2004 LoTengo Torrontes (white)
White grapefruit, white peach and yesterday's mowed grass clippings. A strong chill showed the fruit while warming showed all the grass--so, useful and interesting only when ice cold. Not outright awful, but there are so many other better wines to spend your money on, this is a waste but for the entertaining hologrammic label wherein a couple dances from one side to the other as you turn the bottle. $8.
2004 Tommasi Chiaretto Bardolino Classico Rose
In color, medium rose with a tawny hue. Tangy nose of cranberry juice, green apples, and some kind of flower. Rather assertive VA mostly blows off, but is not (for once) unattractive while it's there. Beguiling tea and watermelon flavors develop on the palate, though strong acidity makes it a better food wine than a sipper. Very good. $11.
2005 Yalumba Sangiovese Rose
A rather Kool-Aid color of rosy red kind of had me expecting (and dreading) a sweeter wine, but alas, it was quite dry. Not particularly complex, but it packed a lot of Haut-Medoc-like dusty notes up front, and I love that character in wine. Any wine. Would have been perfectly happy to do my part in offing another bottle, had one been available. Good.
2005 Syncline Rose (40% Grenache, 28% Mouv, 20% Cinsault, 12% syrah)
Columbia Valley, Washington
Another suspiciously Kool-Aid colored wine, it's a saignee that produced just 346 cases and which has more complexity in the strawberry flavors than one grasps at first. Also, a bit more RS and alcohol (13.
, though it all somehow works with the strawberry flavors. Good. $14.
2004 The Wolftrap (Boekenhoutskloof) Rose
Golden-rose color and made of 70% Syrah, 9% Grenache and 21% Cinsault. Flat-out the best of the wines listed here and the best value to boot: superbly balanced watermelon and pomegranite fruit with sandalwood and east India spices. Tangy, lively, just delicious. Excellent plus, and only $8.