Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Find, June 15

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

Last week's Friday Find got me into hot water with one reader who really didn't care for my taste in literature and so hopefully this week goes off without incident. This week I was invited to attend and be a judge for the Rosé Revival event put on by Seattle Uncorked at Ray's Boathouse.  I had mixed feelings about judging the event for two reasons, the first and foremost for me is that I don't typically rate wines.  I've never taken the time to develop a scoring system or really to understand the ones that are out there.  I would much rather describe a wine and note what I like or dislike about it than give it a score.  Maybe that's a cop out for me; I don't know.  The second thing that made me nervous about the whole judging experience was what if I like the crappy wines?  Seriously, I thought about that.  What if I pick the really bad ones?

I've never thought of myself as an expert when it comes to wine.  I am regularly reminded of the superiority of my wife Gwynne's palate over my own simply by tasting wines with her.  She picks up things I do not and cannot.  So the Rosé Revival was an opportunity for me to get a real sense of what I was made of and how my palate would do after tasting something like 64 different wines.

The judges were permitted to arrive early so that we could start to taste the wines before the general public arrived.  I arrived early, but as it turned out not early enough.  I had gotten about three quarters of the way through the rosé wines, and exactly none of the whites when the doors opened. My goal was to speed taste the wines and get home in time to read a few stories to my daughter before her 7:00 pm bed time. (Mission accomplished by the way.)  Once the crowds arrived they made getting to the tables and having the wines poured a bit of a challenge.  The upside to this Seattle Uncorked event however was that I heard lots of good questions being asked of the winemakers, though folks still weren't spitting much of their wine.  I imagine later in the evening it was an interesting affair.

Annually the Rosé Revival recognizes a top three wines in the white and top three in the rosé category.  As of this writing I still don't know who won all three places and I'm only aware of one actually, the Sunbreak Chenin Blanc from Convergence Zone Cellars won the top white wine of the evening and was in fact my selection. Whew, redemption, maybe I'm not a hack after all.  So, with that validation my Friday Find was also my top pick of the rosés and it comes from a winery I'd never had before Ott & Murphy and their 2011 Chanson Rosé.  It's a pale dry beauty with a salmon hue.  The wine offers floral and subdued fruit aromatics. On the palate it's bone dry with light flavors of unripe watermelon, strawberry and a bit of zest that hints at fresh mint.  For $16 this is a wine worth discovering and a winner, in my book at least. (Apologies to everyone for that really bad photo.)


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