The rise of rosé ranks as one of the most delectable trends embraced by the Pacific Northwest wine industry, and it is one that deserves to become a mainstay rather than a fad that fades away.
And many modern-day examples of rosé should not be forgotten after Labor Day or dismissed as a carton of milk that carries an expiration date of Dec. 31.
Instead, these bright and fun wines can show deliciously at least two years beyond vintage, so expect the 2017s to pair easily with Super Bowl party fare, tapas, savory snacks and popcorn. Granted, some of these pink wines may have lost half a step when it comes to their color upon release, but many began their life in the bottle tilting toward a Provence style in their appearance.
Think of a light salmon or pale pink wardrobe. And they have been created in a food-friendly style, meaning they are beautifully fruity, yet far from sweet. The 20th Annual Platinum Judging, in October by Wine Press Northwest magazine, gathered 44 of the region’s top examples of rosé.
Each earned a gold medal from at least one wine competition in the Northwest, U.S. or beyond. Exactly 25% of those entered went on to earn a Platinum. Here are several of the judging’s top examples that had the largest scale of production. Even if you can’t track down these rosés at your favorite grocer or wine merchant, take a moment to ask someone for a recommendation.
The goal of these folks is that you will enjoy that bottle, then come back and ask about the 2019 vintage after it is released this spring. In the case of Barnard Griffin’s Rosé of Sangiovese, a perennial favorite of wine judges across the country, look for its unveiling around Valentine’s Day.
One of the Northwest’s largest offerings of rosé from pinot noir offers a gorgeously fun color and strikes the right balance. Notes of strawberry, Jolly Rancher watermelon, white peach and melon make this not only a crowd-pleaser but also a complete rosé.
The light pink color opens with strawberry rhubarb and keeps delivering with cherries and berries. Refreshing acidity gives it a broad appeal and a match for light salads, grilled tuna, paella and salty cheese.
This marks the fifth consecutive year in which Palencia’s electric pink wine from pinot noir has earned a Platinum. Alluring aromas of strawberry, cherry and rose petal lead to beautiful flavors of cherry and orange Creamsicle with boysenberry acidity that doesn’t slow down.
Brent Stone, a product of Washington State University, and his team earned a Platinum for this drop-dead gorgeous rosé that grabbed a gold medal at judgings in Southern California, Washington and Oregon. This crowd-pleaser is redolent with Meyer lemon, orange zest and orange blossom joined at the close by apricot jam and a bite of a tree-ripened nectarine.
When combined, they total nine pink Platinums in the career of the Walla Walla Community College product, four of them with syrah. Here the winsome wardrobe of pink comes with notes of strawberry freezer jam and Hermiston watermelon that trail into golden raspberries and tangerine.
Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman operate Great Northwest Wine. Learn more about wine at greatnorthwestwine.com.
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