Three 2012 Roses

Hello friends. We’ve had some seriously summery weather in the PacNW recently, and thoughts turn back to rosé.

Here’s what I said in our first rosé offering of the year, back in April:

“We’re going to handle rosés a little differently this year. For bottlings that have been popular in previous vintages, we’re going get them out nice and early, let everyone start drinking them as the weather turns, and then we’ll have them available for reorder throughout the summer and autumn (as long as they last, anyway; each of today’s three sold out well before Labor Day last summer).”

Well, so much for that plan. All three rosés from our April offering are already effectively sold out in Seattle. And it’s May 6. I know rosé is a hot category, but really, this is madness!

We were not able to bring in any extra Tranche Pink Pape; we have so little extra Julia’s Dazzle available that it would be foolish to re-offer (we’ll sell the remainder through the extras shelves at the warehouse); and I barely got in in time to snag a sizable enough stash of Renegade to include a reorder link at the bottom. You may still see bottles of these around town (I’m sure some of our brick-and-mortar brethren stocked up for the warm months ahead), but our ability to source more has evaporated.

Reinforcements!

That April offering covered the April releases of previously-popular rosés. Let’s jump in with another trio of May releases:

2012 Syncline Rose

James and Poppie were doing it before it was cool. One of the vanguard bottlings in what is now a full-throttle movement towards dry, high-quality Washington rosé, this is typically the most popular rosé we offer over the course of the year. In 2012, it’s a 12.6%-alc blend of 49% Mourvedre, 39% Cinsault, and 12% Grenache, all fermented in concrete (very cool, and quite rare for Washington rosé) before aging in stainless steel. A nose of green strawberry and salty/chalky mineral gives way to a palate full of honeydew fruit and savory garrigue flavors on a juicy, vibrant frame. James is making his picking decisions for rosé entirely on acid now, and it shows: this is an energetic mass of crushed rock and melon.

2012 Trust Cellars Rose

We have offered Steve Brooks’ rosé during every summer of Full Pull’s existence. This 2012 marks the fourth straight vintage we’ve offered, and it has become a list favorite, in part for the whimsical label outside the bottle and in larger part for the good juice inside. This is all Cabernet Franc, a great choice for rosé, as it always seems to add savory complexity to what is supposed to be a simple porch-pounder. Fluorescent fuchsia in color, it brings a summery core of fruit – melon, strawberry, pineapple, cherry – on a plump, soft frame. Very easy to guzzle.

2012 J.K. Carriere “Glass” White Pinot Noir

This is one of the truly oddball wines produced in the PacNW. Jim Prosser starts out with single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the 30-year-old vines of Temperance Hill Vineyard. He whole-cluster presses it, ferments to dryness with wild yeasts, and tosses it into neutral French barrels. Then it gets weird. He adds dead Chardonnay lees into those barrels, which has two effects: it strips color (making the wine an even paler pink), and it adds an earthy broadness to the mid-palate. According to Jim, these are techniques that were used in fin-de-siècle Champagne. Well, if it’s good enough for dead Champenois, it’s good enough for us!

The result is wild: a wine that looks like rosé but acts like something else entirely. The nose combines strawberry fruit with savory notes of hay and earth; something like a Blanc de Noirs Champagne. The palate has a pleasing plumpness, a sultry leesiness, especially in the mid-palate, thanks to all that battonage. It’s rare to see the word “long” in one of my tasting notes for rosé, but I’m staring right at it in my notebook. This can certainly be drunk all summer long, but among the rosés we’ve offered so far this spring, this is probably the strongest candidate to roll into autumn, and it would be a brilliant rosé for the Thanksgiving table.

First come first served, and no upper limit (I mean, jeez, if these are going to keep selling out this fast, we should at least have the chance to make as large a land-grab as possible!) The wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

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