27 May 2013

Dry Creek Rosé

We're enjoying an unusually cool May here in Memphis, but it's still warm enough to break out the dry rosé. This lineup of Sonoma pinks come from Dry Creek Valley, a region I had the pleasure of visiting in 2009.

A good dry rosé is the perfect pairing for summer, whether you're talking about a picnic or a barbecue or dinner on the deck with friends. Don't know what your host is serving for dinner? Bring a dry rosé. Even if it's not a perfect match for any of the dishes, it will still be fun to sip while everyone is milling around.

When I'm fixing a multi-course meal, I'll generally start with the rosé and then figure out what would work best with that particular wine. Sometimes it's a salad and sometimes it's the seafood course, but I'll often find myself going back to it later in the meal as a refreshing treat.

The first of these is emphatically not a White Zinfandel. It is a dry rosé that happens to be made from Zinfandel grapes, and should not be confused with the super-sweet product that comprises about 10% of all wine sales in the United States.

NV Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma
100% Zinfandel
$12, 13.9% abv.
1,800 Cases Made

This is a fairly deep red for a rosé, with bright raspberry aromas and flavors. Firm body with a bold and fruity finish. A little on the tart side. Recommended for the lover of California reds that is interested in branching out into lighter wines. This could hold up well with a big antipasto platter with lots of cured meats.

2012 Mauritson Rosé
Rockpile Vineyard, Sonoma County
40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Malbec, 25% Merlot
$19, 13.5% abv.
297 Cases Made

Here's a fascinating mix of Bordeaux varieties, and you don't see a lot of Cabernet Franc in rosé. This one has a softer profile with aromas of strawberry and a touch of watermelon. Mild and refreshing with balanced acidity, and I would suggest pairing this one with seared tuna topped with a mango salsa.

2012 Kokomo Pauline's Vineyard Grenache Rosé
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma
100% Grenache
13.1% abv.
628 Cases Made

This is the most delicate of the three, and my favorite with a nice pale pink color that looks beautiful in sunlight. While restrained the dominant aroma is of red cherry, but there's a hint of ash and earth in the background. Mild acidity and a light body lead to a gentle finish.

Note: These wines were provided as samples.

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