I know I already did a post on great American rosés, but I’m giving a whole separate post to ones from the Willamette Valley for a few reasons:
1) Willamette is one of my favorite wine regions in the US – it makes AMAZING Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, and you should be drinking a lot more of both. Most of the rosés are made from Pinot Noir, but the color runs the gamut as you can see from the lovely pic above.
2) The wineries sent wines in full force, and my doorman hated me as he piled boxes onto a cart to take up to my apartment. There were so many good ones I didn’t want to just shove one or two into the American post! I got a little carried away…
3) I’m grapefriend, so I can do anything I want.
So without further ado, here were my favorite 12 bottles (so you can put together a case). Many of them are from really small wineries so you may have to order directly from the winery (hyperlinked in each title). Otherwise, you know what area to look for in your local store now.
This may be my absolute new favorite!! It was one of those wines that after my first sip I said, “Wow.” It tastes like the most perfect elegant apricot, with some ripe yellow apple. But the thing that really got me was the scent – I couldn’t place it forever, and then read on their website that they have volcanic soil. Boom, that was the element that was putting it over the top. So if you like volcanic apricots (and who doesn’t???), grab this juice! Insanely small production (only 652 cases) so I urge you to get your hands on some stat!
I actually heard about this one from my wine friends Becky & Beau. They live in Oregon and are always drinking some pretty rad OR wines, and one night they posted a picture of one of these Alexana wines saying it was really good. A few days later I tried the rosé and it was awesome – the winery describes the taste as “strawberry rhubarb pie” and I think that’s pretty perfect. It’s juicy-fruity but balanced with just enough tartness. Highly recommend. And if I thought Bergstrom’s 652 cases was small, Alexana only makes 115 cases of their rosé. They also only sell it at their tasting room, but if you’re not in Oregon just contact Christie at Christie@alexanawinery.com or 503.537.3100 and she’ll hook you up!
At first I just wanted to like this because it was Cuvée A (my name starts with A) – dumbest reason ever, but not once I tasted it. This was awesome! Tastes like just-picked peach and strawberry, so zippy and acidic!
This one was fantastic too! (Noticing a trend?) Super ripe watermelon and strawberry - almost more like a rosado than a lean Provence one, which I was psyched to see among the Willamette bunch. (PS – the pig is drawn by one of the people who manages the farm and features a pig from the farm.)
Very beautiful pale color, looked like the color of an older sophisticated woman on the upper east side, if people were colors. Totally tastes like yellow apples – more like Chardonnay but it’s all Pinot Noir grapes.
That lean Provencal summer perfection. This was at Googa Mooga, a food/drinks/music festival that has a wine tent with over 100 wines from all over the world (I mean, hi, grapefriend loves it). Nothing’s gonna cool you down after dancing around than a crisp rosé.
Another one of those lean ones but this is just packed with flavor – crisp yellow apple and your typical rosé strawberry. Very fruity on the palate and then a very dry finish to follow, which is cool.
Two cool things about this rosé: 1) It’s made from 85% Chardonnay and then just 15% Pinot Noir for color. So basically it’s a white wine, which gets a hell of a lot of red tint from the Pinot Noir. 2) Grapefriend was all over the sheet they sent with it! I’m gonna leave the description to them, since I really couldn’t do any better: “An intoxicating Rosé. Much like new love, it clouds the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker. Provocative aromas of strawberry and raspberry, followed by refreshing flavors of wild strawberry, watermelon rind and a hint of kiwi.” Love it.