Wine Tasting Dinner: Washington Rosé

By Kori ~ July 22nd, 2009.

Washington RoséLast Friday evening was a beautiful, sunny, summer evening here in Seattle. It was the perfect night to gather with friends to enjoy a fabulous meal and good wines for one of our monthly wine tasting dinners. And what is the perfect wine to enjoy on a hot summer day? This is the time of year when we turn our attention to rosé wines. In fact, many wineries only make small quantities of rosé wines to be released during the summer months.

Rosé is French for “pink” and is used to describe wines of that color. Rosés are generally made from red grapes; however, unlike typical red wine production, the skins are removed from the juice after only a couple of days. This limited skin contact gives rosé its light pink color and is the reason that rosés are lighter-bodied than most red wines.

This tasting was a lot of fun. Not only were the wines perfect for the weather, but they paired quite well with Mom’s dinner of squash soup with curry, watermelon/yellow tomato salad, chicken tetrazzini, and spicy green beans with Italian tomatoes and bacon. We topped it all off with angel food pudding and strawberries.

The consensus favorite and surprise of the night was the 2007 Parejas Cellars Rosé. It is an unusual blend of 34% Viognier and 66% Mourvedre. I was not familiar with Parejas Cellars prior to this tasting but will definitely be on the lookout for more of their wines if this rosé is any indication of the quality wines they produce. And the best part is that it can be purchased for less than $10. Especially in these tough economic times, you can’t beat a deal like that.

Washington Rosé: Parejas, Barnard Griffin, Columbia Crest, K, Saviah, TrustWhen the sun is shining and you’re looking for a refreshing beverage to enjoy on the deck, don’t forget to give rosé wine a shot. Any of the top five here are a good place to start.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2007 Parejas Cellars Rosé (Yakima Valley, Washington): 34% Viognier, 66% Mourvedre. Pale salmon in color. Lots of green, vegetal aromas. Flavors of strawberry, watermelon, and herbs come through on the palate. Crisp, smooth, and slightly fizzy. Very flavorful and refreshing with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: The Local Vine (Seattle, WA), $9

2008 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese (Columbia Valley, Washington): Bright, hot pink color. Very aromatic with strawberry, mint, and floral aromas. Smooth and crisp with lots of bright strawberry flavors. Long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle, WA), $11; Available elsewhere, $10 to $18

2007 Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Rosé (Washington State): Predominantly Syrah. Bright, hot pink, almost magenta in color. Medium-bodied and lively. Nose is a bit tight at first. Opens up the longer it is open. The palate explodes with flavors of maraschino cherries, raspberries, and watermelon. A dry wine but seems slightly sweet.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, WA), $6; Available elsewhere, $7 to $8

2008 K Vintners Syrah Rosé (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Very pale pink, almost watery in appearance. Aromas of watermelon candy. Flavors of pink grapefruit and raspberries. Light-bodied and crisp with a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $20

2008 Saviah Cellars Rosé (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Sangiovese. Pale pink in color. Very light, yet lively. Fresh, strawberry aromas. Tastes a bit like watered down pink lemonade.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle, WA), $11; MadWine (Seattle, WA), $11

2008 Trust Cellars Rosé Cabernet Franc (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale salmon color. Very distinctive aromas of Elmer’s glue and pickles. Vinegar, pickles, and mustard comes through on the palate. Also has a bit of a fishy taste. A distinctive, but not pleasant, flavor profile.
Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Where to buy: The Grape Choice (Kirkland, WA), $16

Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Rose Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Lia Johnson | July 22nd, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Hello Wine Peeps! Kyle and I are fans of a Parejas white, but for the life of me I cannot remember the varietal. But Parejas is certainly worth trying more of. We found it through a Thursday night tasting at Picnic where we’ve discovered a lot of new, good wines.

  2. Kori | July 22nd, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Glad to hear you like another Parejas wine. We’ll definitely have to try more of their wines. I just checked their site and they currently have two dry whites, Dos Pinots (Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc) and Riesling, and a Late Harvest Pinot Gris (dessert wine). Do any of those ring a bell? Cheers!

  3. C. Paul Shelton | November 21st, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I found your post to help me research wines for my Thanksgiving guests and our meal. I have doubts at this point that I’ll be able to find any of these wines still I’m hopeful, especially with the Barnard Griffin and Parejas. I know for a fact I will not be able to get the Trust because I visited there recently and it was sold out. I had a good deal of this over the summer and I am curious about your review. Was this a single bottle for your assessment? Pickles? Fish? Glue? I think you had a flawed bottle.

  4. Kori | November 27th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I hope you were able to find some good wines to pair with your Thanksgiving meal. Yes, we only had a single bottle of Trust in this tasting. While those characteristics can sometimes indicate a flawed bottle, I really did not think that was the case here. We had several other knowledgeable wine folks at this dinner and none of us thought that it was flawed, just not a good wine. Cheers!

  5. C. Paul Shelton | November 29th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    FYI…I served the Barnard Griffin. Enjoyed tremendously with my smoked turkey. One of my guests brought an ’08 Trust and, oddly, an ’07. The ’07 still held up but my table of knowledgeable wine folks thought the ’08 was good and then some. More of the great fun of wine…differing opinions. Cheers to you!

  6. Kori | December 2nd, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the Barnard Griffin. What a coincidence that your guest brought two vintages of the Trust. I look forward to trying the ’08. Cheers!