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June 17, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

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Barnard Griiffin Rose of Sangiovese bottle Picmonkey

 

2015 Rosé of Sangiovese

 

Barnard Griffin Winery

Columbia Valley (Washington)

Alcohol: 12.9%

Suggested Retail: $14

“Barnard Griffin’s Rosé of Sangiovese is a perennial medal winner. In fact, ten of the last eleven years it has earned gold or better at the San Francisco Chronicle’s competition. We haven’t tasted all of those prior vintages, but the 2015 we enjoyed earlier this week could be a candidate for the best rose we’ve ever encountered.

“Though there were exceptions like the Simi Rose of Cabernet, most American wines of this category used to be on the sweet side and of no particular distinction—White Zins of a darker hue. More recently winemakers in California and Washington have been changing the game. They’re using better grapes and tending to emulate their Gallic cousins in Provence and in the southwest of France in producing drier styles more worthy of uncorking with a meal.

“The 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese from Barnard Griffin is a particularly attractive bright shade of pink (or maybe we should say rose). Aromas of cherries and freshly-sliced strawberries are a great introduction to its charms. A sip fills the mouth with fruit. There’s a richness—almost a creaminess—to the taste, yet the good acidity means a sprightly balance to this richness. ‘Powerful’ might be too emphatic a word to describe a rose, but there’s certainly substance here. This wine could be a happy companion on an afternoon by the pool, but it would be a versatile food-pairer, also. You could find some rosés a bit cheaper, but it would be tough to find one better at any price.”

Food Affinity: We poured it with grilled chicken breasts, but it has enough personality to accompany serious and special entrees. We think it would be especially interesting with the richness of such shellfish classics as Lobster Newburg and Coquilles St. Jacques.

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