Wine Tasting Dinner: Washington Rosé for Summer



By Kori ~ July 20th, 2011.

This month’s wine tasting dinner featured six rosé wines from Washington State. It was another fabulous evening of good wine, the company of wonderful friends, and LaGayle’s (Mom’s) excellent food. The wines paired extremely well with our dinner of vichyssoise, crab Louie salad, grilled prawns, grilled vegetables, rice pilaf, and peach and strawberry salad for dessert with almond cookies.

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. Rosés can run the gamut from dry to sweet. Too many people think pink wines are all sweet. Not so. For me, the dry rosés are more serious and interesting.

The consensus favorite was the 2010 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese. It is one of the most well-known and widely available Washington State rosés. I look forward to its release each year. Rob Griffin and his wife Deborah Barnard founded Barnard Griffin Winery, located in Richland, Washington, in 1983. Rob moved to Washington State in 1977 to be winemaker for Preston Wine Cellars when there were under ten wineries in the entire state. Shortly after founding Barnard Griffin, Rob left Preston and went to work for Hogue Cellars as winemaker and general manager. In 1991, Rob left Hogue to devote his full time and energy to Barnard Griffin. The current winery and tasting room were built in 1996. Barnard Griffin’s current annual production is approximately 75,000 cases.

When 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.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2010 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale to medium pink in color. Nice nose with strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, and floral aromas. More red fruits as well as orange peel come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced and very refreshing with a long, lingering finish. An excellent summer sipper and also great with food.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $11; Available elsewhere, $10 to $13

2010 Mark Ryan The Vincent Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 20% Mourvedre. Very pale salmon color. Aromatic with orange peel and raspberry on both the nose and palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: QFC (Seattle, Washington), $12; Available elsewhere, $14

2010 Jones of Washington Rosé of Syrah (Columbia Valley, Washington): Medium pink. Aromatic with aromas and flavors of honey, strawberry, rose petals, and Red Vines. Off-dry and medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine World (Seattle, Washington), $12

2010 Syncline Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): 33% Pinot Noir, 17% Grenache, 17% Cinsault, 15% Carignan, 9% Mourvedre, and 9% Counoise. Very pale salmon color. Nose is a bit tight at first. Strawberry, melon, and orange blossom come through on both the nose and palate. Dry and light-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: QFC (Seattle, Washington), $16; Available elsewhere, $18 to $19

2009 Flying Dreams Little Red Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): Deep ruby pink. Aromatic with plums and mineral notes on the nose. Cherry and plum on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with lively acidity and a bitter finish. A bit hot on the back end.
Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Where to buy: Winery, $18

2010 Waters Rosé (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 65% Syrah and 35% Viognier. Pale pinkish salmon in color. Interesting aromatics with hairspray, perfume, and floral notes on the nose. Light red fruit and perfume comes through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long, somewhat sour, finish.
Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Where to buy: Wine World (Seattle, Washington), $18; Available elsewhere, $16 to $18


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

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