We recently got ourselves signed up with Winc, a wine club of sorts, which provides monthly wine suggestions that match your preferences. The major difference in Winc as opposed to many other wine clubs is that Winc actually owns the wineries for the wines it promotes. With a large variety of wines available from multiple regions and impressively competitive pricing for premium wine, we through this would be an excellent choice in a wine club, allowing for a diverse selection of wines every month.
In our maiden shipment, we received six bottles, consisting of a good even mix of red and whites. For our first wine review, I decided to pull the 2017 Rosa Obscura, which is a red blend out of California, made up of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It retails on Winc for $14.99/bottle with a $2.00 discount for members.
For this review, I let the wine stand on its own, with no food or smoke to accompany it, just wine and conversation. I pulled the cork and let the bottle breath for about 30 minutes before pouring the first glass, and I did not decant the wine. I wanted to see how this wine held up, straight from the bottle. The wine was served at room temperature.
The Rosa Obscura is a vibrant, deep red color, reminiscent almost of black cherries. The clarity was impeccable, with no noticeable clouding, sediment or haze, but rather bright and brilliant, at least as bright as a very dark wine could be! For the appearance category, the Rosa Obscura receives a full 2 points.
Upon pouring the first glass, the aroma on the nose is that of cocoa, red berries, cherries and hints of floral. The aroma is fruit forward, with the cocoa more of a heart note and the floral being top notes. The aroma is quite pleasing and pronounced. For the aroma category, the Rosa Obscura receives 3 out of 4 points.
The Rosa Obscura is classified as a slightly-sweet wine, which I can agree with. The sweetness is perfect for this wine, without being overpowering or incredibly dry. Upon swishing in the mouth, there is a pronounced acidic tartness on the tongue, with a slightly citric zing. Again, not overpowering. For the balance category, I give the Rosa Obscura 2 out of 3 points.
The Rosa Obscura has an incredibly velvety mouth feel, akin to drinking creamy hot chocolate in winter. The wine is classified as a full body; however, I feel it was more of a medium-full. For the body and texture category the Rosa Obscura receives a full 2 points.
The aroma of the wine comes to life in flavor, with a multilayered fruit profile of red berries and cherries, with hints of cocoa, vanilla and subtle floral notes – there is a teasing essence of oak on the finish. The fruit is robust in flavor, dominating the profile. I was a little disappointed that the cocoa was more subdued than was suggested from the aroma of the wine, however the Rosa Obscura is definitely a fruity wine with a very pleasing taste. For the taste and flavor category it receives 3 out of 4 points.
While the flavor of the wine is great while drinking, the finish is a little short lived, with the flavor fading away moderately quick. Additionally, the wine is tannin rich, leaving the mouth feeling moderately dry. I would have loved to have had a longer, lingering finish from this wine. For the finish category the Rosa Obscura receives 1 out of 2 points.
Overall Quality and Impression
The Rosa Obscura is a quality, skillfully made wine with great character and pronounced flavor, without being overly sweet or overly tart, and is sure to please any fan of red wines. This is definitely a wine which I would like to see in my inventory again, and was disappointed to find that it was no longer available (sold out!). While this isn’t a grand elegant wine, it is a wine which would be perfect for serving after a great meal, paired with a chocolate dessert to bring out more of the cocoa flavors of the wine. For overall quality and impression, the Rosa Obscura receives 2 out of 3 points.
Total Score: 15 out of 20
The 2017 Rosa Obscura is rated Excellent by Cigar Informer and receives the Silver Medal with a total score of 15 of a possible 20 points. Because the Rosa Obscura is Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon rich, we would suggest cigar pairings that are medium to full-bodied as to avoid the wine overpowering the cigar. Cigars with woody, fruity and chocolatey notes would pair amazingly with the Rosa Obscura. We would suggest that you avoid mild to medium-bodied cigars with this wine, as the wine will dominate the flavor profile and negate the cigar.