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Oregon Wine – The Yin and Yang of Northwest Rosé


Oregon Rose of Pinot noirNorthwest Rosé is a secret I’m loath to give out, there’s so little on the market. I’m in love with two that are as different as Yin and Yang.

My Yin and Yang of Rosé are from Gilbert Cellars and Johan Vineyards. Washington’s Gilbert Cellars’ “Yin” is made from Mourvedre, and it’s an exotic revelation. Johan Vineyards’ “Yang” is made from Pinot noir – bright, fresh strawberry and crushed raspberries, hints of sweet herbs – a smooth sipper. Both are going in the pile of bottles near my patio – where they’re easy to grab.

Gilbert Cellars Rosé of Mourvedre 2010 $14.95 ($13.45 in any 12 bottle order) – Red fruit infused with exotic hints of a Moroccan spice market – earthy cardamon, caraway, musk, turmeric, and cumin. It paired perfectly with lamb kebabs dusted with a Ras El Hanout spice blend. The spices from the meat and the flavors of the wine played off each other in a way I’ve not tasted before. This wine just screams for grilled meat, a north African stew, couscous, or Greek food. P.S. – if you like French Rosé, you know Domaine Tempier. It’s also made from Mourvedre and it’s about $40. I’ll take the Gilbert.

Johan Vineyards Vin Gris Rosé of Pinot noir 09 $15.95 ($14.35 in any 12 bottle order) is about as different as you can get from the Gilbert Cellars. From the winery that produced the Johan Three Barrels Pinot noir we offered last month (and one of the most popular 2008 Pinots we’ve had) it’s not surprising that it’s a standout. The pure, clean scent and flavor of fresh strawberry and raspberry expand, adding a hint of watermelon and fresh herbs. The long finish is smooth, with a lilt of crisp acidity. Grilled ahi tuna and artichokes with a light Hollandaise are on my menu.

Van Duzer Rose of Pinot noirHere are the three new Rosés just in today – Patton Valley, Van Duzer, and J.K. Carriere. Patton Valley’s Rosé 2010 $16.95 ($15.25 in any 12 bottle order) was popularized by former winemaker Jerry Murray. It has scents of fresh strawberry, baking spice mix with peach on the palate, watermelon candy and a bare hint of pie cherry. Jerry Murray has moved to Van Duzer – his first wine is the Van Duzer 2010 Rosé $15.95 ($14.35 in any 12 bottle order.) It’s made in his signature style.

J.K. Carriere’s Glass White Pinot noir 2010 $20.25 ($18.23 in any 12 bottle order) was our most popular Rosé last year, for good reason. Glass is white Pinot noir – Jim calls it “serious Rosé.” It’s fashioned in the manner of a turn of the century Rosé Champagne, with no bubbles, a slight spritz and a luscious ripe sip of summer taste. Its vibrant, classic citrus and raspberry flavors are accented by the perfume of alpine white strawberries.

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