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Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman |
Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Forget the sweet swill, try a well-crafted rosé

  • Victor Palencia is the head winemaker for Jones of Washington, a winery in Quincy.

    Photo courtesy Andy Perdue

    Victor Palencia is the head winemaker for Jones of Washington, a winery in Quincy.

  • Melissa Burr is the head winemaker for Stoller Family Estate in Oregon’s Dundee Hills.

    Photo courtesy Andy Perdue

    Melissa Burr is the head winemaker for Stoller Family Estate in Oregon’s Dundee Hills.

Back in June, we wrote about a number of rosés that would be perfect for summer sipping. Since then, we have seen an absolute deluge of pink wines coming from Pacific Northwest wineries — so many that we decided we’d better put the spotlight back on this exciting and growing category.

For those who decided they don’t like rosés, perhaps that was because you had a less-than-pleasant experience with sickly sweet blushes that have dotted the California wine landscape — typically wines that have besmirched Zinfandel’s good name.

Fortunately, what we see coming from most Northwest wineries are bright, well-crafted wines that are delicious on their own, as well as superb with a broad variety of cuisine.

Typically, these rosés reveal aromas of juicy red fruit — strawberry, cherry, cranberry, raspberry or pomegranate — along with spices, sweet herbs and more. They are meant to be enjoyed in their youth, so pick up a few bottles and toss them in the fridge so they are ready at a moment’s notice.

Look for these at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

Jones of Washington 2013 Rosé of Syrah, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $13: Dazzling color brings out aromas of fresh-picked Rainier cherry, pomegranate, strawberry fruit leather and river rock. Mouthwatering flavors of cherries and cranberries are backed by a touch of residual sugar (1.1 percent) that’s skillfully balanced. (13.2 percent)

Stoller Family Estate 2013 Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills, $20: Fresh strawberry, raspberry, dusty peach, cherry yogurt and spun sugar in the nose give way to bright, dry and refreshing flavors of raspberry, cranberry, apricot and white strawberry. Suggested pairings range from salmon to roasted duck, vegetarian fare and hard cheeses. (12.5 percent)

Waterbrook Winery 2013 Sangiovese Rosé, Columbia Valley, $13: This starts with aromas of dusty strawberry, cranberry and peach. The approach is lively with high-toned red fruit flavors such as cranberry, pie cherry, pomegranate and white strawberry. It is ideal with summer salads, seafood off the grill and broasted chicken. (11.9 percent)

Elk Cove Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, $16: Aromas akin to dusty Bing cherry, strawberry and cranberry juice are followed by delicate flavors of pink raspberry and white strawberry. This mouthwatering rosé could lure you to buy by the case. (13 percent)

Columbia Winery 2013 Grenache Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $24: The aromatic profile hints at bright red fruit such as dusty Rainier cherry, plum juice and light raspberry. On the attack, it’s brisk and bone dry with Montmorency cherry, plum and fresh cranberry, backed by cherry-skin tannin. This is available only at Columbia Winery’s tasting room in Woodinville. (13.9 percent)

Mercer Wine Estates 2013 Sadie Louise Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $13: This fun, young and dry pink opens with nose-tickling aromas of pink grapefruit, Rainier cherry, strawberry, tangerine and peach fuzz followed by bright flavors of strawberry/rhubarb compote and red currants. Enjoy with char-grilled lamb burgers. (13 percent)

Milbrandt Vineyards 2013 Traditions Rosé, Columbia Valley, $13: A delightful and colorful pink wine, this offers waves of aromas and flavors, including strawberry taffy, cranberry juice, peach fuzz and red currant, backed by blood orange and cranberry. (14.7 percent)

Abacela 2013 Estate Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $17: Aromas of cotton candy, cranberry, fresh peach and lime zest lead to racy flavors of strawberry and cranberry, backed by refreshing acidity and a finish of orange. Pair with roasted chicken or fish tacos with fruit salsa. (13.5 percent)

L’Ecole No. 41 2013 Alder Ridge Vineyard Grenache Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $19: This bright, elegant wine opens with aromas of strawberry, watermelon, apricot and lavender, followed by crisp, dry flavors that hint at Rainier cherry, raspberry, apple and ripe strawberry. (14.5 percent)



Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company. Listen to their weekly podcast on iTunes or at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.
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