Wine Tasting Dinner: Washington Rosé, A Summer Favorite



By Kori ~ July 25th, 2012.

Summer 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.

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 tarragon seasoned squash soup, green salad with raspberries and feta cheese and a mango balsamic vinaigrette dressing, broiled halibut with roasted red pepper aioli sauce, fingerling potatoes, roasted mixed vegetables including beets, carrots, fennel, and green beans, and meringue shells with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries for dessert.

The consensus favorite was the 2011 Trust Cellars Cabernet Franc Rosé. This wine is always a popular summer wine here in Washington. It is outstanding as a sipper and gets even better with food.

When the sun is shining and you’re looking for a refreshing beverage to enjoy on the deck or in the backyard, don’t forget to give rosé wine a shot.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2011 Trust Cellars Cabernet Franc Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale to medium pink salmon in color. Aromatic with raspberry and floral notes on the nose. Strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, and orange blossom come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Whole Foods (Seattle, Washington), $17

2011 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese (Columbia Valley, Washington): Medium bright 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 refreshing with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Whole Foods (Seattle, Washington), $11; Available elsewhere, $11 to $13

2011 Brian Carter Abracadabra Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): 44% Sangiovese, 20% Syrah, 18% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, and 8% Cinsault. Pale pink in color. Aromatic with Rainier cherry, strawberry, and orange peel on both the nose and palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Whole Foods (Seattle, Washington), $16

2011 Robert Ramsay Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): 62% Grenache, 19% Cinsault, 18% Syrah, and 1% Viognier. Pale pinkish salmon in color. Very aromatic with watermelon, raspberry, cherry and floral notes on both the nose and palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $18; Available elsewhere, $10

2010 Chinook Cabernet Franc Rosé (Yakima Valley, Washington): Medium pinkish orange in color. Nice nose with watermelon, raspberry, tangerine, and a touch of cream. More raspberry and tangerine come through on the palate. Dry and medium bodied with crisp acidity and a medium to long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $15; Available elsewhere, $16

2011 Gilbert Cellars Rosé of Mourvedre (Columbia Valley, Washington): Very pale salmon in color. Nose is a bit tight at first, then strawberry, cherry, and floral aromas come through. More cherry and strawberry as well as raspberry and melon on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a medium to long, slightly bitter, finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Whole Foods (Seattle, Washington), $13; Available elsewhere, $13


Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Rose Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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