Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Rosé is Here to Stay!

It’s go time on summer and with that comes our shift to the “warm weather wines”! I don’t know about you, but I generally don’t touch red wine in the warm summer months since I want something that is refreshing and cold when the temperature outside starts to soar. Rosé has come mainstream lately, as it most certainly should. It took a bit of pushing though, as too many people looked at pink wine and were transported back to the White Zins and cheap blush wines their moms and grandmothers drank for so many years. I am here to tell you that today’s rosé has evolved greatly from those! Rosé is made just like every other wine, but the grape skins are only left in contact with the juice for a short time, rather than throughout fermentation like with a red wine. The longer the skins are left in contact with the juice and depending on the grape used, the darker the color of the rosé, which is why you will see all the colors of the pink rainbow when it comes to rosés (which is one of the reasons I love this type of wine!). Essentially, you can make pretty much any red grape varietal into a rosé. Many wineries even blend different varietals for their final product. The fun that winemakers have been having creating these wines is what makes the Washington rosé scene so amazing! While there are way too many to even try to compile in one post, here are several that I have come across this spring through my tasting adventures locally and in Eastern Washington!

Lauren Ashton Cellars  2015 Rosé

This lovely wine is 50% Grenache and 50% Mouvedre and is just beautiful in color. Tons of strawberry fun awaits you and it has a cool and crisp finish. Their tasting room is beautiful and we had the best time when we visited there quite awhile back. I wasn’t able to make the release party for this amazing rosé, so special thanks to the winery for sharing this bottle with me so that I could share it with you! This is definitely one to pick up for summer BBQs and warm nights.

Kiona Vineyards 2015 Red Mountain Rosé

The Kiona rosé does not disappoint year after year. I usually always try to find a bottle of it, and this year was no exception. We visited the winery during Pre-Spring Barrel back in April and I made sure to snag two bottles for my summer time collection. This is an estate Sangiovese, which is always a fun grape to have for rosé. This is another that has an exquisite color and they only made 150 cases of it this year, so my guess is that it’s long gone by now. If you can’t snag any in any of the stores they distribute to, then make sure to get set to grab a bottle next spring!

Airfield Estates 2015 Yakima Valley Rosé

Another rosé of Sangiovese! This was our first stop during our Pre-Spring Barrel tasting in Eastern Washington, and I couldn’t get enough of this wine. What’s really fun is the difference in color between this one and the Kiona one, even though they are both made from the same grape. There is so much creativity that can go into how long a winemaker chooses to leave the skins with the juice, so the wines can come out very different even when using the same grape. I really wish I would have scooped up more of this one at the winery, hopefully I can find it locally!

Hamilton Cellars 2012 Rosé of Malbec

I made my first visit to Hamilton Cellars during Pre-Spring Barrel, and was very impressed! The facility is brand new as of 2014 and is the only Net Zero solar winery in Washington! Since they planted in their property, they will have all estate red wines starting with the 2017 vintage, which is very exciting! We tasted many older vintages of wines at our visit, including this Rosé. I really enjoyed both this Rosé of Malbec and also their 100% Malbec as well. The rosé is darker in color and a hint spicier than the others I tried, which made it stand out!

Terra Blanca 2015 Arch Terrace Red Mountain Rosé

Terra Blanca is known for being a winery that makes just about every type of wine (their tasting menu is impressive!) and has a beautiful facility on Red Mountain. The Arch Terrace Rosé is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. It’s lively and fun and sure to be a summer time favorite.

Washington wineries put out a plethora of rosés so you are always guaranteed quite the selection at your local wine store. So the next time you find yourself wondering what wine goes with your evening (or day, c’mon, I don’t judge), there’s only one thing to remember: Drink Pink!

What's your favorite Washington rosé? Share in the comments here or on twitter @tarynmiller!

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