Washington Wine Report – Sean Sullivan
Sean Sullivan takes us through five Washington roses under $15, two of which are from the Precept family of wines: 2011 Waterbrook Sangiovese Rose and the 2010 Apex Grenache Rose.
In tough times, we continue the search for good, inexpensive wines. Juliettes Dazzle is in all respects one of the more fascinating rose of the 2011 vintage. The wine comes from Allen Shoup and Gilles Nicault of Long Shadows but is produced and bottled independent of the winery. The story goes that several years ago Shoup asked Nicault to produce a dry rose to share with family and friends. At the imploring of said family and friends, Shoup decided to produce a larger amount of the wine so that it could be commercially available and voile ! Here it is. The fruit for this wine comes from The Benches and was set aside specifically for rose. Though Pinot Gris is a white grape, the skins have pink tinge (a touch of Sangiovese is also added here). There may be other pinot gris rose produced in Washington, but this is the first I have come across. The wine, which is named after Shoups granddaughter, also has one of the more visually striking packages to be found on the Washington wine shelves with a flared top, tapered bottom, and a silk screened label. Better yet, the wine itself delivers and is among my favorite rose from the 2011 vintage. Barnard Griffin has long made a mark with its Rose of Sangiovese since its first vintage in 2002. The 2011 vintage, however, provided some challenges with the winerys vineyard sources hit hard by the November 2010 freeze. Subsequently, the winery had to look for alternative sources across the Columbia Valley. Though this wine has a bit more weight on the palate than some recent vintages, true to form, it still provides a lot of enjoyment for the price. Charles and Charles is a joint project from winemakers Charles Smith and Charles Bieler. This wine is 100% Syrah from a variety of sources across Columbia Valley. The wine sports the moniker, Yes you can drink rose and still be bad ass! Enough said. The final two wines come from Waterbrook Winery and Apex Cellars and further display the diversity of rose produced in the state with the Waterbrook another Sangiovese rose and the Apex wine made from Grenache. Indeed, as I wrote recently, rose is made from just about every red grape produced in Washington. Look for a future post on rose $16 and up but for now, drink up! ”