As you will recall, 2013 was a warmer year here in the Northwest with a dramatic cool down in the second half of September (read a harvest report from Vineyard & Winery Management). In terms of the rosés, many of them have a bigger, riper style that is reflective of this warmth. Some producers were able to hold on to the acidity in the wines. Others were less successful in this regard (I’ve found the latter to be especially true in some of the whites that have been released thus far; more on that later). Overall though, there are plenty of enjoyable wines to go around at a variety of price points.
Of note, several Washington wineries produced their inaugural rosés in 2013. These wineries included Avennia, Seven Hills, and Va Piano, all reviewed below (NB: I also tried a lovely estate rosé from àMaurice but not in a formal setting). I wrote earlier this year about America’s rosé revolution. As I noted on my Facebook page, you know that revolution is going far and wide when NPR does a story about rosés.
So, there’s no turning back now America. We are now the land of the free and the home of the rosé!
Have a good Fourth of July everyone!
Note: If I missed any of your favorites, feel free to leave me a comment or email me and I’ll check them out.
Avennia L’Egerie Rosé Columbia Valley 2013 $25
(Excellent/Exceptional) A moderately aromatic wine with abundant wet stone, oyster shell, peppery spices, red fruit, and savory notes. The palate is medium bodied, flavorful with a textured feel, an exquisite sense of balance, and a tart lick of acidity. 65% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre. Alder Ridge, Upland, and Heart of the Hill vineyards. 13.7% alcohol. 85 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.
DeLille Cellars Doyenne Rosé Yakima Valley 2013 $29
(Excellent/Exceptional) A very pretty pale salmon color with a copper tinge. It’s lightly aromatic with notes of strawberry, cherry, and mineral. The palate is richly flavorful with a good dose of acidity and a lingering finish. 49% Grenache, 38% Mourvèdre, and 13% Cinsault. ~13% alcohol.
Stoller Family Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Dundee Hills 2013 $20
(Excellent/Exceptional) Pale strawberry color. A vibrantly aromatic wine with notes of freshly sliced watermelon, raspberry, and ripe strawberry. The palate is dry, fresh and exuberantly fruit filled with orange peel grace notes and exquisitely balanced acidity. 12.5% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.
Bergström Wines Pinot Noir Róse Willamette Valley 2013 $25
(Excellent) A very pretty pale salmon color. The aromas are exuberant with watermelon, strawberry, and spice. The palate is medium-plus bodied and drinks dry with a lot of richness to the fruit flavors and a clean, lingering finish. A thoroughly delicious bottle of wine. 13.4% alcohol. Reviewed March 20, 2014
Gramercy Cellars Rosé Olsen Vineyard Columbia Valley 2013 $25
(Excellent) Reflecting the vintage, this is a riper style than the winery has produced before. It’s very pale salmon in color and aromatically appealing with cherry, strawberry, herbs, and mineral notes. The palate drinks dry but with sweet, ripe watermelon and cherry flavors with a textured feel. Hits the delicious gong hard. 52% Cinsault, 26% Grenache, 22% Syrah. 13.9% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.
JM Cellars Mourvèdre Rosé Stillwater Creek Vineyard Columbia Valley 2013 $25
(Excellent) An aromatically appealing wine with notes of watermelon, cherry Jolly Rancher, and spice. The palate is dry, full bodied and deliciously fruit filled. A bit richer in style but that is the vintage that was. 100% Mourvèdre. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. 13.8% alcohol. 127 cases produced.
Kerloo Cellars Grenache Rosé Angiolina Farms Vineyard Yakima Valley 2013 $24
(Excellent) Pale pink in color. An aromatic wine with notes of bubble gum and strawberry. The palate drinks dry and is graceful, exquisitely balanced. A very, very pretty wine. 100% Grenache. Aged in neutral French oak, stainless steel, and concrete. 0.1g/100ml Residual Sugar. 12.2% alcohol. 322 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.
Lauren Ashton Rosé Columbia Valley 2013 $NA
(Excellent) A pretty pale salmon color. It’s moderately aromatic with appealing notes of red fruit, mineral, and spice. The palate is very lightly spritzy, full bodied with a textured, rich feel. 50% Mourvèdre, 50% Grenache. 13.3% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.
Seven Hills Dry Rosé Wine Columbia Valley 2013 $17
(Excellent) Very pale salmon in color. A lightly aromatic wine with notes of herbs, peach, ruby red grapefruit, and spice, mixing savory and fruit notes. It’s dry, textured, and drawn out in feel. A crisp, delicious inaugural effort. 70% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot, and 15% Malbec. 11.8% alcohol. 390 cases produced.
Sleight of Hand Cellars The Magician’s Assistant Cabernet Franc Róse Blackrock Vineyard Yakima Valley 2013 $18
(Excellent) Pale copper colored. A moderately aromatic wine with abundant peppery spices along with mineral notes. The palate drinks dry with a seamless, drawn out feel. 100% Cabernet Franc. Aged four months in stainless steel and neutral French oak. 12.90% alcohol. 225 cases produced. Reviewed March 20, 2013
Charles & Charles Rosé Columbia Valley 2013 $12
(Good/Excellent) Pale pink/salmon colored. An aromatically appealing wine with watermelon, strawberry, and rosé petal. The palate drinks just about dry and is broad and layered, demonstrating a lot of depth and texture with a cleansing finish. Superb stuff and a superb value. 86% Syrah, 6% Cinsault, 4% Grenache, 2% Counoise, and 2% Mourvèdre. Talcott, Reed, Buckshot, Goose Ridge, Den Hoed, Nate DenHoed, Suhadolnik, Andrews, and Upland vineyards. 12.7% alcohol. 0.2% Residual Sugar. 35,000 cases produced.
Renegade Wine Co. Róse Columbia Valley 2013 $11
(Good/Excellent) A directly appealing wine with notes of bubblegum, strawberry, and watermelon. The palate drinks almost bone dry with tart, mouthwatering acidity, losing just a touch of concentration in the middle. A perfect summer wine at a case purchase price. NB: Last year’s vintage of this wine was gone by May. Don’t expect this year’s to last past April. 79% Syrah, 14% Cinsault, and 7% Counoise. 12.5% alcohol. 3,000 cases produced. Reviewed March 20, 2013
Syncline Rosé Columbia Valley 2013 $18
(Good/Excellent) A very pretty pale salmon. It’s lightly aromatic with notes of strawberry, watermelon, and mineral. The palate is dry, medium bodied, and textured, almost thick in feel with sweet fruit flavors, coming up just a bit short on the finish. As much about feel as flavor in this vintage. 43% Cinsault, 32% Grenache, and 25% Mourvèdre. McKinley Springs and Coyote Canyon vineyards. Fermented in concrete and aged in stainless steel. 13.2% alcohol. 850 cases produced.
Va Piano Chelle den Millie Vineyard Rosé of Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley 2013 $24
(Good/Excellent) A very pretty pale salmon color. It’s moderately aromatic with notes of herbs and cherry. The palate drinks dry and is medium bodied with sweet fruit flavors. A very enjoyable inaugural effort. Fermented in stainless steel, aged two months in three year old French oak then finished in stainless steel barrels. 13.1% alcohol. 0.06g/L Residual Sugar. 77 cases produced.
Ardor Cellars Mourvèdre Rosé Walla Walla Valley 2013 $22
(Good) Pale salmon color with an orange tinge. It smells like Mourvèdre with abundant peppery spices and notes of raw meat. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied with abundant spice flavors. The concentration isn’t all there but it remains enjoyable. 12.9% alcohol.
Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese Columbia Valley 2013 $12
(Good) Medium strawberry colored with notes of strawberry and cherry. It’s medium-plus bodied, drinking dry with a broad feel. 100% Sangiovese. Balcom & Moe, Van Batavia, and Gunkel vineyards. 12.9% alcohol. 0.4 Residual Sugar (dry). 0.65 Acidity. 11,200 cases produced.
Purple Star Rosé Wine Columbia Valley 2013 $12
(Good) Very pale salmon colored. A moderately aromatic wine with notes of strawberry and watermelon. The palate drinks just about dry with a broad feel to the fruit flavors. 100% Syrah. Weinbau (95%) and Ranch at the End of the Road vineyards. 13.9% alcohol. 0.02 g/L Residual Sugar. 335 cases produced.
Waters Rosé Washington State 2013 $18
(Good) Pale salmon colored. A brightly aromatic wine with freshly peeled Satsuma, floral notes, and peppery spices. The palate is dry with mouthwatering acidity. 55% Syrah, 45% Viognier. Whole cluster pressed and cofermented.12.2% alcohol. 240 cases produced.
Hard Row to Hoe Shameless Hussy Rosé Wine Columbia Valley 2013 $18
(Decent/Good) Pale salmon colored. Moderately aromatic with strawberry, berry, and light tropical notes. It’s off dry with watermelon and cherry flavors and a lightly spritzy feel with the sugar and acid playing well together. Sangiovese, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. 13.2% alcohol. 8 g/L Residual Sugar.
K Vintners Rosé Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2013 $20
(Decent/Good) Pale orange in color. An aromatically distinctive wine with smoke, mineral, unpeeled Satsuma oranges, and spice. The palate is dry and starts out with a broad, textured feel before narrowing toward the finish. Drinks considerably better at room temperature. Morrison Lane and Phil Lane vineyards. Aged 6 months in neutral French Burgundy barrels. 12.5% alcohol. 130 cases produced.
Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Rosé Wine Columbia Valley 2013 $13
(Decent/Good) A light electric pink color with notes of watermelon, strawberry, and cranberry. The palate is medium bodied with a slightly viscous feel and a tart, slightly winnowed finish. Sangiovese and Syrah. Aged 4 months in stainless steel. 12.5% alcohol. 0.5% Residual Sugar. 6.1g/L TA.
Trust Cabernet Franc Rosé Columbia Valley 2013 $18
(Decent/Good) A pretty pale strawberry color. Lightly aromatic with notes of cherry, melon, and an assortment of herbs. The palate drinks off dry with ripe fruit and herb flavors with the sugar getting a little out in front of the acid. 12.5% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.
Airfield Estates Vineyard Salute Ruby Rosé Sangiovese Rosé Yakima Valley 2013 $14
(Decent) Light salmon with and orange tinge. An aromatically appealing wine with notes of pear, peach. The palate is dry, frontloaded with an oily feel, narrowing toward the finish. Some interesting pieces that don’t all come together. 13.5% alcohol.
Cairdeas Cinsault Rosé Yakima Valley 2013 $18
(Decent) Medium strawberry colored. It’s aromatic with notes of strawberry, cherry, mint, herbs, and bubble gum. It drinks just about dry with abundant fruit flavors. 100% Cinsault. Meek Vineyard. Aged in stainless steel. 12.5% alcohol. 75 cases produced.