Northwest wineries producing superb dry rosés

By Jackie Johnston – Copyright Wine Press Northwest 

(This article is abstracted. Read the full story here)

An astonishing number of Pacific Northwest wineries are now making rosés — and Oregon’s Willamette Valley is making some of our region’s best.

In our judging of Northwest rosés, those made by Willamette Valley producers using the region’s signature Pinot Noir quickly rose to the top, capturing the top three positions and seven of the 17 wines to earn our “Outstanding” rating.

For the most part, Northwest rosés are dry. In fact, the 99 wines in this judging averaged 0.59% residual sugar, which is below the threshold at which most wine lovers can perceive sweetness. Add in crisp acidity, and most of the wines came across as bone dry. Just 19 wines exceeded 1% in residual sugar, and eight were higher than 2%.

This bodes well for pairing with food. The rosés we tasted would match well with a wide variety of cuisine. It’s especially good with summer dishes such as barbecued ribs, pasta dishes, Asian cuisine and Tex-Mex.

The competition was conducted in April at the Clover Island Inn in Kennewick, Wash. The judges included: Heather Unwin, executive director of the Red Mountain AVA Alliance; Ken Robertson, Wine Press Northwest columnist; Dave Seaver, Wine Press Northwest tasting panelist; and Andy Perdue of It was moderated by Eric Degerman of

Best Buy!
Waterbrook Winery 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $12 This Walla Walla Valley giant has made rosé for ages, and winemaker John Freeman has this version dialed in and tasting delicious. It is made with Sangiovese and is crisp and dry. It opens with pretty aromas of pomegranate, strawberry and Queen Anne cherry with just a hint of rose petal. On the palate, it offers flavors of watermelon, red currant and white strawberry. (3,200 cases, 12.8% alc.)

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