Alice White Red Lexia
SE Australia, 2008, $6.00 for 750ml, 10% Alc.
Blush/Rose Wine (Muscat)
I’m on a roll with Muscat wine! I discovered this particular treat while taking a little beach vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and I have to say, it is the perfect quaff for a windy, sunny afternoon.
I had originally thought that “Lexia” was a variety of Vitis vinifera, much like Zinfandel or Chardonnay, but upon researching further, discovered that Lexia (which comes in both white and red varietals) is actually make from the Muscat (see AWS’ review on Beringer Moscato for more info on this tasty grape).
Much like White Zinfandel or White Shiraz varietals, Alice White’s Red Lexia is crisp, pleasantly sweet (although not as much so as the white muscat varietals I’ve tasted) and just tart enough to keep things interesting. Although I don’t know enough about this wine to speak with authority, I am guessing from the bright, transparent red hue and lack of tannins that the Red Lexia is made much like a White Zin or White Shiraz as well — that is to say, that the juice from the red skins is separated in the early stages of vatting, leaving a pleasant rose color but retaining the crisp, freshness of the juice without the heavier tannins and flavor that the skin itself bring.
Bottom line: If you’re in the mood for a chilled, summery wine of medium sweetness, I’d definitely give Alice White’s Red Lexia a try.
wine’s website: http://www.alicewhite.com/wines/redlexia.asp
Matties Perch White Shiraz
No Vintage, SE Austraila, $5.50 for 750ml
Lately, I’ve noticed that a lot of companies are putting out new varietal versions of the White Zinfandel that has been so loved since the 1970’s. Wine stores now offer all kinds of interesting permutations like White Merlot or White Shiraz. Makes sense I suppose since Merlot and Shiraz are both abundantly-grown grapes that may have more product than the red wine market knows what to do with. (In case you are new to drinking blush wines, varietals such as White Zin, White Merlot or White Shiraz are all made with the red grape of its namesake. The juice of the red grape is bled off with the skins still on. This allows the juice to absorb some of the red pigmentation and a bit of the flavor from the skin before being vatted separately.)
I decided to give Matties Perch White Shiraz a whirl. I like the rich, thick flavor of Shiraz and was interested in finding out how much of that richness might carry over to its blush counterpart.
Well, I have to say that the flavor left me feeling a little flat. It was rather bland and uninteresting. Almost like water. It didn’t have the sweet zingyness that most White Zinfandels contain and lacked a tartness found in many white wines.
I’ll say it is refreshing to sip on a hot day, but otherwise, I found the flavor to be too mild. Not unpleasant, just not very interesting.
But, if you are throwing a pool party or a beach party or something equally active and outdoorsy, this might not be a bad wine to have in your ice chest. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg and the mildness of this quaff might be just what your guests are after.
Bottom line? Pass it up if you are after an interesting blush to sip on. But, if you are looking for a refreshing, cold light wine to bring to a summer party, it’s worth a try.
wine’s website: http://www.mattiesperch.com/