Tasting results: Northwest Rosé

Rosé is clearly the shiny new thing in the wine industry

May 24, 2017 

  • Rosé by the numbers

    Here are some interesting statistics about this rosé judging:

    Number of entries: 122

    Wines rated “Outstanding!” — 30 (25%)

    Wines rated “Outstanding!” that earned the equivalent of a unanimous double gold — 8

    Wines rated “Excellent” — 52 (43%)

    Wines rated “Recommended — 23 (13%)

    Average price — $18

    Total cases represented — 107,645

    Wines sealed with cork — 71

    Wines sealed with screwcap — 50

    Wines sealed with crowncap — 1

    Outstanding wines with alternative closure — 13

    Average alcohol — 13.21%

    Average residual sugar — 0.36%

    Average residual sugar for wines rated “Outstanding!” — 0.27%

    Average price for wines rated “Outstanding!” — $19

    American Viticultural Areas represented — 21

    Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley (5), Chehalem Mountains (1), Columbia Gorge (2), Columbia Valley (35), Eola-Amity Hills (2), Horse Heaven Hills (6), Lake Chelan (1), McMinnville (1), Oregon (6), Puget Sound (3), Rattlesnake Hills (3), Red Mountain (2), Rogue Valley (2), Snake River Valley (6), Umpqua Valley (4), Wahluke Slope (2), Walla Walla Valley (4), Washington (5), Willamette Valley (16), Yakima Valley (15), Yamhill-Carlton (2).

    Grape varieties represented as primary or leading component: Barbera (2), Cabernet Franc (11), Cinsault (2), Counoise (1), Cabernet Sauvignon (4), Dolcetto (1), Grenache (14), Lemberger (2), Malbec (3), Maréchal Foch (1), Merlot (2), Mourvèdre (5), Nebbiolo (1), Pinot Gris (7), Pinot Noir (29), Regent (1), Riesling (2), Sangiovese (19), Syrah (11), Tempranillo (4).

Industry data from The Nielsen Co. shows sales of rosé priced at more than $7.99 in the U.S. grew by 56 percent in 2016. And these aren’t cheap blush-style wines either. Rosé also carried the highest average price in the report — $13.28. Zinfandel was next at $10.65.

This spring, two of the wine world’s most well-known writers, Portland’s Katherine Cole and Los Angeles-based Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, each released books devoted to rosé.

Four years ago, organizers in Sonoma launched the international Rosé Today wine competition. Visit social media channels such as Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter, search for the hashtag #RoséAllDay, and there will be an endless screen of fetching photos.

Heck, there’s even a brosé movement. The Provence Wine Council claims that men in the U.S., Australia and Russia drink pink in equal numbers to women.

In France, consumption of rosé accounts for nearly one of every three bottles, and Southern Rhône always has been the inspiration for Chris Upchurch, founding winemaker for DeLille Cellars in Woodinville. Wine Press Northwest’s reigning Washington Winery of the Year has produced a serious, food-friendly rosé for a decade.

“Rosé has somewhat of an image as not a high-end wine, and my partners initially questioned me on why I thought we should do this,” Upchurch said. “I told them rosé really can be an outstanding wine, and it will bring a bit of casualness to the winery.”

DeLille launched it with the 2008 vintage under their Rhône-themed Doyenne label. They soon learned consumers, not just critics, adored dry rosé.

“We made it; we put it into our Carriage House and it sold out in a month,” Upchurch smiled. “Everybody would try it and go, ‘Hey, this is really good. This isn’t Lancers.’ ”

Upchurch’s Old World inspirations come via Domaine Tempier from Bandol, Domaine Orr from Provence and several Grenache rosés from Tavel. That’s why the DeLille Cellars 2016 Rosé continues its approach with a classic blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. It’s produced in the style of Provence, where the grapes are lightly crushed, left on the skins for hours, pressed and then fermented to dryness. As a result, Provencal rosé often carries a very light color.

On the other hand, the saignée (pronounced “son-yay”) method involves bleeding off juice early on from a red wine fermentation, then fermenting that pink juice separately. It is a practice scorned in Provence but rather common in the New World. Saignée is French for “bleed.”

In April, Wine Press Northwest staged what is believed to be the largest-ever judging of rosé made in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Fortunately, many of these rosés should also be relatively easy to find as 19 entries surpassed a production of 1,000 cases.

“The world is changing, and one of the ways it’s changing is that people are getting into more interesting wines,” Upchurch said.

The panel included Kate Michaud, winemaker at Double Canyon in West Richland, Wash.; April Reddout, wine program director at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in the Yakima Valley; Gregg McConnell, editor/publisher of Wine Press Northwest; Andy Perdue, wine columnist for The Seattle Times; Eric Degerman, president/CEO of Great Northwest Wine in Richland, Wash.; Ken Robertson, Wine Press Northwest columnist; Mike Rader, Great Northwest Wine tasting panelist; and Paul Sinclair, Great Northwest Wine tasting panelist.

The judging took place at the Clover Island Inn in downtown Kennewick.

Here are the results:


Brian Carter Cellars 2016 Abracadabra Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $25 Wine Press Northwest’s 2015 Washington Winery of the Year is a master blender, and Brian Carter shows that with this rosé that topped the judging. It’s a blend of five varieties, primarily Sangiovese and Grenache, and his process involves some production using the saignée method. This checks all the boxes with aromas of strawberry freezer jam, pink raspberry and plum juice with cherry skin tannins and a pinch of cinnamon. It’s done virtually bone-dry with 0.4% residual sugar, making for an incredibly mouthwatering finish. (13.7% alc., 555 cases)

Love That Red Winery 2016 Love That Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $18 Bellevue businessman Terry Wells pays homage to Love That Red – an acclaimed Thoroughbred who ran at Santa Anita – with this nascent boutique brand, and his inaugural rosé project is a tribute to Southern Rhône with its blend of Syrah (69%), Cinsault (15%), Grenache (9%) and Mourvèdre. Aromas of red currant, golden raspberry, watermelon and baking spice are matched on the palate, backed by nibble of red plum in the ultra-crisp finish. It’s a remarkable first effort with rosé. (12.2% alc., 56 cases)

Del Rio Vineyards 2016 Grenache Rosé, Rogue Valley •  $17 The Wallace family owns and farms one of Oregon’s most important vineyards, and their winemaker, Jean-Michel Jussiaume, continues to show why the Rogue Valley can shine with Rhône varieties. This is 100 percent Grenache, and the 48 hours of skin contact brings charming florals with strawberry and honeysuckle. Inside, there’s more strawberry with pomegranate and cranberry. Orangy acidity and minerality in the back bodes well with spicy chicken, frittatas, antipasto and springtime salads. This also earned a gold medal at the international 2017 Rosé Today competition in Sonoma. (12.5% alc., 1,149 cases)

Best Buy!
Jones of Washington Winery 2016 Rosé of Syrah, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley •  $14 Victor Palencia just keeps winning people over with his rosé program under various projects. His work on behalf of the Jones family in Quincy, Wash., opens with an enticing fruit punch color and remains slightly off-dry. Aromas of strawberry and rose petal lead to complex flavors of currant, cranberry and blueberry. A hint of saddle leather, often found in Syrah, adds to the complexity and long finish. It carries the residual sugar (1.6%) beautifully, and visitors to Wenatchee’s Pybus Market can taste it at the Jones tasting room. (13.1% alc., 874 cases)

Territorial Vineyards 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley •  $18 Eugene winemaker Ray Walsh pulled in this lot of Jackson clone Pinot Noir from the estate Bellepine Vineyard on Sept. 10, and the short cold-soak makes for aromas of cherry and raspberry with French vanilla and a rub of lavender. There’s no disappointment on the palate as raspberry acidity and cherry juice pick up a pinch of spice in the crisp finish. Their slogan for rosé is, “As always, not bled off, no tricks.” (13% alc., 150 cases)

Williamson Vineyards 2016 Dry Rosé, Snake River Valley •  $16 This multi-generation farming family on Idaho’s Sunnyslope has switched its focus from orchard fruit to vineyards, and their partnership with winemaker Greg Koenig shows no signs of slowing down. The Williamsons grow some of the best Syrah in the Snake River Valley, and that’s used in this version of rosé. Its light peach color comes with alluring aromas and charming flavors of strawberries and cream. The addition of Rainier cherry and delicious balance gives this a wow factor. (14.5% alc., 108 cases)

Saviah Cellars 2016 Rosé, Walla Walla Valley •  $18 Walla Walla’s Richard Funk continues to affirm his status as one of Washington’s most talented and versatile winemakers with this stunning rosé that he makes with Italian varieties Sangiovese (56%) and Barbera from nearby Dugger Creek Vineyard. Its beautiful expression of fruit carries orange oil, strawberry and watermelon. There might be a whisper of residual sugar, but cherry skin tannins and spot-on acidity wipe away any sweetness. (13.2% alc., 228 cases)

Elk Cove Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley •  $16 Second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell uses hand-harvested Pinot Noir and combines both pressed fruit and saignée for one of Oregon’s best — and thankfully largest — productions of rosé. Spicy red fruit aromas of strawberry, raspberry and ripe cherry make their way onto the palate with richness, texture and balance. (13.5% alc., 5,082 cases)

Browne Family Vineyards 2016 Grenache Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $19 Precept Wine CEO Andrew Browne’s own brand pays tribute to the style of Tavel rosés from the Rhône Valley with this Sept. 13 harvest from Canyon Vineyard Ranch in Washington’s Yakima Valley. Winemaker John Freeman creates a very pale pink with a delicate nose of facial powder and bright red fruit. That’s realized on the palate as strawberry-rhubarb and watermelon flavors lead to juicy notes of cranberry and pomegranate. It is finished with a snap of acidity. (13.1% alc., 2,400 cases)

Best Buy!
Milbrandt Vineyards 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $13 Millennial winemaker Emily Haines takes a Rioja approach with this succulent Syrah rosé that includes Tempranillo (25%). Luxurious aromatics of strawberry, blueberry and plum include Moroccan spices. The silky and fruity palate opens with Rainier cherry then finishes with markers of cranberry, blueberry and a dash of pepper. Go on YouTube to see Butch Milbrandt pair it with his Valentine Tip & Silk Pavlova Dessert. (12% alc., 3,900 cases)

Maury Island Winery 2015 Crémant de Maury Sparkling Rosé Wine, Puget Sound •  $35 In the only sparkling rosé of the judging, Bill Riley uses estate Pinot Gris (92%) from his tiny vineyard on Vashon Island with the dosage of Pinot Noir (8%). The nose of white peach, cranberry and rhubarb compote transitions to flavors of Jolly Rancher watermelon and strawberry-rhubarb jam. Its tremendous mousse and quince paste finish combine for pleasing tartness. This bubble project represents about a third of Riley’s total production. (12% alc., 52 cases)

Eleven Winery 2016 La Primavera, Washington •  $16 Matt Albee is well into his second decade as an island winemaker in the Puget Sound, and the retired competitive cyclist takes a wild route to this delicious rosé, a blend of Mourvèdre (35%), Malbec (35%), Lemberger (11%), Tempranillo (8%) and Petit Verdot. It’s filled with orchard fruit, starting with its blood orange color and aromas of peaches and cream and lime peel. There’s a tasty roundness to its structure as it swirls in orange, apricot and Bing cherry flavors. (13.5% alc., 190 cases)

Indian Creek Winery 2016 Dry Rosé, Snake River Valley •  $16 A year ago, Idaho winemaker Mike McClure won best rosé at the Cascadia Wine Competition with his 2015 vintage. He backs that up with this blend of Iberian Peninsula blend of Syrah and Tempranillo which he harvested on Sept. 16 at 23 Brix, developed enough on the skins for a light salmon color, then fermented half in stainless steel and half in neutral oak. Its theme is focused on fascinating aromas and flavors of peach, gooseberry and lemongrass that are topped by peach pit and Limeade. It’s a full-bodied rosé that’s far from flabby. (12% alc., 400 cases)

Ancestry Cellars 2016 Grandma Lila's Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $18 Northwest Wine Academy product Jason Morin brings in Sangiovese from Stillwater Creek Vineyard in Washington’s Frenchman Hills his dry rosé. It offers a pleasing parade of fruit in the aromatics, leading with strawberry and vanilla. Inside, strawberry and pomegranate flavors are met by a bit of tannin that creates some roundness that yields to long and juicy finish. Ancestry Cellars’ home base is Woodinville, but the Morins just celebrated their first anniversary in Manson near Lake Chelan. (14% alc., 67 cases)

Aubichon Cellars 2016 Vin Rosé de Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley •  $25 North Willamette Valley winemaker Jim Sanders and vintner Tom Mortimer continue to gather acclaim for their work with Pinot Noir under the LeCadeau and Joleté brands, and he uses fruit from Olenik Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains for this rosé with Pinot Gris. Three days of skin contact and six months of aging in primarily neutral oak accounts for the light salmon color and slightly rounded texture. Citrusy aromas of tangerine and yellow grapefruit lead to dry and fascinating flavors of Rainier cherry and dried strawberry with an orange oil finish. (14.2% alc., 161 cases)\

Best Buy!
Barnard Griffin 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley •  $14 Rob Griffin, the dean of Washington winemakers, has been crafting dry rosé in his Richland facility since 2002. His long string of success at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition proves that he’s one of the top producers of rosé in the country. He continues to grow his pink Sangiovese program, working with seven vineyards who grow the Italian grape specifically for rosé — making this his largest production to date. Classic aromas of strawberry, watermelon and orange zest are repeated on the palate with a crisp and lingering finish. The residual sugar of 0.3% is essentially imperceptible. (12.9% alc., 12,000 cases)

Cairdeas Winery 2016 Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $24 Charlie Lybecker began making wine in Seattle before deciding to raise his family near Lake Chelan and dedicate his program to Rhône varieties, so it makes sense that he’s used Grenache (50%) and Syrah from Meek Vineyard to create one of the Northwest’s top rosés. Engaging aromas of peaches and cream with spearmint and Rainier cherry lead to bright and tingly flavors of pink strawberry and Montmorency cherry. Richness leads to a long finish that continues to react. (13.4% alc., 80 cases)

DeLille Cellars 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $32 Bandol-inspired Chris Upchurch has taken his rosé program more toward Grenache (46%) than Mourvèdre (42%) in recent years, and Ciel du Cheval on Red Mountain shines with both those Rhône varieties. Mourvèdre also comes from StoneTree on the Wahluke Slope, while Boushey Vineyard contributes some Grenache and all of the Cinsault (12%) - a particularly juicy and low-alcohol variety. Mourvèdre is credited with giving the wine its salmon color, while the gorgeous nose of honeysuckle, cherry, pomegranate and quince paste leads to flavors of brambleberry, red currant and strawberry leaf. (14% alc., 675 cases)

Best Buy!
Desert Wind Winery 2016 Estate Dry Rosé, Wahluke Slope •  $15 Greg Fries, a seasoned winemaker in both Washington and Oregon, has the luxury of working with his father’s Desert Wind Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope for the family’s Sangiovese rosé. Rain in October prompted them to hang this lot into November, and yet, it came together beautifully. It’s an ideal mix of strawberry, raspberry and white pepper in both the aromas and flavors, capped by cranberry skin tannins that make for a lingering and dry finish. It’s one of the top Northwest rosés at any price point. (13.2% alc., 160 cases)

Duck Pond Cellars 2016 Hylo Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley •  $20 The Fries family owns and farms vineyards in both the Willamette Valley and Umpqua Valley, and their new winemaker, Trevor Chlanda, displays a deft touch with rosé from Pommard clone Pinot Noir in the South Salem Hills. It offers beautiful spice and red fruit in the nose backed by a expressive flavors of plum and cherry juice that are finished by blood orange. (13.5% alc., 175 cases)

Best Buy!
Pike Road Wines 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley •  $12 This second label for Elk Cove Vineyard ranks among the most exciting new projects in the Willamette Valley, and the Campbell family is taking this brand seriously by giving it its own tasting room in downtown Carlton. This rosé comes from free-run juice collected from hand-picked Pinot Noir grapes as they move through the processing line. Color comes from small lots of Pinot Noir, and the nose is of rose petal, strawberry and cedar. Its flavor profile is remarkably juicy with strawberry and cherry, making for stellar finish. (13.5% alc., 282 cases)

Best Buy!
Saviah Cellars 2016 The Jack Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $15 Walla Walla’s Richard Funk scored in this judging with two styles of rosé, including this Iberian Peninsula theme of Tempranillo (75%) and Syrah from the Milbrandt-owned Wahluke Slope Vineyard. Its English rose color brings a nose of rose petals, white strawberry, ripe peach and leather, followed by flavors of strawberry-rhubarb compote, black currant and earthiness, capped by pink grapefruit acidity and pith. (13.5% alc., 303 cases)

Best Buy!
Thurston Wolfe 2016 Lemberger Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $15 Wade Wolfe has a short drive to Crawford Vineyard for this delightful rosé that comes with a gorgeous strawberry/cherry color with strawberries and cream in the nose. This grape, a favorite of the legendary Walter Clore, is also known as Blaufränkisch and carries flavors of dark cherry, more strawberry and a bit of tannin, capped by a burst of Montmorency cherry in the finish. Enjoy with tuna salad or a ham sandwich. The Prosser, Wash., winery donates a $1 of each sale to the pet rescue responsible for Chance, their winery dog. (12.5 alc., 80 cases)

Westport Winery Garden Resort 2016 Message In A Bottle, Yakima Valley •  $26 Red Willow Vineyard, a historic site at the western edge of the Yakima Valley near the Mount Adams foothills, planted Italian varieties at the urging of famed Seattle restaurateur Peter Dow. These days, Grays Harbor winemaker Dana Roberts is making some of the Northwest’s most delicious rosé from Mike Sauer’s Grosso clone Sangiovese. Aromas of strawberry freezer jam and raspberry play out on the palate. There’s a drizzle of residual sugar (0.7%) on the entry, yet mouthwatering acidity akin to cranberry and blood orange makes for a zippy and delightful finish. (13% alc., 157 cases)

Dunham Cellars 2016 Cabernet Franc Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $18 One of the first wines Tyler Tennyson has produced for Dunham Cellars leads to outstanding results at this renowned Walla Walla winery. Cabernet Franc routinely produces deliciously complex rosé, and this lot from Double Canyon Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills was harvested at 22 Brix, then went direct to press and was first fermented in neutral oak. Its pale pink wardrobe and alluring aromas of red fruit, facial powder and baking spice lead to a graceful and lighter-styled wine with long flavors of watermelon and rhubarb pie. (12.8% alc., 480 cases)

Best Buy!
House Wine 2016 Rosé Columbia Valley •  $12 The brand that iconoclast Charles Smith made famous continues to please the masses, thanks to Seattle-based Precept Wine and director of winemaking Hal Landvoigt. He blends Rhône varieties Grenache (37%), Mourvèdre (29%) and Counoise (7%) with Lemberger (22%) and Sangiovese into a balanced and fun off-dry pink at 1.3% residual sugar. There’s a capture and release of strawberry, pomegranate and wild rose aromas. Marionberry and pomegranate fruit flavors come with a bit of tannin and ample acidity. Look for this rosé — and others in the House Wine lineup — in boxes and handy cans. (13.4% alc., 4,000 cases)

Lumos Wine Co. 2016 Estate Chiquita Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley •  $25 Grower/winemaker Dai Crisp has been farming in the Eola-Amity Hills near Corvallis, Ore., for a quarter of a century, and his work with renowned Temperance Hill and his own Wren Vineyard site are ideal for Pinot Noir production. Classic aromas of cherry, rose petal, spice and dried herbs lead to bright flavors of strawberry and cranberry. Touches of tannin and minerality add fascinating complexity for pairings with grilled salmon, a ham sandwich or roast turkey. (13.5% alc., 86 cases)

Maryhill Winery 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley •  $16 One of the Pacific Northwest’s largest productions of rosé ranks among the best, and it starts with the Italian grape Sangiovese in the Yakima Valley at Tudor Hills Vineyard. The pick was Oct. 18, and winemaker Richard Batchelor’s subtle touch creates a gorgeous light strawberry color that leads to mouthwatering aromas and delicious flavors of cherry, raspberry and cranberry with a pinch of fresh herbs. The drizzle of residual sugar (1.4%) is balanced nicely by a pop of pomegranate. Enjoy at the Maryhill Amphitheater with Steve Winwood. (13.7% alc., 5,607 cases)

Red Lily Vineyards 2015 Lily Girl Rosé, Rogue Valley •  $16 One of the Northwest’s top Tempranillo producers leans on that Iberian Peninsula grape for its rosé, and Applegate Valley winemaker Rachael Martin rounds it out with Grenache (30%). A three-day soak accounts for the black cherry juice color, and a 32-day fermentation lays out the path for a fruity theme of plum, black currant and woodruff. It’s a red-wine lover’s rosé with its texture of plum skin tannins, making for a spicy, complex and fun drink that’s bone-dry. (13.5% alc., 400 cases)

Tertulia Cellars 2016 Tempranillo Estate Rosé, Walla Walla Valley •  $18 Ryan Raber works with Valdepeñas clone Tempranillo from estate sites on both sides of the state line — Rivière Galets near Seven Hills (Oregon) and at Whistling Hills (Washington) — farmed in the Walla Walla Valley by Ryan Driver. Its delicate yet winsome pink color is the fingerprint of a single hour spent on the skins prior to the press that captured aromas of currant, watermelon and spice. Generous flavors of strawberry, melon and Royal Anne cherry are framed by a pleasing structure and long finish. Look for it at their tasting rooms in Woodinville, Dundee, Ore., and in the middle of Whistling Hills. (11.5% alc., 180 cases)


Upsidedown Wine 2016 Rescue Rosé, Washington •  $18 Second-generation vintner Seth Kitzke, a product of South Seattle College’s Northwest Wine Academy, took over his family’s winemaking program at Kitzke Cellars with this vintage, but this is his own label that he shares with wife Audrey. They worked with Coyote Canyon Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills for this Nebbiolo rosé picked at 22 Brix and pressed immediately without skin contact. Fanciful aromas of honeysuckle, peach and cantaloupe run into high-toned red fruit flavors of raspberry, pink strawberry and Montmorency cherry, making for an early and persistent pop of acidity. It’s nicely built and well-balanced. Animal-loving wine lovers have another reason to support this — 20 percent of this label’s proceeds are used to support rescue shelters throughout the Northwest. (12.5% alc., 250 cases)

Smasne Cellars 2016 Rosella Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $19 Robert Smasne can greet visitors to his new tasting room within Prosser’s Vintners Village at the former Olsen Estates facility using this consumer-friendly pink that blends Pinot Noir (72%) with Sangiovese. The nose of pineapple and peach preserves comes through on the palate with an apricot finish. There’s some wow factor here as Smasne balances a bit of sweetness with just the right amount of acidity. (13.4% alc., 300 cases)

Bainbridge Vineyards 2015 Emerge Rosé, Puget Sound •  $20 One of the most eclectic rosés in the Pacific Northwest comes from one of Washington’s oldest plantings on Bainbridge Island. Betsey Wittick uses a series of estate cool-climate varieties, some of them obscure, Regent, Pinot Noir, Dunkelfelder, Madeleine Angevine and Gara Noir for a pink that offers tones of cherry, boysenberry, raspberry and baking spices that are bound by pleasing acidity and a bit of tannin for a satisfying finish. (11.5% alc., 135 cases)

Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2016 Canyon Vineyard Ranch Limited Edition The Expedition Cinsaut Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $20 This looks looks like it’s made from Pinot Gris, with lovely peach blossom, dried apricot, raspberry and strawberry in the nose. It’s a great sipping wine that’s full-bodied, with a spicy bit in the finish, a hint of pepper, and definitely has some wow to it. (13.7% alc., 187 cases)

Crayelle Cellars 2016 Rosé, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley •  $22 Cornell grad Craig Mitrakul continues his exploration of the Columbia Basin with this pink project from Ryan Flanagan’s Spanish Castle Vineyard, just downstream from Rock Island Dam. His Grenache-focused rosé, which carries just a splash of Syrah, is redolent of red currant, pomegranate and allspice with perfect acidity and a long, dry finish. (13% alc., 75 cases)

Best Buy!
Erath Winery 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Oregon •  $14 This iconic Willamette Valley brand in the heart of the Dundee Hills offers a remarkable value with its Pinot Noir rosé, thanks to longtime winemaker Gary Horner. Pear blossom, white peach and guava carry into a citrusy finish of yellow grapefruit and lemon/lime. (13% alc., 3,600 cases)

Best Buy!
Latah Creek Wine Cellars 2016 Familigia Vineyards Rosé of Malbec, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley •  $13 This bottling charts a new course for Spokane winemakers Mike Conway and his daughter Natalie Barnes as they’ve separated from their Spokane Blush project to an off-dry rosé using Malbec. Color extraction came within just three hours, and there’s a hint of sweetness in the nose of apricot jam, dried strawberry and lychee, followed by more enjoyment with flavors of raspberry jam, strawberry candy and blood orange in the finish. At nearly 1% residual sugar, it pairs deliciously with winery matriarch Ellena Conway’s Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders, a recipe in her latest cookbook. (12.5% alc., 496 cases)

Best Buy!
Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2016 Estate Cuvee Rosé, Umpqua Valley •  $15 Southern Oregon star winemaker Stephen Reustle typically takes a precise path with his wines, but his pink program is wide-ranging with Riesling, Syrah, Grenache and Malbec. Its inviting color of fruit punch leads to rather charming tones of blueberry, honeysuckle and rose petal with chai spice notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. (13.1% alc., 238 cases)

Abacela 2016 Estate Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley •  $18 One of the West Coast’s top performers in the rosé category remains consistent as the 2015 vintage finished No. 3 in Wine Press Northwest’s 2016 Platinum Judging. Its Sept. 18 harvest at less than 23 Brix offers that classic light pink wardrobe and continues its charms with aromas and flavors of strawberry soda with melon. A burst of dried cranberry in the finish adds a refreshing quality and sets the table for tapas. This is an early candidate for a 2017 Platinum, having already qualified after winning best of class as the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in Southern California for the second straight year. (13.2% alc., 656 cases)

Bunnell Family Cellar 2015 Wine o'Clock Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $18 The house rosé at the Bunnell family’s Wine o’Clock, the dining destination of the Vintners Village in Prosser, Wash., is complex and dry with the color of blood orange joined by aromas of dusty rose, dried cherry and toast. There’s a pleasing bit of roundness to the midpalate that’s surrounded by Montmorency cherry, a scrape of toast and dried apricot in the finish. Enjoy with Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin. (14.5% alc., 88 cases)

David Hill Vineyards & Winery 2016 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley •  $20 Justin Van Zanten of J. Daan Wine Cellars recently took over the winemaking at this historic property near Forest Grove, Ore., home to the first planting of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley back in 1965. He captures a gorgeous light strawberry color that leads to aromas of dried strawberry and dusty pie cherry. There’s wonderful balance among the flavors of dried cherry and white strawberry, capped by an injection of blood orange. (14.3% alc., 310 cases)

Kiona Vineyards and Winery 2016 Estate Sangiovese Rosé, Red Mountain •  $17 The Williams clan on Red Mountain continues to grow and produce some of the state’s top wines and across a wide range of styles, including this Sangiovese rosé that’s all off of Ranch at the End of the Road. Scott Williams and Tristan Butterfield collaborated for this off-dry version that barely hints at the 1.4% residual sugar among its aromas and flavors of blueberry and boysenberry, a balanced blend of berry skin tannin and berry juice. (11.8% alc., 300 cases)

Martinez and Martinez Winery 2015 May Mae Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills •  $20 The only rosé entry made from Cabernet Sauvignon showed itself rather nicely, and those who know the story of the Martinez family and their old Cab vines understand why Andrew uses some of his father’s grapes for the pink wine named for Sergio’s granddaughter Mayli Mae. It’s done off-dry (1.5% residual sugar), carries some typicity with a pinch of herbs and sits a bit heavy on the palate, offering nuances of boysenberry, plum, caramel and chocolate. And yet, there’s balance. (11.8% alc., 587 cases)

Vino la Monarcha 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley •  $22 Victor Palencia, a proud graduate of the College Cellars program at Walla Walla Community College, offers a beautiful expression of Pinot Noir grown in this cooler region of the Columbia Basin. Those enamored with his house style will not be disappointed as its aromas and flavors of Cherries Jubilee, blood orange acidity and strawberry preserve finish, which fits with the slightly off-dry angle of 0.8% residual sugar. It seems on par with the 2015 Platinum winner, and his screwcapped, frosted bottle puts a fun bow on an already-great package. (13% alc., 500 cases)

Mt. Hood Winery 2016 Estate Pinot Noir Rosé, Columbia Gorge •  $20 Hood River native Rich Cushman ranks among the best in Oregon when it comes to Pinot Noir, so his rosé work with Bickford family fruit should be no surprise. Enticing aromas of strawberry yogurt, peaches and cream with tangerine transition into off-dry flavors of strawberry and sweet cherry as its raspberry acidity tackles the 2.3% residual sugar. (11.3% alc., 286 cases)

Best Buy!
O•S Winery 2016 Sonas Devon's Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $14 SoDo winemaker Bart Fawbush of Bartholomew headed up this saignée Cabernet Franc rosé project with Sheridan Vineyard for second-generation vintner Peggy Sullivan. Bright cherry and rhubarb compote aromas led to pleasing roundness of tropical fruit on the midpalate with a generous finish of Montmorency cherry. The Sullivans have been offering Cab Franc rosé for a decade, and this style is ideal with chicken salad, ham, shellfish and salmon. (14% alc., 125 cases)

Torii Mor Winery 2016 Rosé, Eola-Amity Hills •  $18 The cooling coastal breeze through the Van Duzer Corridor pushed harvest of this slow-ripening Pinot Noir clone 828 to Oct. 1, and the 20 hours on the skins created a pretty pink color and delicate aromas of facial powder, cherry and cinnamon. Cherry and raspberry flavors combine to build bright, brisk and long finish. (13.3% alc., 223 cases)

Territorial Vineyards 2016 Rosé of Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley •  $18 Vineyard owner Alan Mitchell provided much of the fruit for winemaker Ray Walsh, and their downtown Eugene project in a former coffee warehouse helped set the standard for Northwest urban wineries. An overnight soak of Pinot Gris from Equinox Vineyard makes for aromas of white peach, rose petal, tangerine and apple blossom that are matched on the fruity yet dry palate. A fun combination of cream and apricot skin provides a pleasing finish. (12.7% alc., 150 cases)

Best Buy!
Waterbrook Winery 2016 Sangiovese Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $12 Walla Walla winemaker John Freeman and Waterbrook provided a template for Northwest rosé made with Sangiovese more than a decade ago, and he works with four sites, including Precept’s estate Canyon Vineyard Ranch, for this perennial favorite. The winning ingredients hint at strawberry, honeysuckle and crawberry, backed by a bite of plum for a slightly off-dry finish. (13.3% alc., 4,142 cases)

Willamette Valley Vineyards2016 Whole Cluster Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley •  $18 Gravity-pressing, a 24-hour soak and partial surlie aging promotes youthful color, a pinch of pie spice and a steady stream of juicy reddish fruit tones such as sweet cherries and watermelon with Ruby Red grapefruit acidity. A tropical note and a flake of minerality hangs in the background. Suggested pairings include Lime and Coconut Grilled Shrimp or Nicoise Salad. (13.4% alc., 7,000 cases)

Wit Cellars 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $18 Yakima Valley winemaker Flint Nelson and his Wit Cellar project - Wine Press Northwest’s Washington Winery to Watch - go direct to press with this rosé from Syrah, a different path than his 2015 debut vintage. Its strawberry/watermelon color brings cherry blossom, white peach and apricot flavors that are realized on the dry palate, which is nicely balanced. (13% alc, 125 cases)

Best Buy!
Airfield Estates Winery 2016 Sangiovese Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $15 The Miller family’s vineyard spans nearly 900 acres and represents 27 varieties at the base of the Rattlesnake Hills north of Prosser, Wash., and the Sangiovese for rosé hails from their Blackrock Canyon Vineyard on the eastern end of their holdings. Complex aromas and flavors of dried strawberry and sweet blueberry are joined by a flourish of boysenberry in the farewell, awarding it excellent balance behind the nearly 1% residual sugar. (13.5% alc, 1,258 cases)

Best Buy!
Balancing Act 2016 Rosé, Washington •  $10 Tamarack Cellars at the Walla Walla Regional Airport complex recently created this second label, and the winemaking team of Ron Coleman and Danny Gordon uses it for one of the most approachable and affordable rosés in the Pacific Northwest. They combined Cabernet Franc from Weinbau Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope and Olsen Brothers in the Yakima Valley then went direct to press for a seriously scintillating drink of cantaloupe and citrus with a pale color that’s akin to Provence. (12.3% alc., 400 cases)

Denison Cellars 2016 Kiff Vineyard Deuxième Version Rosé of Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton •  $22 Joe Kiff’s relatively cool vineyard just northwest of McMinnville, Ore., has been an integral component for Tom and Denise Wilson’s Denison Cellars, and the Kiff blocks of Pommard and 777 were grown for rosé. A cold soak for four days creates the strawberry Kool-Aid color that leads to a deep nose of cranberry-pomegranate cocktail with more to come on the palate, which is mouth-filling with cherry skins and a crunch of strawberry seed. Enjoy with grilled chicken or dry-rubbed ribs. (14.1% alc., 101 cases)

Duck Pond Cellars 2016 Rosé of Pinot Gris, Oregon •  $18 The Fries family produces two styles of rosé, and newly hired winemaker Trevor Chlanda worked with Duck Pond’s young Umpqua Valley site — Coles Valley Vineyard — for this Pinot Gris pink styled after Provence. Six hours of soaking and some interplay with Gamay (4%) and Pinot Noir (2%) accounts for the pink strawberry color that opens the way to fun aromas of cherry Pixy Stix. It’s a serious rosé on the palate with bone-dry flavors Rainier cherry and white strawberry. (14.1% alc., 610 cases)

Finn Hill Winery 2016 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Blondie Rosé of Sangiovese, Rattlesnake Hills •  $20 Woodinville Warehouse District winemaker Rob Entrekin, who received Wine Press Northwest’s 2016 Washington Winery to Watch award, shifted from Cabernet Sauvignon on the Wahluke Slope to Sangiovese from Yakima Valley grower Joe Hattrup for this latest version of Finn HIll rosé. It’s filled with sweet strawberry, red currant and pomegranate with dusty minerality and a juicy finish. (12.8% alc., 56 cases)

Kiona Vineyards and Winery 2016 Estate Lemberger Rosé, Red Mountain •  $17 This fruit red grape surrounds Kiona’s tasting gallery to the west and to the north, and the Williams family could be considered the state’s primary defenders of Lemberger. It makes fun, fruity and full-flavored wines, and in this case, it’s pale pink in color with effusive red berry aromatics. Tree-ripened Rainier cherry flavors, raspberry and red currant provide the acid profile to balance the residual sugar (1.2%). This was Kiona’s under-the-table wine at Taste Washington, and the reaction should have been predictable. (12 alc., 120 cases)

Hamilton Cellars 2013 Rosé of Malbec, Columbia Valley •  $18 The Hamiltons pride themselves on the work that Charlie Hoppes performs for them with Malbec, and they sourced this lot from Gamache Vineyards. The six months of aging in neutral barrels by Wine Boss explains the light peach color and touch of wood swirling behind the aromas of peach nectar, kumquat and orange oil. There’s a roundness and fascination to the palate, where flavors of Orange Julius and butterscotch might make this a California Chardonnay lover’s rosé. (14.3% alc., 167 cases)

Lopez Island Vineyards 2016 Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $18 Brent Charnley’s historic work with aromatic white wines focuses on his Lopez Island estate, but much of his red program centers on Crawford Vineyard near Prosser, Wash. This delicious rosé is derived from Syrah and Merlot, bringing a brilliant cherry juice color with blackberry and spice aromas, chased by cherry, sweet blackberry and hint of plum in the mouth. Its combination of acidity and tannin comes across as fruity, but not sweet. (12% alc., 185 cases)

Martin-Scott Winery 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley •  $18 This East Wenatchee, Wash., winery that overlooks the Columbia River pulled Sangiovese from the Jones family about an hour’s drive downriver. An 18-hour soak extracts the color and aromatics of dried strawberry and cherry with nutmeg and plum skin. Its creamy mouth feel, combined with flavors of black cherry, cinnamon powder and off-dry approach, impart some hedonism, turning this into a great drink for the patio on a hot day. (14.6 alc., 125 cases)

Best Buy!
O•S Winery 2015 Sonas Devon's Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $14 This longtime Seattle urban winery in the Georgetown neighborhood took an off-dry approach with its Cabernet Franc work from Sheridan Vineyard. The saignee method draws out a theme of sweet cherry, blackberry and spice that includes a bit of minerality in its backbone and rewarding injection of acidity in the finish. (13.8% alc., 254 cases)

Canoe Ridge Vineyard 2016 The Expedition Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $16 Napa transplant Bill Murray has settled into life and winemaking in the Pacific Northwest, and his penchant for Rhône varieties shows up in his latest rosé for The Expedition tier. In this case, it’s a wide-ranging blend of Grenache (34%), Mourvèdre (26%) and Counoise (6%), plus the white grape Roussanne (33%). Scents of strawberry, cranberry and raspberry don’t disappoint. The use of Roussanne seems to create some roundness on the entry that’s filled with strawberry-rhubarb compote and Craisins for a pleasing finish. (13.6% alc., 2,250 cases)

Child’s Play Wines by Tendril 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley •  $28 Lofty scores and plenty of praise flowed from Tony Rynders’ decade of winemaking at Domaine Serene, and now he’s taken over at Panther Creek while consulting for Jackson Family Wines at cult producer Zena Crown. He doesn’t seem to be cutting any corners for his own projects, including this rosé from stellar sites — Saffron Fields and Elk Cove Vineyard’s Clay Court. “These grapes would have made great red Pinot Noir,” he says, picking them at 24 Brix and soaking for three days. “Essentially, we set out to make red Pinot Noir and cut the process short.” That explains the ripe strawberry/cherry color, but it drinks akin to a Provence as flavors of white strawberry and dried cranberry stretch beyond the finish for a rosé that’s far from boring. (14.1 alc., 100 cases)

Coeur de Terre Vineyard 2016 Rustique Rosé, McMinnville •  $21 McMinnville grower/winemaker Scott Neal went direct to press with what ended up being a blend of Pinot Noir (62%) from Four Winds Vineyard with his own Syrah (38%). It’s a lively and cheery rosé with a blood orange color that highlights boysenberry, red cherry and President plum flavors within a bit of spritzy acidity. Suggested fare includes grilled shrimp, summer salads, Eggplant Parmesan and seared tuna. (13.1% alc., 300 cases)

Best Buy!
Eye of the Needle Winery 2016 12th Blend Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $15 The official rosé of the 12s? Bob Bullock can’t go that far, but this focused effort with Cabernet Franc from Stillwater Creek Vineyard will win him a few fans. There’s cherry, rose petal and spice with a pinch of earthiness, and the touch of sweetness is managed nicely by raspberry acidity. Look for this latest vintage to be released in July, but it probably will be gone before the Seahawks’ Sept. 17 home game vs. San Francisco. And proceeds from each bottle sold are donated to Northwest Harvest, paying for two meals. (13.5% alc., 42 cases)

Best Buy!
Firesteed Cellars 2016 Pinot Noir - Rosé, Willamette Valley •  $15 This year, Bryan Croft celebrates his 20th anniversary of making wine at Firesteed for Howard Rossbach, who founded Firesteed in 1993. Croft also oversees the vineyards, and that precise control means he’s produced this in the manner he’d hope for, a bigger style that recruits interest with the fruit punch color and offers a theme of strawberry-rhubarb, delicious leafiness, plum skin tannins and a juicy finish. (13.9% alc., 630 cases)

Forgeron Cellars 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley •  $20 Among the reasons Marie-Eve Gilla works with Sangiovese for her rosé is that the Italian grape can withstand the heat and offer the all-important acidity, even during this recent string of record-hot vintages. She stays close to home by contracting with Seven Hills Vineyard and picking the grapes at less than 23 Brix. Whole-cluster press and four months in neutral barrels accounts for tropical aromas of pineapple, papaya, honeysuckle and cherry blossom with some buttery notes. What awaits are penetrating flavors of Bing cherry and white peach, capped by Bosc pear skin and yellow grapefruit. Suggested pairings include oysters, salmon, ham, Eggs Benedict and a fresh fruit salad. (13.8% alc., 192 cases)

Puffin Wines 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Oregon •  $21 Cannon Beach wine merchant Steven Sinkler works with Sean Driggers of Pudding River Wine Cellars in Salem, Ore., on the Puffin brand. Together, they’ve created an expressive wine with aromas of apricot, peaches and cream and dried papaya, which are followed by brisk and long flavors of Rainier cherry, unsulfured dried papaya and white strawberry. (13.5% alc., 100 cases)

Best Buy!
Ryan Patrick Wines 2016 Rosé Wine, Columbia Valley •  $15 Washington State University product Jeremy Santo used the saignée method with this Rhône-inspired rosé blend of Syrah (74%), Cinsault (12%), Grenache (8%) and Mourvèdre. There’s a sense of elegance and finesse to its delicious features of strawberry, apricot, lime peel and wet stone, a bone-dry profile that’s driven by an underlying pulse of raspberry juice. (12% alc., 1,500 cases)

Spindrift Cellars 2016 Rosé, Willamette Valley •  $16 New Jersey native Matthew Compton began his path in the research vines for Oregon State University prior to launching his own winery in 2003. His passion for Burgundy shows up with last year’s vintage as he’s produced two rosés — one from Pinot Gris and this with Pinot Noir from Pommard vines off Thompson Vineyard, part of a 700-acre century farm. It’s showcased in a gorgeous shade of pink and offers a generous drink of dark strawberry, blood orange and Montmorency cherry. (14% alc., 115 cases)

Wilridge Winery 2016 Conley Vineyard Malbec Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $20 Seattle attorney Paul Beveridge offers two rosés, but this pink from Malbec comes from the Naches Heights American Viticultural Area, a high-elevation region in Yakima County that’s also home to his wine-country themed tasting room. The barrister’s tribute to Cahors is pale in color with citrus notes of lemon/lime and kumquat to balance the midpalate of apricot glaceé and cream. (13.4% alc., 100 cases)

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2016 Estate Rosé, Willamette Valley •  $24 Empire State native Joe Ibrahim worked at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Gallo prior to making wine near the Oregon state Capitol. With this more-focused rosé project, he pulls lots from a pair of estate vineyards — including the 40-year-old Tualatin Estate — and it spent 48 hours on the skins and then six weeks fermenting in neutral French oak. Its color blend of strawberry/tangerine brings aromas of cherry, cranberry and Uncola, followed by brisk flavors of strawberry-rhubarb compote. That time in barrel builds the midpalate mouthfeel which gives way to brisk cranberry cocktail flavors. Suggested pairings range from ahi tuna and chicken curry to salmon with dill pesto sauce. (13.5% alc., 1,700 cases)

Williamson Vineyards 2016 Blossom Sangiovese Rosé, Snake River Valley •  $16 The Williamson family and longtime winemaker Greg Koenig continue to take many of their wines from off-dry to dry, and their latest Blossom rosé exemplifies that. The salmon pink color offers aromas and flavors of strawberry and clementine with a bit of cranberry skin that brings some tannin into play that bodes well for broasted chicken and grilled meats. (14% alc., 176 cases)

Carabella Vineyard 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé, Chehalem Mountains •  $18 Parrett Mountain grower/winemaker Mike Hallock takes a fascinating approach to his rosé program made with estate fruit, starting with saignée Pinot Noir that then goes through an extended cold soak on Pinot Gris pomace. The results are remarkable as black cherry and strawberry notes gain complexity with a rich mouth feel that carries into a bit of tannin and long lovely acid-driven finish that calls for a plate of Olympia Provisions. (13.5% alc., 180 cases)

Best Buy!
Cloudlift Cellars 2015 Lucy Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley •  $14 Wise Brothers Vineyard in Washington’s Rattlesnake Hills is the source of SoDo wood craftsman/winemaker Tom Stangeland’s Provencal-style rosé to serve with Pacific salmon. The offering from the Lucile Street winery starts with an orange hue that brings hints of light cherry, dried strawberry and minerality. (12.7% alc., 141 cases)

Dazzle Cellars 2016 Julia's Dazzle Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills •  $20 Long Shadows proprietor Allen Shoup, who named this for his granddaughter, continues to grow the audience for Pinot Gris rosé, doubling production since the 2013 vintage while shaving the residual sugar in half. There’s just enough pigment for its light salmon color, and it presents aromas and flavors of Royal Anne cherry, white peach and clementine acidity. Expect understated elegance rather than flash as the residual sugar of 0.5% is veiled. (14.1% alc., 9,776 cases)

Girardet Vineyards & Winery 2016 Estate La Roche, Umpqua Valley •  $20 Second-generation grower/winemaker Marc Girardet works with an eclectic variety of grapes that his folk established near Roseburg, Ore. And yet, he opted to use Cabernet Sauvignon from his Shale Rock Vineyard for the rosé program. La Roche is a French reference to a rocky crag formation, but this pink is rather smooth with loganberry and Van cherry flavors that pick up some lively spritz and spice along with a backbone of crisp acidity. (11.7% alc., 100 cases)

Holloran Vineyard Wines 2016 Stafford Hill Rosé, Eola-Amity Hill •  $16 Mark LaGasse has moved into his second decade of making wine for retired tech executive Bill Holloran and wife Eve. Rather than pulling Pinot Noir from their Dundee vineyard near Erath, they work with their La Chenaie Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills for this second label. Whole-cluster pressing and fermenting to dry yield tropical aromas of pina colada, tangerine and orange zest, followed by spine-tingling flavors of kumquat, quince and blood orange, a combination that makes for a long and mouthwatering finish for oysters. (13.5% alc.; 150 cases)

Best Buy!
Primarius 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé, Oregon •  $14 Sarah Cabot, a product of South Seattle College’s wine program, worked in the cellars of Belle Pente, WillaKenzie Estates and Omero prior to heading up the Willamette Valley program for Seattle-based Precept Wine. Rosé is a recent addition to the brands that she produces wine under, including Battle Ground, Windy Bay and Kirkland Signature for Costco. Aromas of blood orange, peach sherbet and blueberry include a rub of rose petal. They are realized on the palate, which is just a touch off-dry (0.8% residual sugar) yet skillfully balanced by acidity akin to Ruby Red grapefruit pith. (14% alc.; 2,700 cases)

Williamson Vineyards 2015 Blossom Rosé of Sangiovese, Snake River Valley •  $16 This well-integrated, multi-generation operation in Idaho’s Sunnyslope Wine District serves as a breadbasket for the Treasure Valley wine industry, and Sangiovese is among the varieties they work with for rosé. This vintage reflects a transition of their pink program whereas the 2016 was finished dry, this carries 1% residual sugar, yet the finish of pie cherry tartness provides balance to the dark strawberry and Bing cherry flavor profile. (14% alc., 108 cases)

Vizcaya Winery 2016 Sonrojo Tempranillo, Snake River Valley •  $20 Wine Press Northwest’s 2016 Idaho Winery to Watch has established two estate vineyards, and Syringa winemaker Mike Crowley works with their Windy Ridge planting in Meridian for their complex rosé from Tempranillo that incorporates the Spanish term for “blush.” The theme of blackberry and black cherry offers a sense of richness to the mouthfeel, a hint of sweetness and fleck of minerality. Enjoy with fried chicken or tacos. (12.6% alc., 45 cases)

Best Buy!
Whidbey Island Winery 2016 Rosato, Columbia Valley •  $15 Salish Sea vintner Greg Osenbach continues to show a deft touch with Italian varieties he imports from beyond the Cascades with this blend of Sangiovese, Primitivo and Dolcetto that also incorporates Lemberger. He offers a pale pink and spicy rosé with strawberry, cherry and white pepper notes, backed by crisp acidity that screams for calamari. (14.3% alc., 200 cases)

Gilbert Cellars 2016 Rosé, Wahluke Slope •  $20 Justin Neufeld pays tribute to Bandol with this Mourvèdre-led rosé for the Gilbert family, made from their 24K Vineyard near Mattawa, Wash. It’s among the Northwest’s most vibrant expressions, featuring aromas and flavors of pink strawberry, Rainier cherry and lemon zest, making it an ideal foil for a plate of Yakima-based Tieton Farm and Creamery cheeses. (12.1% alc.; 1,364 cases)

Silvara Vineyard 2016 Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $22 Wenatchee Valley vintner Gary Seidler worked with Syrah from Zirkle Fruit Co., vineyards Zillah Ranch and McNary to produce a pink quaffer that brings hints of cotton candy and plums, backed by orange zest to provide a clean finish. (12% alc.; 112 cases)

Viscon Cellars 2015 Porch Rosé of Syrah, Rattlesnake Hills •  $18 West Seattle vintner Ben Viscon marks his second decade of winemaking with this work from picturesque Konnowac Vineyard, an older site groomed by Chuck and Claudia Fiola. Aromas and flavors of plum, strawberry and tobacco leaf are tightened up nicely by cranberry sauce that makes for a deliciously juicy finish. (13.8% alc.; 275 cases)

Chehalem Wines 2016 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley •  $22 It’s uncommon for this Newberg, Ore., icon to offer a rosé, yet second-generation winemaker Wynne Peterson-Nedry shows a deft hand with this classically pink rosé. The record-early harvest allowed her to bring it in off award-winning estate site Corral Creek on Sept. 12, and the lot went direct to press before five months in neutral French oak barrels. Strawberry, blood orange and Rainier cherry tones include a dusting of white pepper and nip of tannin to go with the rewarding acidity. Enjoy with quiche, asparagus or Olympia Provisions’ Saucisson Sec. (14% alc.; 121 cases)

Ghost Hill Cellars 2015 Bayliss-Bower Vineyard The Spirit of Pinot Noir Rosé, Yamhill-Carlton •  $20 Acclaimed winemaker Eric Hamacher took over the cellar for the Bayliss-Bower clan in time for the 2015 harvest, and this rosé reflects the saignée method as it relates to multiple projects — bleeding off for their estate Pinot Noir Blanc program as well as a number of their Pinot Noir bottlings. The bright cherry color is a marker for the hints of fruit in the aromatics and the palate, joined by ripe plum, fig, earthiness and a wealth of acidity. (13.2% alc.; 130 cases)

Gård Vintners 2016 Lawrence Vineyards Grand Klasse Reserve Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $22 Aryn Morell in Walla Walla works closely with the Lawrence family, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of their winery brand with this harvest of Tablas Creek clone Grenache. Expect raspberry, cinnamon-dusted strawberry, cherry notes and a refreshing, bone-dry profile. The bowling pin-shaped bottle, available at the Royal Slope farming family’s tasting rooms in Woodinville and Ellensburg, also makes for a fun memento. (12.6% alc.; 475 cases)

Succession Wines 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $22 Antoine Creek Vineyard near the Columbia River town of Pateros, Wash., supplies the Pinot Noir for Brock Lindsay’s quaffable rosé. It’s flirtatious with its strawberry soda appearance after 18 hours on the skins, and looks aren’t necessarily deceiving. Aromas and flavors of cherry Life Saver and strawberry ice cream are expertly balanced by acidity, providing for a rather elegant finish. (13.8% alc.; 110 cases)

Two Mountain Winery 2016 Rosé, Rattlesnake Hills •  $18 The Rawn brothers farm and vinify this equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that captures the herbal qualities of both varieties. While the color of a Provence-style, it’s rather off-dry with its theme of Brach’s Strawberry Bon Bon, yet touches of pink peppercorn, dried cranberry and starfruit give it levity and balance. (13.2% alc.; 575 cases)

Best Buy!
Walnut City WineWorks 2016 Rosé, Willamette Valley •  $15 Michael Lundeen works with 30-year-old Pinot Noir from La Cantera Vineyard near Newberg, Ore., in the Chehalem Mountains and neutral French oak barrels for this floral and cherry rosé. The direct-to-press method of this late August harvest broadcasts a vibrant and refreshingly low-alcohol finish of citrus oil that also offers a touch of crushed rock. La Cantera - Spanish for quarry - is the estate planting for the Bernard Machado brand in McMinnville. (11.9% alc.; 155 cases)


Best Buy!
Mercer Estates 2016 Spice Cabinet Vineyard Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills •  $13 One of the state’s top sites for Malbec is the source for the Mercer family’s Grenache rosé, which begins 24 hours soaking on the grape skins. Delicate and dusty aromas and flavors of white strawberry, cranberry and red currant that finish with finesse. (12.5% alc., 1,029 cases)

Rio Vista Wines 2016 Wild Rose Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $20 Chelan-area winemaker John Little Jr., grows a little Barbera and Tempranillo at his small vineyard a stone’s throw from the Columbia River. These are young plantings, just second leaf, that were blended with Malbec from nearby Antoine Creek Vineyard, and the juice from 20 hours on the skins. At 1.4% residual sugar, this ranked among the sweetest of the judging, and the whisper of spritzy acidity adds some balance to the theme of blackberry and blueberry. (13.5% alc., 89 cases)

Wilridge Winery 2015 Grenache Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $20 This Naches Heights-based winery reaches beyond the town of Yakima and into Angiolina Vineyard, an underrated 62-acre site in the Rattlesnake Hills. Aromas of cherry cola and sandalwood lead to flavors of black cherry, caramel and cola with pomegranate acidity and black currant skins. (13.4% alc., 80 cases)

Wind Rose Cellars 2016 Rosato, Yakima Valley •  $17 Olympic Peninsula winemaker David Volmut, a product of Yakima Valley College’s winemaking program, stays true to his Italian-themed program with this rosé from Dolcetto. The whole-cluster press and six-week ferment captures red cherry and rose petal aromatics, followed by watermelon, Montmorency cherry and cranberry flavors, making for an acid-driven drink. (12% alc., 130 cases)

Best Buy!
Mercer Canyons 2016 Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills •  $13 A gem of the Horse Heaven Hills, the Mercer family’s Spice Cabinet Vineyard, also feeds the Rhône-inspired rosé program at their Prosser, Wash., tasting room and wine bar at Seattle’s KeyArena. While the primary Mercer Estates bottling is 100% Grenache, this one is a blend of Cinsault (63%) and Counoise. A similar winemaking process, 24 hours of skin contact leads to aromas and flavors of dark raspberry, dried strawberry and a hint of orange zest, backed by a dash of residual sugar (0.6%) that’s crimped nicely by a cranberry bite. (12.5% alc., 516 cases)

Telaya Wine Co. 2016 Rosé, Snake River Valley •  $22 Carrie Sullivan, the distaff side of the husband/wife team at Telaya, spearheaded this debut rosé project using Syrah from venerable Bitner Vineyards on Idaho’s Sunnyslope. Its drop-dead gorgeous cherry appearance after an overnight soak screams high-toned red fruit from start to mouthwatering finish - cranberry, rhubarb compote and Montmorency cherry with a pinch of strawberry leaf. (12% alc., 50 cases)

Best Buy!
Underwood 2016 Rosé, Oregon •  $14 JP Caldcleugh is responsible for the largest production of rosé in this judging, and a sizable amount of the release by the prolific Union Wine Co., will be coming out in 375-milliliter cans. It’s more of a pink wine than rosé because Pinot Noir and Syrah are very minor components behind the base blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Muscat. There’s an homage to Provence with the very light color, and the chemistry shows that the graduate of Australia’s University of Adelaide takes this down a dry path (0.35% residual sugar) as the early whiff of caramel corn transitions into lemonade with a twist of lime, making for a tasty drink. (12.5% alc., 15,000 cases)

Eleven Winery 2015 La Primavera, Washington •  $16 Bainbridge Island winemaker Matt Albee chose nearly equal amounts of Mourvèdre (37%) and Malbec (34%) alongside matching contributions of Lemberger and Tempranillo to lead this example of rosé that’s brownish orange in color and presents rounded aromas and flavors of dried apricot, peach and butterscotch. (13.9% alc., 151 cases)

Goose Ridge Vineyards 2016 Estate Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $20 Goose Gap winemaker Andrew Wilson pulled hand-harvested Grenache (80%) and Mourvèdre from the Monson estate, with the Grenache going straight to press. It was fermented to dryness then spent three months on the lees in neutral French oak barrels, which helps explain the sandalwood and spice aromas with pomegranate. Raspberry and cranberry flavors are joined by plum skin in the finish. (13.8% alc., 412 cases)

Stottle Winery 2015 6 Prong Vineyard Rosé of Sangiovese, Horse Heaven Hills •  $23 Berries off the oldest Sangiovese plantings in the state, vines dating to 1985, were cropped to 4 tons per acre and underwent a 20-hour cold soak before Josh Stottlemyre’s work began. He took it easy on the pressing and backed off a bit on the ferment, stopping it at 3 percent residual sugar. That makes this a bit of a porch-pounder with aromas and flavors of strawberry ice cream and orange sherbet with some rosehip acidity for balance. (14.1% alc., 112 cases)

WineGirl Wines 2016 Syrah Rosé, Lake Chelan •  $24 Biochemist Angela Jacobs has fun with her brand that’s supported by tasting rooms in both Leavenworth and Manson, but she takes a clean and serious angle to her Fruit Picker rosé using Chelan Ridge Vineyard. It’s a true press rosé that doesn’t involve any wood or malolactic fermentation, which allows Syrah to express itself in this rosé with blackberry and gamy qualities, backed by cranberry and plum skin. (13.2% alc., 60 cases)

Cave B Estate Winery 2016 Cave B Vineyards Dry Rosé, Ancient Lakes •  $18 A few vintages ago, Freddy Arredondo switched his rosé program to Merlot, which explains the intensity to this. Aromas of blackberry and orange zest move toward a fulsome palate of strawberry and sweet black cherry flavors framed by a nibble of blueberry skin. (13.5% alc., 450 cases)

Marchesi Vineyards 2015 Clara Rosato, Columbia Gorge •  $20 It’s natural for Franco Marchesi to build his rosé around Barbera (40%) and Dolcetto (30%), but the inclusion of Pinot Noir allows for more finesse while showcasing the diversity of the Columbia Gorge. His 18 hours of cold soak builds a deep pink hue, and a hint of spritz carries blackberry and bright cherry notes to the nose. Inside, it’s filled with pie cherry, more blackberry and some light red currant in the finish. And remarkably, you can order from this Hood River, Ore., producer via PayPal. (13.2% alc., 300 cases)

Rio Vista Wines 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $25 John Little Jr., makes his wine between Lake Chelan and the Columbia River, and his work with Antoine Creek Vineyard ranks among the best Viognier in Washington. Here, it’s his source for Pinot Noir, which makes for a deliciously citrus rosé redolent of Chelan peaches and Mandarin orange with a finish of golden raspberry. (13.4% alc., 95 cases)

Artisanal Wine Cellars 2015 Evangeline Grenache Rosé, Oregon •  $20 Willamette Valley producers Tom and Patricia Feller went south into the northern end of the Umpqua Valley and MarshAnne Vineyard in search of Grenache destined for their crowd-pleasing rosé. Pomegranate, orange peel and dried herbs dive into flavors reminiscent of pomegranate/cranberry cocktail and red currants, capped by a pleasing nibble of plum skin that serves to tighten up the 1% residual sugar. (13.6% alc., 105 cases)

DAMA Wines 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $25 Cabernet Franc from Chelle Den Mille, an established site in the Yakima Valley, spent just a few hours on the skins under Walla Walla vintner Mary Derby’s direction. The pale pink color is a window into the delicate theme of Rainier cherry, light strawberry and red currant. Its finesse makes it an ideal toast to the 10th anniversary of DAMA nation. (13.8% alc., 160 cases)

San Juan Vineyards 2016 Haro Sunset Rosé of Counoise, Horse Heaven Hills •  $24 Friday Harbor winemaker Chris Lawler produced this standout rosé for winery owner Yvonne Sandberg by using Counoise — a Rhône variety that’s rather obscure in the Northwest — in the from Destiny Ridge Vineyard. It’s a tribute to Haro Strait made with both stainless steel and French oak influences, which help account for notes of Christmas spices and butterscotch with white peach and baked pear. (13.1% alc., 85 cases)

SuLei Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris Rosé, Yakima Valley •  $18 Tanya Woodley, a winemaker in the Walla Walla Valley near the stateline, uses Pinot Gris from Crawford Vineyard near Prosser, Wash., for her rosé that was crushed and left on the skins for 12 hours. The results conjure up thoughts of Bosc pear and lime, making for a crisp, bright and enjoyable finish. (13.5% alc., 140 cases)

Tamarack Cellars 2016 Rosé of Mourvèdre, Columbia Valley •  $16 Walla Walla’s Danny Gordon and founding winemaker Ron Coleman go heavy on Mourvèdre from historic Weinbau Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope for this dusty, peach-tinged and brisk rosé. It went straight to press sans skin contact, as notes of strawberry-rhubarb compote, celery leaf and lime juice provide tremendous extension. (12.5% alc., 600 cases)

Merry Cellars 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $20 Longtime Palouse vintner Patrick Merry deepens his connection with Stillwater Creek Vineyard via his Bandol-inspired rosé with his use of Mourvèdre (61%) and Syrah. The pinkish salmon color leads to aromas and flavors of boysenberry, red pepper and Montmorency cherry with citrus pith in the bright finish. (14.3% alc., 160 cases)

Lost River Winery 2016 Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $16 Methow Valley winemaker John Morgan blends Grenache (85%) and Barbera from Inland Desert Vineyard near Red Mountain into a delightfully dry and spicy drink of cherry, pomegranate and red currant. Suggested pairings include the Winthrop, Wash., winery’s recipe for Pasta with Shrimp in a Creamy Fresh Tomato Sauce (13.5% alc., 200 cases)

Best Buy!
Spindrift Cellars 2015 Vin Gris, Willamette Valley •  $15 Half of the Pinot Gris lot for Philomath, Ore., winemaker Matt Compton was pressed whole cluster to reduce the skin contact, while the other half was crushed with the skins, soaked for three days, and then pressed. That allowed him to present a pleasing blend of tropical tones with a pinch of Herbes de Provence, backed by crisp acidity for a food-friendly rosé. (13.8% alc., 115 cases)

Best Buy!
Eye of the Needle Winery 2016 Moments Rosé, Columbia Valley •  $15 Woodinville winemaker Bob Bullock, proud member of the 12th Man at CenturyLink, quarterbacks this blush-style pink made with Chenin Blanc and Sangiovese, which will tackle a summertime thirst with its tasty mix of strawberry, Fuji apple and raspberry that finished nicely dry. (13.9% alc., 303 cases)

Wine Press Northwest is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service