,50 a bottle.

            I just can't bring myself to do it, though.

            (but the red zins gave me pause)

              1. re: zin1953

                I didn't-- one of the zins was NOT Gallo, and about 10 euros -- but I didn't recognize the label (can't remember now what it was) -- and I just couldn't bring myself to do it, not least because zin is a little too big for summer, and I'm not about to buy Grenache Rose when there's a dozen AOC roses sitting on the next shelf...

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Where did you see the Gallo--a hypermarche? I remember shopping in a Leclerc in Bergerac and finding lots of inexpensive North African and Spanish wines, even if the Gallos had not yet gotten in.

                  1. re: bob96

                    Carrefour and Auchan have both had them -- but they've just appeared in the last few weeks.

        2. I have never had the wine that you mention, however, check out the grenache rose from Curran. It is absolutely delicious, and Kris makes some killer wines! The grenache blanc is worth checking into as well! -mJ

          1. Almaden's White Grenache is a rosé made from Grenache - probably very similar to Almaden Grenache Rosé.

            It is still distributed across the USA.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FrankJBN

              Try Red Guitar Old Vine Rose from Spain and see what you think. It is a grenache rose, inexpensive, and sounds like it may meet your criteria. I have had this and it is an acceptable summer sipping wine.

            2. It will *not* be as sweet, but look to rosés from the Côtes-du-Rhône, as well as the aforementioned Navarra rosados from Spain . . .