Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Find, August 17th

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.

It's hotter than hell out there today. H-O-T.  Normally I would regale you with some witty story, history lesson or metaphor that would no doubt entertain you and make you think.  It's too hot for that frankly.

The only thing I can think of is that I wish it would rain or something. The fact is in the Pacific Northwest we have the world's mildest weather generally and no matter where you come from, after awhile you become used to it.  The sad reality is that you become a "weather wimp."  Take me for example. I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where in the winter time it gets quite cold and snows quite a bit. I recall one New Year's Eve a friend and I were out and he said "Man, I wonder how cold it is?"  as we rounded a corner a bank sign told us "2 degrees."  "Man I said, it is cold, it's 2."  That never happens here.  The other side of that coin is that in the summertime it's hot and muggy, and by muggy I mean disgusting.  You know how some people are close-talkers? They invade your personal space and make you uncomfortable? That's more or less what the hot muggy summer-times in Pittsburgh feel like.  Imagine someone in your face, sweating on you and making you feel uncomfortable constantly, that's more or less summer.  I really miss it.

My point is that when we get two or three days of warm weather here, we whine, at least I do, and so that is really all I'm getting at.  Essentially I'm actually whining in this post.  I think we should probably move on to this week's Friday Find.  This week's wine is probably one of the top bargains in the Northwest this year, for serious.  The 2011 Juliette's Dazzle Rosé is a creation from Allen Shoup and Gilles Nicault better known for their work on the Long Shadows project.  This wine is outstanding, and in some seriously sexy packaging. Think a bowling pin that you might find somewhere like Versailles.

This wine is selected from a special block in the Benches Vineyard up in Horse Heaven Hills.  The elevation keeps the fruit up at the Benches a bit cooler and preserves a fantastic acidity.  While most often we're used to a Rosé comprised of red varietals this wine is nearly 100% Pinot Gris, which has a pink hue to it when ripe. There is about 2% Sangiovese thrown in for both the fruit flavors and a touch of color.  The wine is fantastically crisp, loads of strawberry, plum blossom and watermelon aromatics and a clean crisp palate of stone and strawberry jolly rancher. At $14 to $15 you'd be crazy from the heat not to pick some of this up and drink what Washington wine legend Allen Shoup drinks all summer. With the super-cool packaging it should be easy to spot.


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