Photo: Red Rooster winemaker Karen Gillis (courtesy Red Rooster)
This summer, Red Rooster Winery has released two new wines
under the winery’s new Henhouse label.
Presumably, this might be called a second label unless you
think there is something negative about a second label.
In my view, second label wines are not inferior wines. Karen
Gillis, Red Rooster’s winemaker, is among the most talented of Okanagan
Second label wines are often the creation of the marketing
department, either to freshen the winery’s image or to move a little extra
Red Rooster would appear to have both motives in play. The
winery’s traditional label bears an elegant outline of a rooster against a
crisp white background.
The Henhouse label, on the other hand, has an image of a
fox. It strikes just the right note of whimsy to attract a consumer’s eye in a
wine shop. The moderate pricing of these well-made wines has additional appeal
– although the entire Red Rooster wine portfolio is affordable.
Here are notes on some current releases.
Henhouse Sly White 2013 ($13.99). This is a blend of 44% Pinot Blanc, 19% Chardonnay, 17% Pinot
Gris, 9% Gewürztraminer, 6% Riesling and 5% Pinot Auxerrois. This is a fruity,
off-off-dry wine with aromas of peach and spice. On the palate, there are
flavours of apple and melon. The texture is soft and juicy. This is affordable
and easy to drink. 88.
Henhouse Ruffled Red 2013 ($15.99). This is 54% Cabernet Franc, 46% Merlot.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this wine was opened and then tasted over
several days. That can be a tough test for an inexpensive red. This wine passed
with flying colours. The brambly aromas opened well with breathing and the
flavours of cherry and blackberry were more delicious and complex on the fourth
day than on the first. 88
Red Rooster Pinot
Gris 2014 ($15.69 plus tax). The wine begins with aromas of melon, apple,
pear and citrus, echoed in the flavours. The five grams of residual sugar add
texture but the balancing acidity gives the wine a crisp and refreshing finish.
Gewürztraminer 2014 ($16.99). The wine begins with aromas of rose petal,
lychee and spice. On the palate, the wine has spicy grapefruit and melon
flavours. The wine is crisp and refreshing. 90.
Red Rooster Rosé Reserve 2013
for 480 cases). Lovely bright salmon pink, this wine begins with aromas of
strawberry and crème brulé. The
palate offers a rich mouthful of cherries and other red berries. The wine is
full-bodied for a rosé, with a dry finish. This is a saignée method rosé,
incorporating 35% Malbec, 27% Cabernet Franc, 15% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Petit
Verdot, and 3% each of Pinot Noir and Grenache. This wine demands food. 88.