Thursday, May 15, 2014

Instant Gratification; Fresh Northwest Rosé

There's a statistic about how quickly Americans drink their wine, and it's fairly shocking, in my opinion anyhow.  The average wine purchased in America is consumed within 40 minutes of purchase. So, basically how long it takes to get home from the store. Those of us who've had the patience, luxury and budget to purchase wines with the intent to hang onto them for a few years know what that experience can be like. Some wines that are good now can become transcendent over time, given a few years, well made wines can really achieve their full potential.

But the reality is these days most wines are made to be drunk now, or at least 40 minutes from now. And that's okay too. I'm a huge advocate for holding onto wines, certainly particular vintages but when it comes to Rosé, there is no time like the present. Drink it now.

There is a plethora of pink being produced in the Northwest these days, and it's funny because you only have to go back five or six years and a dry rosé was fairly rare around these parts. However in a very short time pink wine has become a staple of many if not most of the best wineries in Oregon and Washington. And we're the beneficiaries.

There are definitely some perennial greats. Maison Bleue, Syncline, Stoller, Bergstrom and the amazing Glass from J.K. Carriere. Last year I was floored by a new discovery coming out of Southern Oregon in the Troon Vineyards Rosé. The great thing about this sort of rosé revival is that there's enough of it out there that new discoveries are being made all the time.  Today I present you three that are new to me and one stand by rosé that I recommend you get your hands on.

2013 Winter's Hill Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir At Winter's Hill Vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA they're dedicating a specific block of their Pinot to rosé production. The block is located such that there's afternoon shade which might be at the root of the wine's crisp acidity even with some time in neutral oak. The palate features bright but nuanced fruit flavors of early season strawberry, spring watermelon and apricot apricot and a mouthfeel that's a tad rounded. $19

2013 J. Wrigley Rosé of Pinot Noir is from the McMinnville AVA, where the folks at J. Wrigley Vineyard planted Pinot Noir, Riesling and Pinot Gris back in 2008. This wine is bright and lively and comes with just a dab of residual sugar. Vibrant pink hued with juicy ripe fruits like sweet strawberries and cherry. The kiss of sweetness is carried off well with great balance and acid. The fact is I find wines with a touch of sweetness often work amazingly with smokey or barbecued meats and so I recommend giving this a whirl on the patio. $20

2013 Bartholomew Winery Rosé of Carmenere Okay, maybe I'm being lazy here, this will mark the third time we've talked about Bart's new Rosé but there's a reason for it, it's excellent. Loaded up with complexity and frankly wholly unique the only Rosé of Carmenere we've ever heard of, and Bart says the only one in the States. I came across it again at the Belltown shop Champion Wine Cellars, those fellas are discerning. This wine almost takes on the hue of an orange wine, the aromatics are dried flowers and stone, on the palate its got loads of bright citrus fruit and a screaming good acidity. This wine is a silly good deal at $15

2013 Gilbert Cellars Rosé of Mourvedre Mourvedre is the cornerstone of the great rosés of Bandol and this one is a tip of a cap to those wines. I look at the pink wine from Gilbert Cellars to be one of the best bangs for your buck in Washington year in and year out and you can find it around $15. Super lean and crisp, with a zippy acid this wine offers layers of flavor, wet stone, grapefruit, strawberries and rhubarb ending with a kiss of fresh mint. The use of lees also gives the wine a touch of creaminess. $16


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