The only two Tinta Cão rosés in the world

Ok maybe there are three - but hey still impressive!

Tinta Cão isn't an uncommon variety in Portuguese wines. It mostly goes into reds and ports. As far as I can tell, about five rosés around the world use it, and only two of those (note: may have discovered a third! will confirm asap) use it 100%.

It's difficult to say much of these wines is varietal, and how much is vinification and style. Both winemakers, I suspect, were aiming for restrained, clean, slightly fruity, good acidity, mineral ultra-pale rosé. That's not really my favoured style of wine or rosé, but these two really pulled it off.

Golan Heights Winery Yarden Rosé, 2019

Surprisingly muted. A little white fruit. Saline, white fruit, incredibly saline, a little chemical, some steel, really very saline. After opening up a bit, surprisingly how creamy but a little rough and chalky it is. Not unpleasant but a bit of a surprise. Rich, tomato almost. A surprise. Some biscuitiness. Nice enough for being different and noticeable. On second tasting with Kopke, very similar - white fruit, a little rough and chalky, biscuity, more white fruit. More orange and lime and citrus than last time. Better acidity than Kopke, stands out a bit more. Has less good structure and body but is a bit more sure of itself.

Kopke Winemaker's Collection Tinta Cão Rosé, Douro DOC, 2019

A little peach, some nuttiness, more white fruit, some biscuit. Creamy, a little more biscuit on the palate. Good structure, nutty, good acidity. Flawless and very well made, but not to my taste - a bit dull and clean. Some orangey notes on finish. Very well made but again, a bit dull.

These two wines really showcase the value of growing more than either international or autochthonous grapes - sometimes it's the obscure ones, grown on either extreme of the Mediterranean that provide the most interesting contrast.

I wish I could provide links to where to buy them, the pair made for a great tasting. They're just that bit too experimental and unusual, and completely sold out.