Tasting results: Rosé

Northwest wineries producing superb dry rosés

Wine Press NorthwestMay 23, 2013 

Northwest wineries are producing superb dry rosés

JACKIE JOHNSTON — Wine Press Northwest

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.

Dai Crisp, owner of Lumos Wine Co., said making a pink Pinot Noir is not necessarily easy.

“There’s a lot that can go wrong fast,” he said. “Pinot Noir is tricky to grow and make into a beautiful wine. White wines are particularly tough because it is so challenging to keep the delicate aromas. If the fermentation goes too fast, you can lose those aromas.”

Crisp said the difficulty of making a high-quality rosé likely resulted in 23 of the 99 wines not making the cut — an unusually high number.

“It’s difficult to make an expressive rosé that is clean with no microbial problems,” he said. “It can reveal winemaking faults (more than red wines).”

Rosés are a hot category now, which likely led to so many being entered in this competition — about twice as many as we expected.

Crisp, however, wasn’t too surprised, especially after a recent sales trip to New York City.

“New York and other cities on the East Coast are serious about drinking rosé,” he said. “As soon as it warms up, it is rosé season.”

He recounted one small New York City wine shop owner who said he will typically go through as many as 600 cases of rosé each spring and summer.

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 GreatNorthwestWine.com.

It was moderated by Eric Degerman of GreatNorthwestWine.com.

Here are the results:

OUTSTANDING

Left Coast Cellars 2012 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $18 The top wine in this massive judging of Northwest rosés comes from the Willamette Valley town of Rickreall, Ore., not far from Salem. This winery uses 104 acres of estate fruit for its wines, and this pretty pink bottling is a beauty, thanks to the skills of winemaker Joe Wright. It opens with alluring aromas of light cherry, peach and spice, followed by flavors of pink grapefruit, strawberry and cherry, all backed with just a hint of sweetness. It’s a gorgeous wine for enjoying on a sunny Northwest summer day. (275 cases, 13% alc.)

Lumos Wine Co. 2012 Chiquita Pinot Noir Rosé, Oregon, $20 This is just the second rosé made by Dai Crisp, owner/winemaker at Lumos in Philomath, Ore., and it’s obvious he’s onto something. The 2011 won a Platinum last fall in our best-of-the-best competition, and now the 2012 finishes No. 2 out of 99 pinks. It’s a stunner with aromas of Honeycrisp apple, strawberry, pomegranate and raspberry. On the palate, it offers flavors of honeysuckle, peach, minerality and white pepper. The length left us in awe. This is seriously great wine. (87 cases, 12.5% alc.)

Elk Cove Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley. $16 Second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell crafts some of Oregon’s finest Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and he shows off his prowess with pink wines as well. This opens with stunning aromas of strawberry, pomegranate, apricot and cinnamon, followed by loads of flavors, including cranberry, pink grapefruit and cherry. It’s a delicate wine with a lingering finish. (2,500 cases, 13% alc.)

Best Buy!
Bateaux Cellars 2012 Rosé of Sangiovese, Yakima Valley. $14
This small producer in the town of Toledo, Wash. — along Interstate 5 between Castle Rock and Chehalis — has used Airfield Estates fruit to craft a stunning rosé from a grape with Italian heritage. Its beautiful color leads to stunning aromas of cranberry, pomegranate, cinnamon and white strawberry. On the palate, it offers flavors of peach, strawberry cotton candy and red currant, all backed with racy acidity. Said one judge: “It made me feel like I was in France.” (50 cases, 13.4% alc.)

Treveri Cellars NV Brut Rosé, Columbia Valley. $18 The only bubbly in our judging was a stunner from a Yakima Valley winery that has quickly made a name for itself with sparkling wines. This was a gorgeous pink-hued wine with aromas of strawberry, raspberry jam and cherry, backed with flavors of dried cranberry, white strawberry, peach and apricot. The bubbles lifted the fruit and the spirit nicely. (1,500 cases, 12% alc.)

Best Buy!
Barnard Griffin 2012 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $12
Owner/winemaker Rob Griffin has established himself as the king of Northwest rosés, as this wine has won a gold or better in a major competition for the past eight years. This won best rosé at the Great Northwest Wine Competition in March, and for good reason. It is a vibrant color of pink, followed by gorgeous aromas of fresh strawberry, raspberry and clove. On the palate, it delivers flavors of Marionberry, strawberry taffy and peach. It’s a bright wine with beveled corners and salivating flavors. (7,000 cases, 12.6% alc.)

Best Buy!
Thurston Wolfe Winery 2012 Second Chance Rosé, Yakima Valley, $13
Winemaker Wade Wolfe made this from Lemberger, a rare Austrian red grape that is grown a bit in Washington, and he named this for Chance, his rescue dog. It is a vibrant wine with aromas of pomegranate, cranberry and yellow grapefruit, followed by lip-smacking flavors of white strawberry, cranberry and red currant. It is delightfully dry and entirely approachable. (145 cases, 12.5% alc.)

Patton Valley Vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, $18 Winemaker Derek Einberger used estate grapes to craft a Pinot Noir rosé that is bright and delicate yet vibrant and bold. It opens with aromas of apricot, raspberry, slate and clove, followed by flavors that include blood orange, Meyer Lemon and cherry. We thought this would be perfect with teriyaki chicken or an egg salad sandwich. (550 cases, 12.9% alc.)

Raptor Ridge Winery 2012 Rosé, Willamette Valley, $20 Owner/winemaker Scott Shull made this primarily from Pinot Noir, though he added a bit of old vine Gewürztraminer from Tualatin Estate Vineyard. It’s a superb dry wine with aromas of strawberry, pomegranate, clove and orange oil, followed by flavors of raspberry, ripe strawberry and fresh cranberry. (250 cases, 14% alc.)

Goose Ridge Estate Winery 2011 Rosé de Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley, $18 Pinot Gris is thought of as a white wine, yet the grapes are not white like Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc. As this wine proves, you can get a lot of color from Pinot Gris if you leave the skins on the juice for, oh, 36 hours. The result here is a salmon-colored wine with aromas of apple, watermelon and Mandarin orange. On the palate, it reveals flavors of orange zest, apricot and tangelo. It has a bit of sweetness (1.4% residual sugar), yet it is backed up with dazzling acidity. (200 cases, 12% alc.)

Ross Andrew Winery 2012 Meadow Rosé, Columbia Valley, $16 Made from Sangiovese, this superb rosé got its pretty pink color from just 12 hours of skin contact. It opens with aromas of strawberry, clove and orange blossom, followed by flavors of fresh Rainier cherry and strawberry/rhubarb jam. It’s a wine that delivers full flavors to the palate yet is filled with finesse on the nose. (200 cases, 12.7% alc.)

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2011 Rosé Wine Cuvée, Umpqua Valley, $17 Owner/winemaker Stephen Reustle blended three red and three white grapes together to craft this delicious rosé. It offers aromas of strawberry, clove and orchard blossom, followed by flavors of white peach, Honeycrisp apple and white strawberry. It’s a zingy, lip-smacking wine. (180 cases, 12.5% alc.)

Ponzi Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, $20 This Oregon Pinot Noir pioneer continues to produce some superb wines, and this rosé by second-generation winemaker Luisa Ponzi is brilliant, with inviting aromas of cherry, red currant and raspberry, followed by beautiful flavors of Benton cherry, peach and raspberry. This is a perfect wine to enjoy with grilled or baked salmon. (1,000 cases, 13.3% alc.)

Wild Rose Vineyard 2012 Denise's Blushing Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $20 Owner/winemaker Carlos Figueroa is crafting superb wines from his winery near Winston, Ore. This delicious rosé offers aromas of watermelon, Rainier cherry and fresh strawberry, followed by flavors of fresh strawberry, lingonberry and juicy plum. It’s off-dry at 2.5% residual sugar, yet the bright acidity rounds out the sweetness and provides terrific length. (32 cases, 11.7% alc.)

Martinez & Martinez Winery 2012 May Mae Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $17 The Martinez family has been growing grapes in the Horse Heaven HIlls for three decades,and this delicious rosé is made using Cabernet Sauvignon from estate and Alder Ridge Vineyard fruit. It’s a beautiful wine with fantastic aromas of cranberry, pomegranate, red currant and a North African spice market. On the palate, it is delicious with flavors of fresh-picked strawberry, cherry and watermelon candy. It’s off-dry at 2.7% residual sugar, but it carries the sweetness well. (400 cases, 11.5% alc.)

Mt. Hood Winery 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé, Columbia Gorge, $17 Last year, this Hood River, Ore., winery finished No. 3 in our Platinum Judging with a Riesling, and now it scores another top award for its rosé using Columbia Gorge grapes. This is a head-turning pink wine with inviting aromas of fresh raspberry, apple and cotton candy, followed by flavors of cherry and strawberry. It has a touch of sweetness, thanks to 1.9% residual sugar, making this a perfect wine to pair with a comfortable chair and a summer sunset. (200 cases, 12% alc.)

Best Buy!
Henry Estate 2012 Veraison, Oregon, $13
Longtime Umpqua Valley producer Henry Estate has crafted a delicious pink wine made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It offers lively aromas of pomegranate, clove and strawberry, followed by spritzy flavors of rhubarb pie, cherry and peach lemonade. It has a bit of sweetness that is rounded nicely with ample acidity. (1,210 cases, 13.5% alc.)

EXCELLENT

Best Buy!
Tickle Me Pink 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $12
This is a second label for Page Cellars in Woodinville, and it is delicious. It opens with aromas of Red Delicious apple, rhubarb pie and ginger tea, followed by flavors of cranberry juice and something that reminded us of a Hostess cherry pie. This is a lovely, fruity wine well worth including for casual dinners or picnics. (200 cases, 13.7% alc.)

Best Buy!
Firesteed Cellars 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, $14
Firesteed is a longtime Oregon winery that is used to producing superb wines at stellar prices. This is a vibrant wine with gorgeous aromas of cranberry, pomegranate and clove, followed by flavors of watermelon, white strawberry, red currant and dried cranberry. It is bone dry and beautiful. (617 cases, 13.8% alc.)

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.)

Patterson Cellars 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $17 Owner/winemaker John Patterson blended Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc for this superb rosé. It reveals aromas of strawberry and cherry blossom, followed by flavors loaded with raspberry, red currant and rose water. It is crisp and delicious. (300 cases, 13.9% alc.)

Best Buy!
Julia’s Dazzle 2012 Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $15
Julia’s Dazzle is a new label for Long Shadows in Walla Walla, and winemaker Gilles Nicault made this by blending Pinot Grigio (98%) with Sangiovese using grapes from the estate Benches Vineyard in the eastern Horse Heaven Hills. It offers aromas of apple, rose petal and apricot, followed by elegant flavors of orange, pie cherry and even blueberry. This is packaged in a striking bowling pin-shaped bottle. (1,800 cases, 13.7% alc.)

Eye of the Needle Winery 2012 Rosé of Merlot, Columbia Valley, $20 This young winery in the Woodinville warehouse district has crafted a delicious rosé from Merlot that reveals aromas of apple, cranberry and clove, followed by flavors of cherry, pomegranate and a hint of kumquat. It has just a hint of residual sugar that rounds the edges. (85 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Lost River Winery 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $15
Winemaker John Morgan has crafted a delicious and affordable pink using Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a hint of Syrah. The resulting wine opens with aromas of rose water, pink peppercorn, cherry blossoms and cream soda. On the palate, it offers flavors of raspberry, strawberry, pear and apricot. The 0.75% residual sugar is barely perceptible. (140 cases, 13.9% alc.)

Kaella Winery 2012 Rosé, Red Mountain, $17 This small Woodinville winery crafted this rosé using Sangiovese grapes from vaunted Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on warm Red Mountain. It is a pretty wine with aromas of strawberry, cinnamon and watermelon, followed by flavors of Rainier cherry and cranberry. The nearly 2% residual sugar barely reveals itself, thanks to cleansing acidity. (70 cases, 13.4% alc.)

Mt. Hood Winery 2012 Malbec Dry Rosé, Columbia Gorge, $17 One of the top wineries in the Columbia Gorge is crafting two different rosés. This is made from Malbec using local grapes. It offers aromas of fresh apricot and orange oil, followed by flavors of raspberry, red currant and Montmorency cherry. This is a great food wine, which we would pair with everything from salmon to fried chicken. (100 cases, 12.4% alc.)

J.K. Carriere 2012 Glass White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $20 This top Oregon producer used grapes from Temperence Hill and Wahl vineyards to produce a delicious rosé. It offers aromas of apricot, huckleberry and Mandarin orange, followed by flavors of strawberry, watermelon, dried cherry and citrus. We love the length, which will help it pair well with salmon. (594 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Brooks Wines 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, $22 This delicious wine went into bottle in March, yet it’s already showing beautifully. This opens with vibrant aromas of fresh strawberry and cherry, followed by flavors that include cherry, lemon, quince and caramel. (300 cases, 13.9% alc.)

Tildio Winery 2012 Rosado, Lake Chelan, $18 Chateau Ste. Michelle alum Katy Perry now makes wine at her estate on the north shore of Lake Chelan. This delicious rosé opens with aromas of strawberry, cranberry and cinnamon, along with flavors of apricot, grapefruit, lime zest and strawberry-rhubarb compote. Bright acidity backs up all the yummy fruit flavors. (50 cases, 13% alc.)

Best Buy!
Two Mountain Winery 2012 Rosé, Yakima Valley, $15
This winery in the Rattlesnake Hills area of the Yakima Valley is run by brothers Matthew and Patrick Rawn. For this rosé, they blended Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The resulting wine offers aromas of rhubarb-cherry pie and hints of sundried tomato, followed by flavors of strawberry and sweet herbs that give way to a delicious and tangy finish. (224 cases, 12.9% alc.)

Girardet 2012 Pink Pinot, Umpqua Valley, $16 Longtime second-generation winemaker Marc Girardet blended 80% Pinot Noir with Pinot Gris to craft a delicious rosé. It offers aromas of cinnamon, cranberry and pomegranate that give way to flavors of spearmint, strawberry and even hints of pineapple. (500 cases, 11.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Kestrel Vintners 2012 Rosé, Yakima Valley, $13
Longtime Yakima Valley winemaker Flint Nelson blended Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Mourvèdre and Syrah to create this yummy and bone dry rosé. It has gorgeous color and inviting aromas of strawberry, lemon zest and freshly grated ginger. On the entry, huge acidity backs up flavors of pink grapefruit, pomegranate and sassy strawberry. (600 cases, 13.7% alc.)

Best Buy!
Parejas Cellars 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $14
Yakima Valley winemaker Mark Wysling blended Albariño, Marsanne, Roussanne, Counoise, Cinsault and Grenache Blanc to craft this delicious pale rosé. It opens with aromas of peach, apple and cinnamon, then gives way to flavors of huckleberry, blueberry and white peach. It has a great mouth feel. (50 cases, 12.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2012 Reserve Rosé, Snake River Valley, $15
Omnipresent winemaker Greg Koenig blended Merlot, Grenache and Mourvèdre to craft this luscious rosé. It opens with aromas of golden raspberry, clove and cherry, followed by flavors of peach, apricot, tangerine and minerality. With acidity close to perfect, this has great structure and will pair beautifully with pizza, barbecued chicken or pasta with a red sauce. (974 cases, 12.7% alc.)

Best Buy!
Delfino Vineyard 2011 Vin Gris de Zinfandel, Umpqua Valley, $14
This might be made with Zinfandel, but it is no California Kool-Aid. Rather, it’s a seriously dry — and seriously delicious — rosé. It has the color of Copper River salmon (and will pair nicely with it), and it shows off aromas of strawberry and cherry, followed by flavors of pineapple, cherry and strawberry. (253 cases, 12.8% alc.)

Best Buy!
Abacela 2012 Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $15
Winemaker Andrew Wenzl has proven a wizard with rosé, and this effort is impressive, thanks to aromas of cranberry juice and raspberry, along with flavors of watermelon, white strawberry and clove. We suggest pairing with paella or barbecued wings. (292 cases, 13.2% alc.)

Best Buy!
Naches Heights Vineyard 2012 VuJa De, Yakima Valley , $15
This Rhône-inspired rosé consists of Counoise, Cinsault, Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, and it might just inspire you to catch a flight to Avignon. It opens with aromas of Red Delicious apple, slate and cherry blossoms. On the palate, it is crisp from the beginning and offers flavors of cranberry, watermelon and strawberry. (127 cases, 13% alc.)

Robison Ranch Cellars 2012 Rosé of Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $19 This Walla Walla Valley producer has crafted a delicious rosé using Merlot grapes that opens with aromas of strawberry, cotton candy and flannel. On the palate, it offers flavors of blood orange, cranberry and a Hostess cherry pie. We are particularly smitten with the Charles Russell drawing on the label. (68 cases, 14.9% alc.)

Amelia Wynn 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $20 Bainbridge Island winemaker Paul Bianchi blended Merlot and Syrah from the Walla Walla Valley with Sangiovese from Red Mountain to craft this delicious rosé. It offers aromas of strawberry and cherry blossoms, followed by big flavors of strawberry and pomegranate. (50 cases, 14.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Jones of Washington 2012 Rosé of Syrah, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $13
Winemaker extraordinaire Victor Palencia crafted this Syrah rosé from estate grapes in Washington’s newest appellation. It opens with pretty aromas of rose water, orange zest and watermelon, followed by flavors of pomegranate, cherry and strawberry. (346 cases, 12.7% alc.)

Best Buy!
Cinder Winery 2012 Dry Rosé, Snake River Valley, $15
Winemaker Melanie Krause made this 100% Syrah from two vineyards in the warm, high-elevation region of the Snake River Valley west of Boise. This offers aromas of apricot, cherry and fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon buns. Its flavors of black cherry, coconut and pomegranate lead to a memorable finish. (300 cases, 13.3% alc.)

Bergström Wines 2012 Rosé, Willamette Valley, $25 Owner/winemaker Josh Bergstrom crafted this rosé using Pinot Noir, and it is pale in color and bone dry. It offers aromas of cherry and strawberry, followed by flavors of raspberry, violet and lime zest. (343 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Quady North Winery 2012 Rosé, Rogue Valley, $14
Second-generation winemaker Herb Quady is making his mark in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. This rosé of Syrah and Grenache is an intensely beautiful color with aromas of pomegranate and raspberry, followed by flavors of cranberry, watermelon and strawberry-rhubarb. (545 cases, 12% alc.)

Best Buy!
Purple Star Wines 2011 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $8
Winemaker Kyle Johnson made his mark with Olsen Estates in the Yakima Valley before going out on his own with Purple Star. This blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from two Wahluke Slope vineyards is a pretty wine with aromas of cinnamon and strawberry, followed by flavors of lemon zest, apple and plum. It’s a seriously dry and delicious rosé. (271 cases, 12.9% alc.)

Ardiri Winery & Vineyards 2012 Pink Tractor Rosé, Willamette Valley, $25 This small producer in the Chehalem Mountains in the northern Willamette Valley used fruit from its estate vineyard. The result is a delicious rosé with aromas of rhubarb, strawberry and cinnamon, followed by flavors of pink grapefruit, peach and melon. It has just a hint of sweetness. (125 cases, 11.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Apolloni Vineyards 2012 Rosé, Willamette Valley, $15
Winemaker Alfredo Apolloni added just a touch of Viognier to this rosé of Pinot Noir. It’s a pretty wine with aromas of strawberry and raspberry and flavors of pomegranate, pie cherry and red currant. It’s all backed with bright, sassy acidity. (496 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Cave B Estate Winery 2012 Saignee, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $18 Winemaker Freddy Arredondo used 100% Merlot and left the juice on the skins for a mere 24 hours. The resulting wine opens with aromas of Bing cherry and plum, followed by flavors of blood orange, cherry-rhubarb compote and strawberry jam. It is bone dry and will pair beautifully with everything from lasagna to spicy curry dishes. (314 cases, 13.5% alc.)

MonksGate Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé, Yamhill-Carlton, $19 Prolific Oregon winemaker Laurant Montalieu crafted this from estate clone 115 Pinot Noir. Its vibrant aromas of strawberry-rhubarb jam and toffee lead to flavors of cherry, apricot and raspberry. (47 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Cubanisimo Vineyards 2012 Rosado de Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $19 Winemaker Rob Stuart crafted this wine from estate grapes, allowing skin contact for 18 hours. It results in a beautiful wine with aromas of cherry, strawberry and rose petals, followed by flavors of Van cherry, strawberry and pomegranate. (217 cases, 12.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Farm Girl 2011 Rosé, Yakima Valley, $13
Yakima Valley winemaker Robert Smasne — our 2013 Washington Winery of the Year recipient — crafted this from Sangiovese, Grenache and Petite Sirah. As a result, it’s a darker hue than most, and it reveals aromas of strawberry and black pepper. On the palate, it shows splashy flavors of sweet herbs, cherry and raspberry. (250 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Rio Vista Wines 2012 Wild Rosé Rosé, Columbia Valley, $18 John Little grows his grapes and makes his wine along the Columbia River north of the road to Lake Chelan. This is a blend of Merlot and Syrah, and it offers aromas of clove, watermelon and Rainier cherry. On the palate, it reveals flavors of raspberry, cranberry and strawberry. (100 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Ott and Murphy Wines 2012 Chanson Rosé, Columbia Valley, $17 Winemaker Eric Murphy crafts his wine in the Whidbey Island town of Langley, and he brought the Mourvèdre grapes for this rosé from the Yakima Valley. It reveals aromas of Honeycrisp apple and flavors of strawberry, Asian pear and orange marmalade. We would pair this with pepperoni pizza or baked ham. (115 cases, 12.9% alc.)

Troon Vineyard 2012 Foundation '72 Rosé, Applegate Valley, $16 Winemaker Herb Quady crafted this from Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo and other grapes. It reveals aromas of Honeycrisp apple and pomegranate and flavors of cherry, strawberry and raspberry. It’s a dry wine with bright, racy acidity. (100 cases, 11.8% alc.)

Hightower Cellars 2012 Murray Rosé, Red Mountain, $18 Tim and Kelly Hightower run their eponymous winery and vineyard at the end of Sunset Road on Red Mountain. This delicious estate rosé offers aromas of Bing cherry, red currant and clove, followed by flavors of ripe strawberry, almond extract and blood orange. It’s a delicious and complex pink. (194 cases, 14.4% alc.)

RECOMMENDED

Saviah Cellars 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $18 This delicious blend of Sangiovese and Barbera shows off aromas and flavors of fresh pear, Red Delicious apple, strawberry and fresh caramel. It shows some great length and should pair well with pasta or even sushi. (210 cases, 13.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Williamson Vineyards 2011 Blossom Sangiovese Rosé, Snake River Valley, $12
This tasty rosé from southern Idaho offers aromas and flavors of strawberry, Rainier cherry and tangerine. It is bone dry, allowing the ample fruit to shine through. (96 cases, 14% alc.)

Malaga Springs Winery 2012 Sangiovese Rosé, Washington, $17 This winery south of the Columbia River near Wenatchee has crafted a yummy rosé with aromas and flavors of cherry-rhubarb pie, pink grapefruit and strawberry. It offers a nice note of honey on the finish. (80 cases, 13.8% alc.)

Best Buy!
Vin du Lac Winery 2011 Lehm Rosé, Lake Chelan, $15
Larry Lehmbecker, one of the top winemakers in the emerging Lake Chelan region, blended Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc for this wine. It carries aromas and flavors of cranberry, strawberry and lavender. (123 cases, 11.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Adamant Cellars 2012 Ruby Ruth No. 4, Walla Walla Valley, $15
This is a rosé of Tempranillo using grapes from Gateshead Vineyard. It offers aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb jam, cinnamon and cherry. It will pair nicely with grilled chicken wrapped in bacon. (80 cases, 14%% alc.)

Helix by Reininger 2011 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $20 Owner/winemaker Chuck Reininger blended Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec to craft this rosé. It ushers along inviting aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry and plum. Pair with paella or seared scallops with a butter sauce. (45 cases, 14.2% alc.)

DiStefano Winery NV Rosé Amare, Columbia Valley, $22 Longtime Woodinville winemaker Mark Newton has crafted a delicious rosé with aromas of strawberry jam, clove and orange zest, followed by flavors of Rainier cherry, lemon zest and orange cream. (100 cases, 13.4% alc.)

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2010 Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $17 This blend of six grapes offers approachable aromas and flavors of apricot, pear and peach. It will pair well with salmon or grilled chicken. (123 cases, 12.9% alc.)

COR Cellars 2012 Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $18 This winery in the Columbia Gorge uses Malbec grapes from McKinley Springs. The resulting rosé offers aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry, watermelon and blood orange. (55 cases, 13.8% alc.)

Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery 2011 Dry Rosé, Yakima Valley, $16 Winemaker Brent Charnley blended Syrah and Merlot from Crawford Vineyard for this yummy rosé. It offers aromas and flavors of Rainier cherry, raspberry and clove. (120 cases, 13% alc.)

Best Buy!
Walnut City WineWorks 2012 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $15
This McMinnville, Ore., winery has crafted a tasty rosé with aromas of peach, and Rainier cherry and bold flavors of strawberry and lime zest. (75 cases, 12% alc.)

Smasne Cellars 2012 Sangiovese Rosella Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $18 Winemaker Robert Smasne used Sangiovese grapes from Coyote Canyon Vineyard for this rosé, which expresses aromas and flavors of apricot, Rainier cherry and cinnamon. (80 cases, 13% alc.)

Best Buy!
Airlie Winery 2011 Rosé, Willamette Valley, $15
Winemaker Elizabeth Clark crafted this rosé of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. It offers aromas and flavors of cranberry, black cherry and crushed walnut. It’s a tasty wine to pair with pasta or seafood. (180 cases, 13.2% alc.)

Spoiled Dog Winery 2012 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Puget Sound, $18 This winery on Whidbey Island used seven clones of estate-grown Pinot Noir to craft this rosé. It shows off aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry, President plum and fresh linen. (72 cases, 13.2% alc.)

Pheasant Valley Winery 2010 Estate Rosé de Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge, $20 Winemaker Randy Bonaventura made this rosé from Columbia Gorge grapes. It offers aromas and flavors of peach, Red Delicious apple, orange and strawberry. (181 cases, 11% alc.)

Mellisoni Vineyards 2012 180 Degrees, Lake Chelan, $35 This rosé includes Nebbiolo, Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Pinot Grigio. It offers aromas and flavors of apple, rhubarb, watermelon, rose petals, rose water and strawberry. (20 cases, 13.6% alc.)

Best Buy!
Bunnell Family Cellar 2010 Wine O'Clock Rosé, Columbia Valley, $14
This delicious rosé is available at the fantastic Wine O’Clock restaurant and tasting room in the Yakima Valley town of Prosser. It offers aromas and flavors of strawberry, mineral, Rainier cherry and even a hint of blueberry. (37 cases, 14.2% alc.)

Spindrift Cellars 2012 Rosé, Willamette Valley, $16 This rosé is 90% Pinot Noir with a bit of Pinot Gris. Its gorgeous color gives way to aromas and flavors of strawberry, Rainier cherry and cranberry. The bright acidity makes this perfect with linguine and pesto or barbecued ribs. (365 cases, 14.3% alc.)

Best Buy!
Kiona Vineyards Winery 2012 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $15
Though this is labeled as a Columbia Valley wine, all the grapes come from estate vineyards on Red Mountain. It offers aromas and flavors of strawberry, pie cherry, cranberry and pomegranate. (224 cases, 12.8% alc.)

Kiona Vineyards Winery 2010 First Crush Rosé, Red Mountain, $20 Winemaker Scott Williams used Mourvèdre grapes to craft this yummy rosé. It offers aromas and flavors of watermelon, dark cherry, tarragon and grapefruit. It is a mostly dry wine that will pair with linguine tossed with shrimp. (448 cases, 12.8% alc.)

Omero Cellars 2012 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, $23 Ribbon Ridge, part of the Chehalem Mountains AVA, is the smallest appellation in the Pacific Northwest and is best known for Pinot Noir. This yummy wine shows off aromas and flavors of cherry, apple, orange and pink peppercorns. (80 cases, 12.5% alc.)

Best Buy!
Silver Lake Winery 2010 Roza Rosé, Rattlesnake Hills, $10
Silver Lake uses estate grapes in the Zillah, Wash., area for this easy-drinking pink wine. It provides aromas and flavors of cherry, rhubarb and strawberry fruit leather. (1,195 cases, 12.9% alc.)

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ANDY PERDUE and ERIC DEGERMAN run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company. For more information, go to www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

JACKIE JOHNSTON, a freelance photojournalist, is a regular contributor and the page designer for Wine Press Northwest. Her website’s at: JackieJohnston.com

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