Why Washington Wines? Part 3: Rosé

With Memorial Day rounding the corner, we're chomping at the bit to usher in the summer season! Warm weather calls for delicious Washington wine, and there’s no better bottle to set the scene than our Julia’s Dazzle Rosé!

While it’s certainly no surprise to deem Rosé the wine of the summer, how much do you know about its origins and rise to the top? It’s believed that Rosé-style wines have been in production since ancient Greece, widely considered to have been the blending of white and red wines to create a lighter, more approachable wine than full-bodied reds. Modern-day Rosé, however, spent many decades viewed as lower quality or bulk wine.

So why is it so popular today? Not only is it consistently affordable and approachable, but Rosé also pairs with just about anything and everything due in large part to its versatility. Light, dark, sweet, dry, sparkling, canned—you can find a Rosé suited to the palate and lifestyle of most wine drinkers. Produced in a number of ways from just about any grape variety, this wine has proven itself as a centerpiece everywhere from poolside to the Thanksgiving table.

Rose Pool

Rosé in Washington

As the Pacific Northwest’s wine scene began to flourish in the 1970s, the region had a tough start when it came to producing quality Rosé. After moving away from emulating the California White Zinfandel style of the time, Washington began to produce crave-worthy Rosé crafted in France’s famous Provencal style—pale in color, complex in character. Washington Rosés are made from a wide array of grapes, from Pinot Noir to Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to Malbec. But our Julia’s Dazzle Rosé takes a slightly different approach—a Rosé of 100% Pinot Gris.

Most often used as a white wine grape, Pinot Gris is thought to be a mutation of the traditional Pinot Noir variety. When grown in the right conditions and left to hang a bit longer, the grapes produce a dusty pink skin. It’s the contact with these skins that give our Julia’s Dazzle its alluring light copper hue. Pinot Gris is often overlooked, but is in fact one of the Pacific Northwest’s most delicious and important wines, emanating notes of citrus, tropical and orchard fruits and, of course, bright acidity.

In the Glass

Skin contact wines amplify varietal character and soil expression, as is the case for this wine. Grown in the Columbia Valley, it’s fresh and lively with bright aromas and flavors of orange blossoms, strawberries, and ripe melon complemented by a racy acidity. While delicious on its own, we’re also fond of pairing Julia’s Dazzle Rosé with BBQ ribs, Pad Thai, or a prosciutto and melon appetizer. With a rating of 91 points and Wine Enthusiast's "Editors' Choice", see what wine critic Owen Bargreen has to say:

“The 2020 Julia’s Dazzle Rose is another impressive bottling by famed winemaker Gilles Nicault. This 2020 Rose is 100% Pinot Gris sourced from the Yakima Valley that was whole cluster pressed. Right away this shows peach and orange rind tones alongside wet stone, strawberry and shades of wild mushroom on the nose. The palate is beautifully textured with a great sense of weight and finesse. Kiwi and Mandarin orange rind flavors collide with minerals, wet stone and guava tones all artfully combine on the palate. Fresh and lithe, this has some nice medium-term cellaring potential.”

Give this wine a swirl for yourself! National Rosé Day is Saturday, June 12th, giving you just enough time to grab a bottle or two to celebrate. Click here to shop. Cheers!

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