Appellation: Columbia Valley
Allen Shoup, inducted into the Washington Wine Hall of Fame in 2014, was inspired to begin producing a rosé after years of sipping them while touring the Provence region of France. A few years ago, he tasked his Long Shadows Vintners winemaker, Gilles Nicault, to produce a rosé made with Pinot Gris from The Benches, a breathtaking vineyard they put on the map in the Horse Heaven Hills. While Pinot Gris typically is made into a white wine, the grape can develop more pigment if allowed to hang on the vine longer, and a delicate peach color can emerge in the wine via maceration during fermentation. The nose is one of white peach, orange Creamsicle and bubble gum. What follows are more flavors of peach, starfruit and quince. Graceful acidity and a caressing texture make for a remarkable mouth feel. Its fruity yet bone-dry finish leads to a refreshing drink that's as a stunning as the shapely bottle. Fortunately, the thirst for rosé in the U.S., and the new Nine Hats tasting room in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood inspired Shoup and his family to increase production of Julia's Dazzle by 20 percent.
Rating: Outstanding! by Great Northwest Wine. (14.1% alc.)
Production: 12,000 cases
Food pairings: Enjoy with a ham sandwich or a plate of meats and cheeses, but a crisp and vibrant rosé such as this is remarkably versatile at the dining table.
Nine Hats Wines, 3861 1st Ave South, Suite C, Seattle, WA 98134 (206) 582-0700