Two Lads is perhaps my favorite winery....so when they released a "reserve" version of their rose - one of their best wines - I was curious to see how they compared. I could think of no better way to spend a Sunday than crack both open and do a side by side tasting.
First though - the lighting is deceptive here, these wines are darker than they look in the photo. Second, both of these wines (and it is worth repeating that this is true for most whites and roses) suffer greatly from being overchilled - keep them in the fridge, but pull them about 45 minutes before drinking.
The regular rose goes for $19 and the reserve goes for $34....pricey for roses (but I stand by the fact that if you are budget conscious, you should drink less better wine versus more crappy wine). Anyway - how different can they possibly be? The answer: way more than I expected.
The regular has some strong acid which gives it an almost effervescent feel. Pear dominates with some green apple candy, floral (I'm leaning chamomile) and blood orange notes as well. It's punchy, sharp, flavorful - great to go with something like BBQ or spicy food.
The reserve is all about refinement. It's mellower, more balanced, but still bold in body. Honestly, it's more like a red winethan anything. Blackberry, black cherry, red apple, a bit of mint, and some brown spice hit the palate. The finish lingers for some time with deep rich plum notes. It's definitely more of a subtle wine that demands attention - I could see it pairing with something like a filet.
Which is better? For those who want definitive opinions, I have bad news. They are so different they are not really comparable, so I have no answer. If you want something bright and zippy - more in line with a Sauvignon Blanc, go for the regular. If you want something closer to a red, but a bit lighter - the reserve is the way to go.