Category Archives: Rosé

Chateau du Rouet Provence Rosé

 

Provence Rosé

Chateau du Rouet Provence Rosé

Fellow wine lovers, upon the hillsides of the Esterel Mountains in the South of France, Chateau du Rouet grows grapes for an all time classic Provence rosé. Founded in 1888, for six generations Chateau du Rouet has been here, near an ancient roman city at the edges of a red-rocked volcano.

Chateau du Rouet 2016 Provence Rosé $14.99

On a beautiful warm day, the rosés of Provence are the perhaps the standard for all sun-chasers and backyard grillers, and Chateau Rouet is a favorite among them. Their rosé is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20% Cinsault. It displays a delicate salmon color in the glass, with a nose of cherry blossoms, rose petals, and crunchy rocks. The palate is beautifully crisp, with medium body, and offers notes of lemon zest, strawberries, and raspberries. The Route rosé comes in an elegant hourglass shaped bottle- a signature of the Provence region.

Click here to order the Chateau Rouet Rosé

Chateau du Rouet Rosé

Chateau du Rouet Rosé

 Region: Provence, South of France

Grape(s): 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20% Cinsault

Drinkability: Now through the end of the year

Body: Medium

Drink This if you Like: Miraval, Provence Rosé

Food Pairing: Copper River Salmon, Grilled Veggies

Cheers

Yashar

Underground Wine Project 2015 “Mr Pink” Rosé

Pink Impulse:

Underground Wine Project 2015 “And Why am I Mr Pink” Rosé

Fellow wine lovers, Rosés have quickly become one of most popular types of wine, so much so that many people are drinking them year-round, rather than only during the sunny months. Still, if you prefer to sip Rosé only under the sun, it seems the sun is coming out sooner and sooner every year, and the same is true of wineries releasing new Rosés. In fact, one of our favorite wineries, Underground Wine Project (who brought us the Idle Hands and the Devil’s Playground) is now releasing a brand new Rosé called “And Why am I Mr Pink”.

Underground Wine Project 2015 “And Why am I Mr Pink” Rosé $11.99

To recap, Underground Wine Project is a collaborative winery, launched about 2 years ago by Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery, and Trey Busch of Sleight of Hand Cellars. In line with their previous wines with cheeky nomenclature, they’ve named their Rosé “And Why Am I Mr Pink,” which is a quote by Steve Buscemi’s character in the Quentin Tarantino film, Reservoir Dogs.

The And Why am I Mr Pink Rosé is 100% Sangiovese, with stylings and flavors which are not unlike the Julia’s Dazzle which we have featured in previous years. It shows hints of strawberry, juicy peaches and cream, and lovely flavors of marzipan and lemon zest bolstering the mid-palate. There is just enough acidity without being tart, and it finishes dry while being rich and slightly sweet in the middle, which helps it pair nicely with briny oysters or spicy Asian cuisine – I had it with homemade Singapore Noodles, and it was great!

Underground Wine Project 2015 "And Why am I Mr Pink" Rosé

Underground Wine Project 2015 “And Why am I Mr Pink” Rosé

Click here to order the “And Why am I Mr Pink” Rosé

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): Jones, Talcott, and Pheasant Vineyards
Grape(s): 100% Sangiovese
Drinkability: Now through the end of 2016
Body: Medium-Full, for a Rosé
Alcohol: 12.7% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Julia’s Dazzle by Longshadows
Food Pairings: Asian Cuisine, Curry, Singapore Noodles

Cheers

Yashar

Analemma Sparkling Blanc de Noir and Rosé

Columbia Gorge Impulse

Analemma 2010 Sparkling Blanc de Noir and 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir

Fellow wine lovers, March is officially “Taste Washington Wine Month,” culminating with the biggest Washington Wine event of the year, Taste Washington, on the 28th and 29th. This year, I’m especially excited for the event, as I am joining the ranks of wine experts, from around the nation, as a panelist for one of the morning seminars. I’ll be on the panel, that Saturday morning, in the seminar spotlighting the Columbia Gorge AVA, along with Matt Stamp MS and three winemakers from the region. If you’re interested in attending and learning more about why the Columbia Gorge might just be the next big thing in Washington Wine, you can get your tickets from the Taste Washington website by clicking here.

Since I’ll be focused on the Columbia Gorge for this seminar, I thought it would be appropriate to offer a wine from the region- something that really demonstrates the breathtaking qualities of Columbia Gorge wines. I can hardly think of anything more appropriate than the wines of Analemma, made by Steven Thompson, who will also be on the panel, as we’ll be tasting and discussing one of his wines then.

Since we’re practically seeing Spring weather on a near regularly basis now, I’ve picked Analemma’s Sparkling wine and their Rosé, both of which are made fully using Pinot Noir grapes from Atavus Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge at the foothills of Mount Adams; which was planted in the 1960’s, making it one of the oldest in the state. This vineyard has always been dry farmed, meaning no irrigation is used, and today it’s also farmed organically.

Analemma 2010 Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine $49.99 (Regularly $56)

Analemma’s bubbly has garnered a lot of attention, with some calling it the best Washington sparkling wine to date, and one of the best on the west coast. This sparkling wine is made in the traditional French Champagne style, and it’s what the French call a Blanc de Noir, which translates to “White from Black”. This means it’s a white wine made from black/red grapes, traditionally Pinot Noir. The wine spends an astounding 42 months on the lees, well beyond anything else I’m aware of in Washington State. This extended aging regimen has helped to jam pack the bubbly full of complexity and nuance. Visually, the wine does show just a slight hint of coppery pink color, extracted from the Pinot Noir Grapes. The nose has just a hint of strawberries, cherry blossoms, and citrus peel. The palate immediately fills your mouth with bubbles and has a smooth creamy texture. There are hints of almond flavors, along with toasty warm notes freshly baked biscuits. The wine has a rich and supple finish, with lots of exuberant acidity, as is the hallmark of many Columbia Gorge Wines.

The Analemma Sparkling Blanc de Noir was chosen by Jon Bonné of the San Francisco Gate as most standout Sparkling wine in his list of Top 100 Wines. Additionally, it was reviewed for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, where it was said to have completely ”floored” the reviewer with its “profoundly complex” nature.

Just 250 cases were made of the Analemma 2010 Atavus Sparkling Blanc de Noir, and today we just 2 cases to offer on Impulse, first come first serve.

Click here to order the Analemma Sparkling Blanc de Noir

Region: Columbia Gorge AVA, Washington State
Vineyard: Atavus Vineyard
Grape: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: 6 months in Neutral French Oak, 42 Months en tirage, disgorged October 2014
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 12.7% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Champagne, high acid wines
Press: Top Sparkling Wine in SF Gate’s Top 100 Wines
Food Pairings: A good sparkling wine goes with almost any food
Production: 250 cases
Availability: 2 cases

Analemma 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir $22.99 (Regularly $25)

It’s never too early in the year for Rosé, and with the series of sunny days we’ve been having, I think it’s high time we share one. The Analemma Rosé of Pinot Noir is made using the same Pinot Noir grapes as the sparkling wine above. Once harvested, the fruit undergoes a long and very gentle whole cluster pressing, which extract just a enough color to make it a Rosé. It has a beautiful yet understated pink hue, and a lovely nose of crushed rose petals and tangerine zest. The palate is rich, creamy, and a little nutty, with lots of crisp acidity and bright citrus flavors. It’s aged for just 6 months in all neutral French oak, to give it extra roundness of texture and hints of brioche flavors from being aged on the lees.

Much like the bubbly above, this Rosé was chosen by Jon Bonné for the San Francisco Gate’s Top 100 wines list- it was among only 4 other Rosés from the west coast which made the list. Additionally Jon Bonné chose it in his list of 10 Key Wines, in a separate article. He described it as being, “As soulful as Rose gets”, with a “feather touch”.

Only 220 cases were made of the Analemma Rosé , and we have just 2 cases to offer today on Impulse, first come serve serve.

Click here to order the Analemma Rosé of Pinot Noir

Region: Columbia Gorge AVA, Washington State
Vineyard: Atavus Vineyard
Grape: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: 6 Months in 100% Neutral French Oak
Drinkability: Now through 2016
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 12.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Lighter Style Rosé
Press: SF Gate Top 100 Wines
Food Pairings: Salmon, and a Sunny Day
Production: 220 cases
Availability: 2 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Brangelina Impulse

Chateau Miraval Provence Rosé by Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie)

 

Fellow wine lovers, as wine becomes ever more popular, we’re seeing an influx of celebrities who are lending their famous names towards launching their own brand of wine, often resulting in something overpriced and mass-produced. So when I heard that Hollywood power-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, known in the entertainment world simply as “Brangelina”, were to debut a label of their own, I approached it with a healthy sense of skepticism. In fact, I dismissed the notion entirely. It wasn’t until I chanced to try the wine for myself, that I was unexpectedly surprised… the wine is good, REALLY good! 

As the L.A. Times put it, “it’s not another crappy celebrity wine” – only problem, once I started to show interest in the wine, everyone told me it would be impossible to get a hold of it, that it was sold out long before it even hit the market, so I never even tried. I figured it was all snatched up by A-list Hollywood types. It wasn’t until a good friend expressed interest that I thought I might try my hand at securing a few bottles, and told him that if could somehow get it, I’d make it the next feature on Impulse

Miraval 2013 Côtes de Provence Rosé $24.99 (Normally $28) 

Chateau MIraval has a storied history, serving as the recording studio for Pink Floyd’s 1979 album “The Wall” and hosting other musicians such as Sting, The Cranberries, and Sade throughout the years. In 2008 Brad and Angelina acquired the estate as their summer home in the South of France, with an eye towards using the property to eventually launch their own wine label. 

Brangelina has teamed up with one of the most recognizable names in Southern French wine, Marc Perrin and the Perrin Family of Châteauneuf-du-Pape fame, makers of the world renowned Beaucastel as well as Tablas Creek Vineyard in California. Together, they’re planting vineyards, experimenting with different grape varieties, and turning out world class wines. 

Last year the Miraval Rosé earned a place of honor among Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of 2013. This year Decanter Magazine rates it 91 points and calls it “mouthwatering.” 

A beautiful shade of light pink in color, the nose is fresh with vibrant orange blossoms and strawberries. The palate is richer and fuller than most other rosés I’ve had recently, with notes of tangerine zest, freshly muddled strawberries, flower petals, and a mineral salinity that comes from Mediterranean climates like the South of France. The Miraval is the most complex Rosé I’ve tasted all year, with a comparably long finish that’s dry and creamy. 

It comes in a very stylish bottle, based on the traditional Provencal style, and we may also have a few magnums (1.5L) available, if you’re interested in those, please email me. 

Click here to order the Miraval Rosé 

Region: Côtes de Provence AOC, France Miraval Provence Rosé by Brangelina
Vineyard: Estate Vineyards 
Grapes: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle 
Aging: 95% stainless steel and in 5% oak barrels with batonnage. 
Drinkability: Now-2017 
Body: Medium 
Alcohol: 13% by volume 
Drink This if you LIke: 
Press: 91 Points from Decanter Magazine 
Food Pairings: Sushi, Nigiri, Sashimi, Salmon Carpaccio 

Cheers 

Yashar

Musing Impulse: Avennia Rosé & Bordeaux

Fellow wine lovers, based on the feedback you’ve given, the wines of Avennia are clearly on the favorite list of the Impulse crowd. Their inaugural release of Bordeaux blends was among our first several offerings last June (click here to read that original offering), then we offered their Rhone style wines when they were released last winter (click here to recap that second offering). Now we have not only the second vintage of both their Bordeaux blends, but we are also debuting their brand new dry Rosé. 

Avennia 2013 l’Egerie Dry Rosé $24.99 

The “l’Egerie” Rosé is named for the French word meaning “The Muse,” as it is bound to inspire many leisurely afternoons of sipping and relaxing. It’s made using the traditional Provencal grape varieties, 65% Grenache and 35% Mourvedre, and just a few sips will practically transport you to a sunny day in the South of France. 

Put your nose in the glass and you’ll get the essence of wild spring-time flowers and fresh strawberries. The palate is light-medium bodied, with flavors of watermelon, ripe berries, and orange blossoms with hints of minerality and a refreshingly crisp finish. It’s not typical to age rosé, but if you put this one in the cellar and forgot about it for a year or so, I’m betting it would turn out pretty nice. 

Avennia only made 125 cases of their “l’Egerie” Rosé, almost all of which was immediately spoken for, which means they are able to offer us a mere 18 bottles. 

Click here to order the l’Egerie Dry Rosé 

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State 
Vineyard: Alder Ridge, Upland, and Heart of the Hill 
Grapes: 65% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre 
Drinkability: Now through 2015 
Body: Light-Medium 
Drink This if you Like: Rosé from Provence (South of France) 
Food Pairings: Carpaccio, Cured Salmon, prawns 
Production: 125 cases 
Availability: 18 bottles 

Avennia 2011 Gravura Bordeaux Blend $34.99 

Now on the second vintage of what is their most popular wine, the Gravura is a bottle which can appeal to most anyone. Deep and complex, yet not too heavy, with a beautiful sense of purity in its fruit, balanced by hints of earthiness. 

A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc, aged in 50% new French oak for 20 months, this is great for everyday sipping and special occasions alike. The nose starts with fresh, dark, berries and then gives way to hints of herbs and smoke. The palate is very smooth, ready to drink, displaying a wonderful exchange of raspberries, cherries, and plums between the Cabernet and Merlot, with hints of spicy peppers as the Cab Franc chimes in. 

Paul Gregutt of the Wine Enthusiast gives the 2011 Gravura 92 points, and we are anticipating perhaps even higher scores to be published by Jeb Dunnuck of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate soon. 

Click here to order the Gravura Bordeaux Blend 

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State 
Grapes: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc 
Aging: 50% new French oak for 20 months 
Drinkability: Now-2020, recommend decanting 
Body: Medium 
Drink This if you Like: Leonetti Cab, DeLille D2, Dunham Trutina 
Press: 90-93 Robert Parker, 91+ Tanzer, 92 Wine Enthusiast 
Food Pairings: Hanger Steak and Grilled Red Peppers 
Production: 600 

Avennia 2011 Sestina Cabernet Blend $54.99 

The Sestina is also on its second vintage, and if the 2010 iteration is any indicator, this wine is built to age. Assembled on old vine fruit coming from Bacchus and Red Willow Vineyards, this flagship red of theirs is something of a big brother to the Gravura, featuring more Cabernet and more new French oak to give it even greater depth of character. A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, the flavors are comparably darker and bolder, showing juicy black cherries, blackberries, and cassis, with firm tannins which will continue to smooth out with time. Aging in 70% new French oak barrels for 20 months has allowed for a sounding of highly integrated flavors of vanilla, toast, and smoke, while also making this blend fuller bodied than little brother Gravura. 

Another round of outstanding scores are given to this 2011 Sestina; Jeb Dunnuck of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate tasted it while still in barrel last June and gave it a projected score of 92-95 points and said the following: 

“…additional purity, depth and texture. Made in a savory, age-worthy style, it exhibits classic Bordeaux-like aromas and flavors of blackberry, smoked meat, pencil shavings and spice box to go with a medium to full-bodied, focused and thrillingly textured palate. Firming up on the finish, with integrated acidity and chewy tannic grip, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will shine for 12-15 years or more. Drink 2016-2028. 

Founded by Chris Peterson (winemaker and formerly of DeLille Cellars) and Marty Taucher, and releasing their first vintage in 2010, this Woodinville-based operation needs to be on everyone’s radar. The wines are superb across the board and while they have solid fruit, they stress purity and elegance, with vibrant cores of acidity. The 2011 reds are also superb across the board.“ 

His final scoring of the finished product should be published soon, and it’s expected to be in the higher end, but by then the wine will likely be completely sold out. Avennia made only 250 cases, of which they are able to make only 5 cases available for us to offer on Impulse

Click here to order the Sestina Cabernet Blend 

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State 
Vineyard: Bacchus, Red Willow 
Grapes: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc 
Aging: 70% new French oak, 20 months 
Drinkability: Now-2025, recommend decanting 
Body: Medium-Full 
Drink This if you like: Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cab, DeLille Chaleur Estate, Leonetti Reserve 
Press: 93-95 Robert Parker, 92+ Tanzer, 92 Enthusiast (Cellar Selection) 
Food Pairings: Dry Aged Beef wit Marrow, Aged Mimolette Cheese 
Production: 250 
Availability: 5 cases 

Reflective Impulse: Boedecker Cellars “Reflection Rosé & Pinot Gris

Fellow wine lovers, you may know by now that I’m a lover of great Pinot Noir and of outstanding Rosé, so it should come as no shock to learn that I’m a big fan of Pinot Noir Rosé. Pinot makes some of the world’s most elegant, flavorful, and food friendly Rosés, and the Boedecker Cellars “Reflection” Rosé is surely among them. Last August I profiled Boedecker Cellars while featuring one of their exquisite single vineyard Pinot Noir, which you can read about here.

Boedecker Cellars 2013 “Reflection” Rosé of Pinot Noir 14.99

This Rosé is made using the same Pinot Noir from Boedecker’s top red wine lots, coming from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Willamette Valley. It’s produced using the “saignée” method, a French word meaning “to bleed”. In this method, Pinot Noir from their individual lots is allowed to soak on its skins for about 2 days, just long enough to get a hint of color, then the juice is “bled” off so that it remains a light pink color. This is a traditional method used in many parts of France to make Rosé. Post saignée, the Reflection Rosé is treated almost like a high end white wine. It’s fermented using native yeasts, in neutral French oak barrels, allowing it to become complex and textured. The native yeast help bring out the best of the Pinot Noir fruit, while aging in barrel with lees stirring gives it a creamy, biscuitty quality.

It’s starts with a nose of roses and mandarin orange zest, then tastes of passion fruit with and creamy mid-palate that reminds you of strawberry shortcakes. It pairs beautifully with with wild salmon belly and freshly shucked oysters, given its bright acidity. Nothing could be better on a sunny day. They only made 475 cases, most of which they keep in Oregon, and I was able to get 4 of those cases to make available on Impulse.

Click here to order the Boedecker “Reflection” Rosé

Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Grape: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: Neutral French oak barrels with lees stirring
Drinkability: Drink now through 2015
Body: Light
Food Pairings: Salmon belly, oysters
Production: 475 cases
Availability: 4 cases

Boedecker Cellars 2013 Pinot Gris $16.99

For some reason, Pinot Gris (aka Pinot Grigio) has gained a reputation for being boring and flavorless; maybe because of the influx of cheap Pinot Grigio imported from Italy. The truth is, Pinot Gris is very flavorful, among the most complex of white wines, and great examples can be found from Italy, France, and Oregon among other places.

Boedecker cultivates theirs from 3 sustainably farmed vineyards in the Willamette Valley (Holmes Gap, Stanton, and Buttonfield Vineyards), planted on sites composed of marine sediment soils with enough warmth to bring Pinot Gris to full ripeness and complexity. Once in the winery, the grapes are crushed as whole clusters and allowed to macerate for 12-24 hours before the juice is pressed of. Allowing the juice, skins, and stems contact with one another like this enables the extraction of more flavor and color while helping the wine to establish a fuller and richer body. During and after fermentation, the yeast (lees) are stirred in order to maximize the absorption of the flavor compounds they produce during what’s known as autolysis. This gives the wine and even richer mouth-feel, with a nutty and creamy mid-palate.

The color is noticeably more pronounced than your average white wine, presenting a glistening coppery hue, with nose of nectarines and preserved lemons. The Boedecker Pinot Gris is fuller bodied relative to a typical Pinot Gris, and has a thick mouth-coating sensation, while still being dry. It shows flavors of ripe apricots alongside a nutty almond character, with a bit of dried orange peel and hints of saffron, reminiscent of an Alsatian style wine. They make only 525 cases, most of which are sold in Oregon, but I was able to secure 4 cases to offer on Impulse.

Click here to order the Boedecker Pinot Gris

Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Vineyard: Holmes Gap, Stanton, and Buttonfield Vineyards
Grape: 100% Pinot Gris
Drinkability: Drink now through
Body: Medium
Food Pairings: Roasted vegetables, squash, white fish, almost anything really
Production: 525 cases
Availability: 4 cases

Dazzling Impulse: Longshadows “Julia’s Dazzle” Rosé

Fellow wine lovers, there’s a little known secret about the Pinot Grigio grape (also known as Pinot Gris)… it’s actually red! Even though the vast majority of wines we see from this grape are white, the popularity of Rosé (pink wine) made from it is quickly on the rise. In Washington, Longshadows Vintners is leading the charge on this concept, and the result is a very unique Rosé which gets everyone so excited in the early spring, that it tends to sell out before summer even has a chance to make an appearance.

Longshadows 2013 “Julia’s Dazzle” Rosé $14.99

The secret to the hint of red is in the skins of the Pinot Grigio, as is the case with most red grapes. The juice within virtually all red grapes is clear, while it’s the skins which hold all the color. When the grapes are crushed, the juice and the skins are allowed contact with one another, and the color is then imparted onto the juice. The longer the skin contact, the more colorful the wine, much like when steeping tea.

This special plot of Pinot Grigio comes from Longshadows’ own estate vineyard called “The Benches”, formerly known as the Wallula Vineyard. A best kept secret of theirs, this site provides the main ingredient for Longshadows’ astonishing line-up of highly desirable wines such as the “Feather” Cabernet and the “Pedestal” Merlot. It’s also the site from which their “Dance” Chardonnay is plucked, which I featured on Impulse last November.

Placed in a very pretty traditional Provençal style bottle, a hint at winemaker Gilles Nicault’s time spent making wine in the Provence region of France. Great thing is, when you’re done enjoying the wine, the bottle makes a lovely flower vase or fodder for your next art project!

Julia's Dazzle RoseProperly apropo as we’re increasingly seeing the sun now, the Julia’s Dazzle is quickly becoming a secret seasonal favorite of Washington wine lovers everywhere. It’s light and crisp, with hints of strawberries, watermelon, citrus, and flowers. Easy drinking, it has just a hint of sweetness, providing appeal for those who don’t want a bone dry Rosé, while still being very enjoyable for lovers of a drier style. The Julia’s Dazzle tends to sell out long before we’re in full-on sunny weather, so it’s best to stock up with plans of supplying yourself through the summer and fall.

Click here to order the Julia’s Dazzle Rosé

Region: Horse Heaven Hills
Vineyard: The Benches a.k.a. Wallula Vineyard
Grape: 98% Pinot Grigio and 2% Sangiovese
Drinkability: Now through the end of the year
Body: light
Food Pairings: Fruit salad, salmon lox, shellfish