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Wine Pick of the Week

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MTCHBK Rose Picmonkey

2016 Rosé of Tempranillo

 

Matchbook

Dunnigan Hills (CA)

Alcohol: 13.9%

Suggested Retail: $12

”In America, rosé used to mean something pink, pallid and probably pretty sweet. But that was then. Today’s dryer rosés have found respect and have become the hottest category in the marketplace. Winemakers are taking this modern crop of rosés more seriously and are looking to give them some character. Seeing the primary grape varietal identified on the label of a rosé can be a clue to the wine’s relative quality and may give a hint to your tasting experience to come.

“Rosé wine can be made from any red grape variety, though revered grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir don’t necessarily make the tastiest rosés. Lately, our Taste reviewers have found several examples of rosé made primarily from Sangiovese grapes. Most of these have been good; a few, such as Barnard Griffin’s, exceptional. This week’s Pick, the Matchbook 2016 Rosé of Tempranillo, comes from grapes grown in the Dunnigan Hills AVA, which is in Yolo County, east of the Napa Valley and Northwest of Sacramento. Tempranillo, a grape much more familiar to consumers in Spain and Portugal, comprises 77% of the blend, which is rounded out by lesser amounts of Malbec (12%), Syrah (9%) and Tannat (2%). We found aromas—and tastes—evocative of peaches, strawberries and cherries in today’s ‘Pick.’ While we couldn’t say definitively that this wine exhibits characteristics of Tempranillo, we can say that it has that ‘zippy’ something extra that made it a pleasure to experience a few days ago. There was good acidity, which makes it a much fitter companion for food, as well as an interesting aperitif. The general category of rosé wine, particularly the dryer style, provides many options for food pairing.”

Food Affinity: “Contrary to what recent would-be pundits would have you believe, Pinot Noir is not the perfect pour with most treatments of salmon. We think a dry rosé has just enough character to accompany salmon without overpowering its essence. And rosé wines are popular in the south of France, especially in Provence, where a roast chicken makes for a great centerpiece for a summery Sunday lunch or dinner. The same rosé-and-chicken formula can work in California or the Pacific Northwest, too (you get extra points for atmosphere if you play some Edith Piaf via Pandora).

 

Editor’s Note:   Wines reviewed in Taste California Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.