Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rose’s Are In Full Bloom This Year

 As I look at the weather bug on my phone this week I keep getting freeze warnings for the next few days. At the same time, over the past few days and weeks it has been a burgeoning summer already, with a few days last week over 90 degrees. Welcome to spring in the Northwest!
Maison Bleue and Longshadows Rose's
The crazy thing about these springtime days and evenings around here, is that you don’t know what you’re going to get. You don’t know if you’re going to be in your bikini, or in a sweater from moment to moment.
My recommendation during these few crazy weather weeks of the year is to dress in layers, and drink Rose’.
Why Rose’? The reason is simple, yet the wine is complex. Rose’s are truly a wine made from red grapes, with all the complexity of red wine. Yet, at the same time, the wine is not as heavy and tannic as you would normally find those grapes producing. It is a highly complicated wine to produce. Yet, at the same time, the wines are usually less expensive than their dark-red partners.
One thing that is kind of wild about Rose’s is that the wine is very hand-crafted, and can change dramatically from vintage to vintage. It is usually bottled in early spring, and sells out of the wineries and shops by early summer.
Definitely something you need to know if you buy a bottle now, and decide to go back for more later. You don’t want to wait too long. The good stuff flies off the shelves early and doesn’t come back till next year.
I did a little survey among a few wine shop staff, and my wino peeps out there these past few weeks. I also did a little taste testing of my own. These are the must drinks that I’ve been hearing about in the market this year:
The Rose’ that went over huge at Taste Washington this year was Maison Bleue’s Rose of Mourvedre. It was explained to me by a couple of my serious wino friends as being “OMG Good!”. I went and bought some at my neighborhood wine shop and was a little freaked at the $20 price tag, but when I tasted it I have to say I agreed with the reviews. Jon, the winemaker makes his Rose’ in a Bandol style which is bone dry.
Another one that is getting raves this season is Juliette’s Dazzle. This one, made by Dolan & Weiss (Long Shadows) from Walla Walla, is selling off the shelves well. I bought some but haven’t tasted it yet. The bottle is cool though!
A couple that have been produced beautifully season after season for years are Barnard Griffin and Maryhill’s Rose’s of Sangiovese. Both are off the shelf for around $10 and are never fail favorites every year. I’ve had a bottle of each this year and love the balance of fruit and acidity in these wines.
Several of my Facebook friends voted Martinez and Martinez as their Rose’ of the season. I personally loved it last year, and look forward to trying their Rose’ again this year.
Along with that, a few of my friends voted Kestrel has having an amazing Rose’ this season. My friend Scott Abernathy hosted a brown bag event recently and said that Kestrel, Martinez & Martinez, and Jones of Washington won the votes amongst some pretty experienced palates.
Another friend, Kace Allen, from Southern Oregon said that his wife loves Sweet Cheeks Winery’s Rose this year. Next time I’m in the Willamette Valley I’m going to check that one out!

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand what belongs to the roses. Perhaps you have an apostrophe error.


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