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Posts from the ‘Rosé’ Category

New Release Rosé Wines from Bonny Doon

Bonny Doon Vineyard began with an attempt to replicate Burgundy in California. Randall Grahm realized early on that he would have far more success working with Rhône varieties in the Central Coast of California. In 1986 Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this continues as the winery’s flagship/starship brand. Over the years Bonny Doon became best known for their mass produced Big House Red, Cardinal Zin and Pacific Rim Riesling. Randall later decided that he wanted to focus on making unique, distinct, soulful wines and sold off these larger brands.

I recently had the opportunity to sample some new rosé wines from Bonny Doon.

2013 Bonny Doon Vin Gris Tuile – Light orange in color. 13% ABV. 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvedre, 10% Roussanne, 7% Cinsault, 3% Carignane and 2% Grenache Blanc. Peculiar nose of sherry, walnut and citrus. Creamy on the palate. Light body with a touch of acidity. Flavors of sherry, dried apricots, and blood orange. More of an aperitif than a traditional rosé. Unique but certainly not for everybody. Drink this Summer. $26 at the winery. My rating: 88 points.

2015 Bonny Doon “A Proper Pink” – Dark pink in color. 13% ABV. 69% Tannat and 31% Cabernet Franc. Citrus, watermelon and sour patch gummies on the nose. Medium body with bright acidity. Pink grapefruit, green apple and cherries on the palate. Just a touch to much sweetness on the finish. Drink on a scorching hot Summer day. $13 at the winery. My rating: 87 points.

2015 Bonny Doon Cigliegiolo Rosato – Light ruby red in color. 12.4% ABV. Ciliegiolo is related to Sangiovese and the grapes for this wine are from Mt. Oso Vineyards in the Tracy Hills. Super nose of fresh cherries and cranberries. Medium to full body with juicy acidity. Watermelon, cherries and minerals on the palate. The fruit is crisp and refreshing. Really delicious. $24 at the winery. My rating: 90 points.

2015 Bonny Doon Vin Gris De Cigare – Salmon in color. 13.5% ABV. 44% Grenache, 20% Grenache Blanc, 13% Carignane, 10% Mourvedre, 7% Cinsault and 6% Roussanne. Red fruits and citrus on the nose. Medium body with medium acidity. Strawberry, cherry and watermelon the palate. This is a rosé for a red wine drinker and without question my favorite in the lineup. Nicely done. Drink over the next 1-2 years. $18 at the winery. My rating: 91 points.

Without exception this was a fun set of wines. Well crafted and fairly priced. As an aside the wines are also attractively packaged and each bottle was under screw cap. Tasting these wines has truly opened my eyes to the passion that Randall Graham is pouring into Bonny Doon. I would advise you to shop accordingly.

Samples provided by the winery.

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Washington Rosé Recommendations

I had planned to save the post until the first day of Summer, but lets face it, Summer is here despite what the calendar says. Every year I try to write about a few new Rosé wines to put on your radar for Summer sipping. Last years suggestions can be found Washington Rose Recommendations for Memorial Day.

I find my preference in Rosé wines shifting to the flavors more associated with the Bandol region of Provence and away from the jolly rancher/juicy fruit flavors I often see in domestic Rosé. The wines of Bandol traditionally have  a high percentage of Mourvedre and smaller amounts of Grenache and Cinsault.

Below are Bottle Notes on three wines that fit what I am looking for in a terrific Rosé.

Lauren Ashton and Syncline are rather well known in the Pacific Northwest and I have blogged about Lauren Ashton previously. Coral Wines is a new producer to me. Coral Wines was co-founded in 2013 by Advanced Sommelier Christopher Chan and Business Executive Peggy Reddy.

2014 Coral Wines Rosé Wine – 85% Mourvedre and 15% Cinsault. Light salmon in color. 13.9% ABV. Fresh Strawberries, and flowers on the nose. Light, airy and fresh. Watermelon, cranberries and spice on the palate. Delicious wine that is really well made and unique. A rosé for a red wine drinker. $20 at retail. My rating: 91 points.

2014 Syncline Rosé Wine – 38% Mourvedre, 32% Cinsault, 30% Grenache. Very light salmon in color. 13.4 ABV. Red fruits, watermelon and minerals on the nose. Light body with crisp acidity. Bone dry. Fresh strawberries, rhubarb and spice on the palate. A delightful wine to be enjoyed this summer. $20 at retail. My rating: 90 points.

2014 Lauren Ashton Rosé Wine – 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvedre. Pink/orange in color. 13.3% ABV. Delicate nose of fresh strawberries, minerals and flowers. Light body with zingy acidity. Blood orange, cranberry and spices on the palate. Refreshing and crisp with just a hint of sweetness. Medium length finish. $18 at retail. My rating:91 points.

By all accounts we are in for a long, hot Summer. Stock your wine cellar accordingly.

I’d love to hear about your go to Washington Rosé Wines?

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Washington Rosé Recommendations for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen soldiers. It is also the unofficial kickoff of grilling season and a great time to sit on the deck with a bottle of Rosé. Smart wineries are releasing their Rosé right now in advance of the hot weather and smart consumers should be stocking their cellars for the Summer.

Below are some new release wines that will make it into my Rosé repertoire over the coming months.

    • 2013 Board Track Racer The Vincent – From Mark Ryan. Salmon colored. 13.9% ABV. Rosé of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Cranberry and floral notes on the nose. Medium acidity and slightly tart. Peach cobbler, strawberries and watermelon on the palate. Somewhat brooding for a Rosé. Definitely a food wine. Cool label for those inclined to such things. $15 at retail. My rating: 90 points.
    • 2013 Trust Cellars – Pinkish red in color. 12.5% ABV. Rosé of Cabernet Franc. Strawberry and orange zest on the nose. Light acidity and a touch of sweetness. Cherry Jolly Rancher and watermelon on the palate. A touch sweeter than I would like but this will have a place on a scorching hot August afternoon. $17 at retail. My rating: 88 points.
    • 2013 Seven Hills – Light salmon colored. 11.8% ABV. Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Pear and flowers on the nose. Rich with lively acidity. Strawberry, cherry and a hint of spice on the palate. Bone dry and nicely balanced. A total bargain at $14. My rating: 89 points.

So there is a shopping list of 3 nicely made Rosé wines just in time for a Memorial Day barbecue. I’d love to hear about your favorite Washington Rosé style wines.

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Washington Rosé Recommendations for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives serving our country in the. For better or for worse, it is also the official kick off of summer barbecue season. I previously wrote about the Great Whites of Washington, and while these are some super wines to have in your cellar as the weather heats up, you would be remiss if you did not pick up at least a mixed case of Rosé wines as well.

Here are three favorite Rosé wines that will get consumed in copious quantities over the next several months at the Zinfandel Chronicles headquarters.

2012 Gorman 42-39-56 – The name of this wine is almost worth the price of admission in and of itself (in case you don’t know, it is a reference to the classic AD/DC song Whole Lotta Rosie). 13.5% ABV. Made from Syrah and Cabernet. Strawberries, raspberries and watermelon leap from the glass. Bright acidity. A Rosé wine for a red wine drinker and a wine that will pair perfectly with a summer salad. My rating: 90 points. $15 at the winery.

2012 Ross Andrew Meadow Rosé – 12.7% ABV. Made from Sangiovese. Salmon colored. Strawberries, spice, mineral, boysenberry and a hint of citrus. Super refreshing. Crisp acidity. Wait until the first day of 85 degrees and enjoy this wine on your back deck. My rating: 87 points. $16 at the winery.

2012 Sleight of Hand Cellars The Magician’s Assistant Rosé – 13.5% ABV. Made from Cabernet Franc. A light copper in color. Melon, peppers and strawberries on the palate. Racy acidity. Great mouthfeel. 88 points. $18 at the winery.

So there’s your shopping list of 3 easy drinking Rosé wines just in time for a Memorial Day barbecue. I’d love to hear about your favorite Washington Rosé style wines.

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2011 Betz Petite Rousse – Bottle Notes

Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. Although the winery was recently sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker) I expect quality will remain high for years to come.

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