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Rosés of Pinot Noir Enliven Summer

Nothing better on a warm summer day than a glass of chilled rosé. As versatile as Pinot Noir is with food, rosés are more complimentary to the outdoor fare of summer. With Pinot Noir rosé, you get the best of both worlds, especially when the wine is vinified dry. Many wineries produce rosé, but often it is a thin saiginée which is quickly vinified as an afterthought. The following rosés are serious wines made with considerable care and devotion.

2008 Pali Wine Co. Sunset Rosé

13.5% alc., 250 cases, $15. 90% California, 10% Oregon. A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Grenache. · Light pink coral color. Attractive aromas of strawberries, orange peel and savory herbs. Crisp and clean flavors of strawberries, blood oranges and summer melons. A subtle note of oak adds interest. Soft in the mouth with a generous lift of acidity on the bright finish. Marvelous.

2008 B Vineyards & Habitat Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

13.5% alc., 124 cases, $19. Sourced from estate-grown organic clone 777 grapes. Whole cluster press, cold fermentation. Also crafted by winemaker Hugh Chapelle. · Similar nose as the Lynmar but more restrained with an undertone of summer herbs. White peach, orange and strawberry flavors with a hint of tutti-fruity and spice. The mouth feel is unusually rich for a rosé, with a velvety texture and refreshing acidity on the finish. A French-styled, serious wine with plenty of intensity to satisfy.

2008 Lynmar Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 14.1

14.1% alc., $20. Sourced from estate and selected contract vineyards. Fruit specifically choosen for this wine was de-stemmed, cold soaked for 2-3 hours before undergoing a gentle membrane press followed by fermentation in stainless steel tanks. This wine was supplemented by the saiginée method in which lots of Pinot Noir and Syrah were bled from tank after de-stemming with some color and no tannins. The wine was aged in neutral French oak barrels and stainless tanks. Vinified by winemaker Hugh Chapelle. · Lovely orange-red salmon hue. Aromas of white peaches and oranges. The flavors are fresh and vivid, even flirty, echoing the aromas and finishing with some persistence. Among the top rosés every year in California.

2008 Antica Terra Rosé Willamette Valley

14.2% alc., 88 cases, $35. 66% Pommard, 33% Dijon 115. 33% whole cluster. Full natural MLF with 6 months aging in 3rd-fill French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-orange color. Lovely aromas of fresh strawberries, blood oranges and a touch of white peach and herbs. A substantial rosé that is mouth filling on the attack strutting flavors of fresh berries, orange peel and savory herbs with some persistence on the bright finish. This is a stunning wine that even a Pinot Noir purist like myself would be proud to take to any classy restaurant. This wine should put to rest any stigma that has been attached to rosé.

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