Now that people have discovered a viable alternative to pink zin, rosé wines have grown increasingly popular. They range in color from pale salmon to jewel-toned berry and can be bone dry, sweet or anywhere in between. Here are five rosés made of five different varietals from around Washington to get the patio party started.
Saviah Cellars Rosé 2015
(Walla Walla Valley; $18)
Two Italian varietals (sangiovese and barbera) have been blended to produce a beautifully jewel-toned rosé. Juicy cherry, strawberry and watermelon gush with each sip producing a mouth-watering effect. This rosé could be an aperitif all by itself, but would pair nicely with melon and prosciutto and other salty/savory appetizers.
Dunham Cellars Rosé 2015
(Horse Heaven Hills; $18)
This rosé of cabernet franc was allowed to sit on its skins just long enough to soak up a pale salmon color. Instead of strawberry or cherry, the aromas lean toward floral and melon. The tiny touch of orange-blossom sweetness is easily balanced by pleasant minerality, and cleansing acidity.
Browne Family Vineyards Grenache Rosé 2015
(Columbia Valley; $18)
A lovely pale “rose” pink (yes, I did just compare a rosé to a rose), this Rhone varietal blend (79 percent grenache, 21 percent counoise) is one of my favorite examples of an easy-to-drink summer wine. Aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb, and downright zippy acid, are balanced by subtle spice notes from barrel-aging. Sip this alongside fresh oysters, crab legs or a nice cedar-planked side of salmon.
Long Shadows Vintners Julia’s Dazzle Rosé 2015
(Horse Heaven Hills; $16)
Named for winemaker Allen Shoup’s granddaughter, everything about this pinot gris rosé is pretty from the voluptuous bottle to the strawberry-orange color. Like the color, the nose gives off strawberry, with watermelon and guava. A touch of residual effervescence nips at the taste buds; racy acidity mellows to a nice off-dry finish.
The Walls Vineyards Cruel Summer Rosé 2015
(Columbia Gorge; $21)
Winemaker Ali Mayfield has gone French with this rosé of pinot noir. It leans toward apricots in color and even has an “orange-fruited” smell as opposed to red berries. Mayfield managed to keep loads of acidity in this vintage despite the record-hot temperatures of 2015. In the French style, Cruel Summer is not sweet, but rather crisp and dry.
Julie Arnan is an Eastside writer who pens stories about travel, food, wine and more. Watch for Julie’s Wine Jam at 425magazine.com. She will sip and write when inspired. Connect with her (and give her wine samples) at julie.arnan[at]gmail.com.