2013 rose perfect for Northwest summer

Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman, Great Northwest WineJune 11, 2014 

Now that we're near the 2014 midpoint, we are starting to get a better handle on how the 2013 vintage will look.

Based on the roses we've tasted so far, we think the warm, often strange vintage will have much to offer.

Roses, which typically are made from red wine grapes (but occasionally have white wine blended in), are all the rage in the Northwest these days. And we're not talking white Zinfandel, that California Kool-Aid that left the country awash in sickly sweet pink wines for more than a decade.

Rather, the roses we're seeing are mostly dry and tend to pair beautifully with the bounty of cuisine the Northwest offers.

We love drinking roses all summer long with such dishes as salmon, halibut, scallops, crab, oysters, ham or egg salad sandwiches, quiche, grilled flatbreads, curries, salad Nicoise and more.

Here are a few 2013 roses we've tasted so far this spring. Look for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

L'Ecole No. 41 2013 Alder Ridge Vineyard Grenache Rose, Horse Heaven Hills, $19: The L'Ecole team reached into one of Washington's top vineyards -- a majestic site overlooking the Columbia River -- for this gorgeous rose. It is a bright, elegant wine with aromas of strawberry, watermelon, apricot and purple lavender, followed by crisp, dry flavors that hint at Rainier cherry, raspberry, apple and ripe strawberry. It's a perfect summer wine. (14.5 percent alcohol)

Spindrift Cellars 2013 Rose, Willamette Valley, $16: This is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, with the result being a gorgeous pink wine with aromas of rose petal, cherry, watermelon and peach, followed by flavors of dried cranberry, apricot and white strawberry. (13.5 percent alcohol)

Gard Vintners 2013 Lawrence Vineyards Grand Klasse Rose, Columbia Valley, $22: This winery with tasting rooms in Woodinville and Ellensburg has crafted a delicious rose using Grenache from estate grapes in Washington's Frenchman Hills. It opens with beautiful aromas of cherry blossom, cotton candy, Rainier cherry and baking spices, along with flavors of white strawberry, blood orange and a pinch of white pepper. (13.1 percent alcohol)

Van Duzer Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir Rose, Willamette Valley, $18: Oregon Pinot Noir can make spectacular roses, and this is another example. It brings aromas of cola, crushed herb, apricot and raspberry, followed by flavors that include peach and honeydew melon, which give way to hints of pink grapefruit in the finish. (13.1 percent alcohol)

Julia's Dazzle 2013 Pinot Grigio Rose, Horse Heaven Hills, $16: This popular pink wine from Long Shadows in Walla Walla comes in a fun bowling pin-shaped bottle. It reveals aromas of kiwi, strawberry shortcake and peach taffy, followed by deliciously dry flavors of nectarine, honeydew melon and white strawberry. (13.7 percent alcohol)

Ponzi Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir Rose, Willamette Valley, $20: Second-generation Oregon winemaker Luisa Ponzi's rose is as beautiful as it is delicate. This dry pink wine is perfect with smoked or grilled salmon. It reveals aromas of pie cherry, rose petal and beeswax, followed by elegant flavors of rhubarb, pomegranate and strawberry lemonade. (13.2 percent alcohol)

Sleeping Dog Wines 2013 Malbec Rose, Yakima Valley, $18: Larry Oates runs this small winery overlooking the Yakima River near Benton City, and his rose of Malbec opens with aromas of dusty cherry, strawberry and white pepper, followed by flavors of plum and Rainier cherry. (13.4 percent alcohol)

Kaella Winery 2013 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Rose, Red Mountain, $18: This stunning rose of Sangiovese comes from one of Washington's top three vineyards. It kicks off with aromas of Jolly Rancher watermelon candy, strawberry, orange zest and rosewater. On the palate, it flashes flavors of cranberry, raspberry, white strawberry and Rainier cherry. Kaella is a small winery with a Woodinville tasting room. (12.6 percent alcohol)

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company.

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