Rós by Lynne Coyle MW & Bodega Tandem


When it comes to rosé wine, I subscribe to the Elizabeth Gabay MW school of thought – it really shouldn’t be considered as a seasonal product, brought out in Spring (though only if the weather is sunny and warm enough!), enjoyed through the Summer, forgotten in Autumn and nought but a distant memory in Winter! No, I like to drink premium rosé all year round, enjoying it with various different, perhaps seasonal, dishes.

That said, I can see Bodegas Tandem’s rosé wine, called Rós, and made in collaboration with Ireland’s Lynne Coyle MW, selling out this Summer in the Emerald Isle! It’s a lovely rosado wine, deserving of its ‘Premium Rosé tag! So, if you are able to, I’d get some in as soon as possible! (www.bodegatandem.es)

I believe this is Lynne’s first wine and she therefore joins a small but growing number of English speaking foreigners who have decided to make wine here in Spain. Indeed, she joins an even smaller number who are also Masters of Wine! It seems to me that it’s already a perfect blend – Spanish climate and grape varieties, with Master of Wine knowledge. Then, when you add a further constituent into the mix, a native Spanish wine maker, working in a young, but established and exciting bodega – well, surely it’s got to be a success.

Bodega Tandem makes its wines under the auspices of DO Navara and their owner/winemaker, Alicia Eyaralar, a friend of Lynne’s was delighted to collaborate with her on a completely new project – creating Rós. They both share the same philosophy and wanted to make a wine with as little intervention as possible, using the buzz-grape these days, Garnacha.

Bodegas Tandem’s Garnacha grows in the Yerri Valley of Navarra, in the foothills of the Pyrenees and not far from the Atlantic – a combination which produces cooling winds, affording the vines some respite from the heat of the Spanish growing season. The vines are low yielding, meaning they are becoming elderly, and they are farmed sustainably, in other words with a view to maintaining healthy soils for future generations.

The winemaking is as naturally as possible. Native yeasts indigenous to the vineyards are used for the fermentation and throughout the process gravity and natural settlement are employed ensuring a gentle crafting of the wines, if also a little nervous nail biting of the winemakers! Wine making technology could have meant less anxiety about this, their first joint project, but it would have meant more intervention than they’d both agreed before the project started.

In case you were wondering where the name Rós comes from (I was – although it obviously is a nice fit, being the first three letters of the wine style, Rosé and of course it’s Spanish equivalent Rosado, it was the accent on the ‘o’ that I found intriguing), it comes from the Gaelic word for rose, as realised by Lynne’s son, Edward. This again is a nice fit – as a nod to their Scottish roots, as well as to Lynne’s role as Wine Director for O’Brien’s Wines, the established Irish wine merchants with over thirty shops in the Irish Republic, plus a couple in the UK too.

And what of the wine, I can almost hear you asking? Well, firstly, it was clear to me that we had to taste this pale, almost Provençal shaded rosé wine with another lovely Ros, this time without the accent, unless you’re counting the rather posh one that our great friend sports (not forgetting that I am but a humble northerner)! So, under cover from the fresh, but warm wind in their pergola, we sat down to taste Rós, with Ros, and Mick. It was a great success!

I was surprised, though delighted, to detect an immediate, though slight aroma of ripe red, slightly fluffy apples, as I brought the glass to my nose. An interesting start! This fleeting first note was joined by a floral presence – you can guess which flower, the rose of course, though a red rose rather than pink, for me at least. Some fruit notes joined the party – a little rhubarb, whose un-sugared acidity followed through to refresh the palate, though soon to be replaced by the overriding blend of pink grapefruit with some slightly under ripe raspberries. Wow, I love it!

My thanks to Lynne Coyle MW and to Bodegas Tandem for supplying the sample – good luck with sales, and your next joint project?!

colin@colinharknessonwine.com  Twitter  @colinonwine

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