A Guide to This Summer’s Washington-Made Rosés
So much rhyme, so little time. The #roseallday #thinkpink #drinkpink phenomenon shows no signs of slowing. In fact, rosé is virtually unstoppable (#fact). But, here’s the thing — not all pink is created equally.
Some are an afterthought, made using the saignée method, by concentrating juice that is bled off the fermentation tank. Others are intentional, groomed in the vineyard and harvested specifically for peak-rosé qualities like acidity. Some rosy wines weigh on your palate accompanied by a flabby Debbie Downer #wha-waaaaa. But, the good ones wake it up. They really should be mouthwatering — full of acid and summer fruit, like strawberries and watermelon, citrus, honeydew, and maybe a touch of yeasty brioche.
I’ve watched raging Facebook debates on the merits of various rosé varietals (#winenerds) — Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, even Pinot Gris. My own taste errs on the side of Provencal-style rosé — bone-dry and high acid. But I can certainly understand the plethora of tastes out there from dry to off-dry, mineral to fruity. Still, #pinkzin need not apply.
Patterson Cellars Rosé 2017, $20
Barrel fermentation certainly influenced this Tempranillo-Sangiovese rosé brimming with pear, brightened with citrus and raspberries. The palate is full-bodied with vanilla and floral notes.
Maryhill Winery Rosé of Sangiovese 2017, $16
This is one of my favorite examples of an off-dry rosé retaining its refreshing qualities of luscious strawberry, watermelon, and rhubarb — perfectly calibrated for a warm afternoon.
Julia’s Dazzle, $20
Consistently an excellent rosé wine, this off-dry rosé of Pinot Gris was fermented at cool temperatures and delivers orange blossoms, strawberries, and exhilarating acidity tempered by a touch of sweetness.
Lagana Cellars Breezy Slope Pinot Noir Rosé 2017, $20
Delicate apricot in color, stone fruit aromas promise summer in a glass, and this Walla Walla-grown Pinot Noir delivers. Cherries, strawberries, and mineral qualities drive the finish.
Seven Hills Winery Dry Rosé 2017, $18
With nectarine and grapefruit, this wine is a good example of what Cabernet Franc can do in rosé form. A touch of Petit Verdot, Malbec, and some oak lends complexity and spice to the finish.
Patterson Cellars Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2017, $22
A smidge yeasty up front, this Red Willow Vineyard rosé explodes with strawberry-lime and orange peel. Ripe cantaloupe blazes a lightly creamy texture on the palate.
Gard Vintners Grand Klasse Reserve Rosé 2017, $22
Honeydew melon, slightly unripe peach, nectarine, and strawberry go from nose to palate, followed by the suggestion of minerals and wet pavement as it glides daintily over the tongue.
Latta Wines Kind Stranger Rosé 2016, $17
Made intentionally from vineyard to press, this Provencal-style rosé is dry, low in alcohol, and as crisp as they come, utilizing a classic blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Just add a sunny day.
Pursued By Bear Blushing Bear 2017, $28
This rosé is glassy on the palate with peaches, citrus, and just-ripening strawberries — a classic Provencal blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, and Cinsault.