It’s that time of year again when we are opening a rosé almost every day. And to get a jump start on all of the bottles we needed to taste and tell you about we held our annual Rosé on Rose Street. The plan was to invite wine friends – consumers and industry – and taste through 17 bottles. Then Mark said I was crazy to open that many in one night and suggested 8. We settled on 12 rosey rosés and it was the perfect number. I added a few notes more notes so there are a bunch for you to consider.
It was one of those fluke hot Oregon days in May so I avoided the oven and served chilled and room temperature make ahead appetizers. Follow these links for recipes for Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Shrimp Salsa and for Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs.
Guests were asked to write a 5 word tasting note to add to the notes Mark and I took pre party. Examples were how the wine makes you feel “it’s getting hot in here” or what it smells like “strawberry, raspberry, cherry, cotton candy” or what it reminds you of “pink tennis shoe childhood summer.”
Our Taste of Rosé
- Rain Dance 2016 Nicholas Vineyard Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountain, Oregon Pale pink, ballet slipper in color this is a very “into the woods” rose with aromas of oak, fairy dew, and the coolness of evergreen. If you were looking for a”wintery” rose this might be the one with Christmas(y) notes of cinnamon, clove, gingerbread, and orange zest. Good acid, amazing finish.
- Baileyana 2016 Rosé of PN Edna Valley, California Aromas of sour cherry beer, grapefruit, limestone, and some honeyed strawberry notes. A refreshing tongue tapping palate that kind of dances around in your mouth. Tart cherry and raspberry, vibrant and full with a spicy bergamot finish.
- Raptor Ridge 2016 Bellevue Cross Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir McMinnville, Oregon Bright candy apple red in color with a nose that seems subtle by comparison. Aromas of cherry nut bread, red ripe apple, cherry pie filling and raspberry. On the palate the baked aromas translate into spiced apple cider, cherry, and cinnamon with nice acidity and a full rich mouthfeel.
- Esprit Gassier 2016 Cotes de Provence Most people in our group found this wine pleasant. A pretty nose of bing cherry, strawberry, white peach, marzipan. Not complex but nice welcome wine.
- Maryhill 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese Columbia Valley, Washington The elusive wellmade crowd pleaser, this rosé of sangiovese will have you thinking “It’s 4:30 somewhere.” A pretty in pink color with a spicy floral nose of rose tea and lavender, fresh linen, sweet strawberry, and honeysuckle. An inviting nose leads to a surprising fleshy palate that gets creamier as it warms delivering flavors of strawberry shortcake and terrific balance of a touch of sweetness with fresh acidity.
- Planeta 2016 Rosé of Nero d’Avola/Syrah 50/50 Sicily, Italy. Most people in the group wanted a little more fruit from this wine and used descriptors like peppery, hay, green tea. fatoush. I found the sharp acuity and savory, salty, slightly cheesy palate just screamed for fresh sardines. Odd but a bit delightful in its oddities.
- Abacela 2016 Grenache Rosé Umpqua Valley, Oregon A sweet tart floral wine with white cherry, clover, grapefruit, cherry, raspberry, herbs, and citrus blossom on the nose. The palate is fun, bright fruit – melon and strawberry – with nice acid.
- Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards 2016 Rosé Estate Cuvee Umpqua Valley, OregonThis is a conundrum of a wine and I think you will enjoy unravelling the mystery. First it looks more like a red Beaujolais than a rose. Then with 3 white grapes and 4 red it just has layers upon layers of things to discover. Here is a crazy list: “rose on a hammock,” bright apple, mineral, lavender, creamy strawberry, sweet fresh apricot, lemon grass, apple cinnamon and spice, jasmine, grass, bitter radish, spice, herbaceous, pine needle, lime zest, savory, basil, oregano, tomato sauce.
- 14 Hands Winery 2016 Rosé of Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington Pineapple was the consensus on this one. Open for a day at the beach – sea air, tropical coconut, fun palate.
- Franck & Sylvain Godon Rosé of Pinot Noir Sancerre Loire Valley A very dry, very serious tangerine colored rose of pinot noir. Fresh citrus and floral perfumed nose. Subtle notes of grapefruit, white peach, and honey drizzle. Minerality, green tones of sugar snap peas, and the bitter spice of white pepper and orange oil. Pronounced perfume on the palate, tart fruit, a kicking acidity, and the salty salinity of the sea that make this wine beg for oysters.
- Chateau Grand Boise 2016 Rosé of Grenache Syrah Mourvedre Cotes de Provence Saint Victoire Pale in color but aromatic this blend of grenache, syrah, mourvedre leans toward confected notes marzipan, apricot sponge cake, banana, cotton candy, sugared pear. Less fruit on the palate but plenty of lemony zesty acid, full mouthfeel, and a long finish with a bit of peach.
- Day Owl 2016 Rosé of Barbera California Peach in color, this rose of barbera has a tropical, seductive nose of papaya, sweet herb, orange, white tea, and the intoxicating smell of a meadow blooming with clover. Aromas repeat on the well structured palate which boasts a big juicy mouthfeel, a long tangy spicy finish, and red apple skin tannin that dries the inside of the mouth making you long for another sip.
- Ippolito Rosé of Gaglioppo Ciro Mabilia Calabria, Italy For those filling out their list of grapes tasted, or just for someone looking for a delightful rosé, here is an opportunity to taste a gaglioppo from Italy’s Calabria. A gorgeous mango color with a very light fizziness. Taste it fast because that tickle dissipates after the first sip. A fruity nose of condensed ripe flavors – candied apple, cherry lollipop, fresh strawberry, peach juice and a high note of sweet green herb. Just a hint of residual sugar keeps the palate perfectly balanced. Full bodied for such a pretty rosé, flavors of peach and strawberry, and a long finish of white tea and spicy clover. An approachably sophisticated rosé perfect for vacations to the Italian Riviera or just pretend vacations.
- Tenute Rubino 2016 Rosé of Negroamaro IGT Salento Italy The color of coral reef, this rosé from Southern Italy lures with pomegranate, tangerine, and the smell of distant gardens of roses, lavender, and jasmine. Vanilla and cherry scented like a cream soda without the heavy handed sugary smell. Drier than expected with floral notes of gardenia and rose plus fruity tangerine. Prickly acid and äa vivacious palate that ends with tart cranberry. Add the negroamaro grape to your list.
- Strehn 2016 Rosé of Blaufränkisch Pale peach in color and light and delicate on the nose. Don’t serve this one too cold. It has a lot to say. Peach vanilla sorbet, slightly confected strawberry, tart fresh pie cherries, raspberry blackberry and apple skin. A savory palate with tart grapefruit acidity, a little effervescent spritz, a hint of sweet and pungent anise, and the light salted meatiness of proscuitto
- Domaine de Clos Godeaux 2016 Rosé ‘of Cabernet Franc “Les Maupas” Chinon, Loire Valley, France This rosé of cabernet franc boasts a bold beautiful coral hue and a shy, yet pretty, nose. The early spring floral aromas of a meadow – sweet hay, grass, cilantro, apple blossom, rose – plus tart raspberry and the spice of hibiscus tea. Great structure on the palate with juicy mouthwatering acidity, plum skin tannin, tart cherry, fresh strawberries, and bit of salinity.
- Bjornson Vineyard Argenta 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir This rosé of pinot noir lures with a fruit forward nose of fresh pear, yellow apple, light floral, white peach, candied lime zest, and bing cherry. Full and lush, yet lively on the palate, the mid palate settles into a lingering bit of cherry strawberry sweetness on the tongue and then switches to tart lime on an extended finish.
Most of these wines were samples. Opinions are unbiased and collective.
Dixie Huey says
Thank you so much for including Rain Dance Vineyards. This is a great article with some delicious looking dishes.
Thanks Dixie. Everyone really enjoyed it. Looking forward to tasting the rest of their wines and meeting the llamas.