Though it is nearly impossible to know and taste all of the grape varietals grown in Spain – there are, after all, several hundred types of grapes being cultivated there today – there is one that every rosé lover needs to know: Prieto Picudo. I recently compared two Prieto Picudo rosés: Tampesta Rosé and Rubus Rosado. Both were from the 2012 vintage and were both were from Tierra de León.
The deep, saturated color of both wines immediately signals that these are not going to be light and delicate rosés. The Tampesta, while still lively and fresh in appearance, was starting to develop a light brick color. The Rubus, on the other hand, was a bright magenta.
The nose of the Tampesta was dominated by strawberry, dried herbs, orange blossom, and cold black tea bags. The palate was a giant bowl of berries: again strawberries were present, but also raspberries and blueberries. Strawberry, cherry, real plumminess, and a hint of banana were apparent in the aromas and flavors of the Rubus. The flavors persist long after sipped with lingering notes of black tea and herbs. Very fruity and delicious.
The mouthfeel was where I detected the biggest differences between these wines. The Tampesta relied on its medium plus acidity for structure and has light tannins. It was dry and had a crisp, clean finish. The Rubus was made with a bit of spritz (think of a toned down Vinho Verde) and was a bit less dry than the Tampesta. The foaminess gave it a very full mouthfeel and a bit of an advantage over the Tampesta.
Overall, I rated both wines as very good to excellent and hope to find additional examples of this Spanish varietal in the future.
Rubus was purchased at Marty’s in Newton, Mass for $19.99.
Tampesta was purchased at Julio’s in Westborough, Mass for $15.99.