Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rosé Me Away

Oregon has been having unseasonably warm weather, in the 70's and 80's this week. The day are bright, the skies clear, and the heat begs for a refreshing glass (or three) of wine. Rosé, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, auxerrois, and plenty of other varieties are just the thing to help manage the heat. Light, acid-driven whites and pinks won't weigh you down like a hearty syrah or zinfandel might. Save those big reds for the barbecues and drink the rosé while you wait!

I'll focus on two rosé wines in this blog, from Teutonic Wine Company and Arnot-Roberts. Both are fantastic, small production, refreshing wines that are worth your time to seek out. Both are from producers who are passionate about making the best wines possible using the least amount of intervention. Non-intervention is a risky prospect in winemaking, the results can be exceptional or the wines can turn into stinky garbage. With Teutonic and Arnot-Roberts, we have two producers that consistently excel at turning their winemaking philosophies into great wine.

Starting first with the Teutonic Wine Company and then with the Arnot-Roberts I'll showcase two exceptional wines that match the weather and fare that warm springs call for.

2012 Teutonic Wine Company Laurel Vineyard Rosé: Made from 100% pinot noir and aged in neutral oak barrels, this $18 wine hits it out of the park with bright aromas of orange rind, sour cherry, fresh-cut grass, and green apple. On the palate the acidity screams out for food. Flavors of dusty orange, strawberry, limes, and a savory, salty finish keep me coming back for glass after glass. Rosé of this quality at only $18 is hard to find sometimes, the fact that a passionate small producer can deliver this much bang for the buck is a testament to just how great the winemaking climate is here in Oregon. 11.3% abv. $18 srp. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

*Note* The 2013 Teutonic Rosé was just released to some markets but the 2012 is still available in distribution

2012 Arnot Roberts Touriga Luchsinger Vineyard Rosé: This is made from 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Tinta Cao, and is the harder of these two wines to find. The easiest way to get them is to visit the Arnot-Roberts website and sign up for their mailing list. I am on that mailing list and take almost every single bottle of their wines that I'm allocated with each release. Paler than the Teutonic wine, this wine opens with loads of sour strawberry, lemons, green herb, and sea-spray. I love it. On the palate there's a huge dollop of acidity that supports a melange of lemon, strawberry, cherry, and raspberry. As the wine warmed up I also tasted herbs and cut grass. The balance is terrific and I kept wanting to pair this with chips and dip or some carnitas street tacos. 12.5% abv. $22 retail. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Both of these wines are worth your time to find and drink, though I must admit that the 2013 vintage is out for both too. I sometimes like to have rosé with an extra year of age on it because if the wine has enough acidity, you don't really lose any freshness and the flavors have more time to integrate, forming a beautiful tapestry of pure deliciousness. How's that for flowery bloggerspeak?

Buy both wines, I did. As someone who (now) has a small label of his own, the importance of supporting small producers takes on new meaning. While it may be easy to buy a rosé or any wine made by some big, corporate owned winery, it's more satisfying and fun to seek out new producers. You'll be glad you did, I promise.

Beau Carufel

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