In tough times, we continue the search for good, inexpensive wines.

Juliette’s Dazzle is in all respects one of the more fascinating rosés of the 2011 vintage. The wine comes from Allen Shoup and Gilles Nicault of Long Shadows but is produced and bottled independent of the winery.

The story goes that several years ago Shoup asked Nicault to produce a dry rosé to share with family and friends. At the imploring of said family and friends, Shoup decided to produce a larger amount of the wine so that it could be commercially available and voilà! Here it is.

The fruit for this wine comes from The Benches and was set aside specifically for rosé. Though Pinot Gris is a white grape, the skins have pink tinge (a touch of Sangiovese is also added here). There may be other pinot gris rosés produced in Washington, but this is the first I have come across.

The wine, which is named after Shoup’s granddaughter, also has one of the more visually striking packages to be found on the Washington wine shelves with a flared top, tapered bottom, and a silk screened label. Better yet, the wine itself delivers and is among my favorite rosés from the 2011 vintage.

Barnard Griffin has long made a mark with its Rosé of Sangiovese since its first vintage in 2002. The 2011 vintage, however, provided some challenges with the winery’s vineyard sources hit hard by the November 2010 freeze. Subsequently, the winery had to look for alternative sources across the Columbia Valley. Though this wine has a bit more weight on the palate than some recent vintages, true to form, it still provides a lot of enjoyment for the price.

Charles and Charles is a joint project from winemakers Charles Smith and Charles Bieler. This wine is 100% Syrah from a variety of sources across Columbia Valley. The wine sports the moniker, “Yes you can drink rosé and still be bad ass!” Enough said.

The final two wines come from Waterbrook Winery and Apex Cellars and further display the diversity of rosés produced in the state with the Waterbrook another Sangiovese rosé and the Apex wine made from Grenache. Indeed, as I wrote recently, rosé is made from just about every red grape produced in Washington.

Look for a future post on rosés $16 and up but for now, drink up!

Juliette’s Dazzle Rosé Columbia Valley 2011 $15
(Excellent) An aromatic wine with watermelon, strawberry, and apple blossom. The palate starts out broad and fruit filled with cherry and orange rind then pulls back for a tart, crisp finish. An extremely enjoyable wine at an excellent price. 98 Pinot Grigio, 2% Sangiovese. The Benches. 13.3% alcohol, TA 0.7, Residual Sugar 1%. Sample provided by winery.

Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese Columbia Valley 2011 $12
(Good) Electric pink. A moderately aromatic wine with watermelon, candied cherry, and spice. The palate is tart and fruit filled, a bit weighty at times, with strawberry and rhubarb flavors with mouthwatering acidity. Wallula, Va Batavia, Gunkel, Lonesome Spring Ranch, and Crawford vineyards. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. 12.1% alcohol, 0.85 TA, trace residual sugar. 6,950 cases produced. Sample provided by winery. Recommended

Charles & Charles Rosé Columbia Valley 2011 $11
(Good) Pale salmon colored. Lightly aromatic with watermelon, spice, herbal notes, and a very light game note. The palate is crisp and clean, medium weight with abundant fruit flavors. Drinks just a hair off-dry. 100% Syrah. 37% Don Talcott, 23% Art Den Hoed, 17% Nate Den Hoed, 11% Clifton Bluff, 10% Suholdonik, and 2% Clifton vineyards. 13% alcohol. Recommended

Waterbrook Sangiovese Rosé Columbia Valley 2011 $12
(Good) Pale cherry red. A little reductive initially this wine opens to reveal candied strawberry, cherry, and spice. The palate drinks dry and is light bodied with tart, sour cherry flavors that turn to raspberry toward the finish. 100% Sangiovese. Oasis and Canyon Ranch vineyards. Aged 3 months in stainless steel. 12.0% alcohol. 1.1% Residual Sugar. TA 0.75. 1,657 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Apex Cellars Grenache Rosé Columbia Valley 2010 $12
(Decent) Medium cherry red. A moderately aromatic wine full of strawberry and raspberry aromas. The palate is weighty with fruit flavors with the alcohol poking through on the finish. 13.5% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Rating System

Please note, my rating system was revised at the beginning of 2012 as follows. Read additional details here.
(Not recommended/Flawed)

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