3 Washington Roses

Saturday Pickup REMINDER: We will have bonus pickup hours for TPU members on Saturday March 14, from 10am-2pm. The bonus pickup will double as an opportunity to purchase bin-ends: wines where we have just 1-3 extra bottles kicking around the warehouse. Because it’s our first open Saturday of the year, we expect it to be a busy one, so please do e-mail us if you’re planning to come in.
Hello friends. I value spontaneity as much as the next guy, but when it comes to the current market for Washington rosé, spontaneity is over-rated. Planning is required.

What I mean is: if you want to be drinking the best local rosés in July and August, you can’t purchase them in July and August. They’ll be sold out by then. The trick is to purchase in March and April, stash them away in a dark closet or under the bed, and wait for that glorious, all-too-short PacNW summer when Seattle gets like nine weeks in a row of abundant sunshine and we all frolic through Ish River Country like a merry band of woodland nymphs.

Do woodland nymphs drink crap rosé? No they do not!

Now I know I’m preaching to the choir here. You all proved that by ordering a ridiculous amount of Seven Hills Rosé (don’t expect to see that one on reoffer; I was barely able to grab a few bottles for myself; sheesh). So I’ll hit the pause button on planning vs spontaneity, dryade nymphs vs oreiade nymphs, and all the other metaphors cut during the revision of this offer; and I’ll turn the focus to today’s blink-and-they’re-gone, firefly roseés.

2014 Renegade Rose

This is the fourth vintage of Trey Busch’s Renegade Rosé that we’ve offered, and it has become one of the true Full Pull list member darlings, adored mostly because it is a screaming value, the least expensive rosé we offer every year. This year the blend is 50% Syrah, 21% Cinsault, 18% Grenache, 6% Counoise, and 5% Mouvedre. The finished alc is 11.3%, which means this was clearly picked nice and early – purposefully for rosé – in what turned out to be a warm vintage. The generosity of the vintage shines through in the insistent fruitiness of this rosé – watermelon flesh and rind, strawberry, kiwifruit – but the texture is bright, lithe, lively. My notes include words like “energy” and “verve.” There is a sturdy acid-mineral spine here, sturdily supporting all the lovely fruit. It finishes mouthwatering and brain-melting (as in, how does Trey coax this much quality each year for this tag). The previous two vintages have sold out in five weeks and eight weeks, respectively. Renegade’s Seattle reps are predicting this will sell out sometime in April, and that wouldn’t surprise me at all.

2014 Julia”s Dazzle (Long Shadows)

Without question, one of the weirdest bottles produced in Washington each year. First off, there’s the bottle, which basically looks like a big pink bowling pin. Then, there’s the technique: Gris de Gris. There are a few grapes that make white wine, but whose skin actually takes on a pinkish-gray pigment, such that a rosé is possible. The most famous Gris de Gris is Domaine de Fontsainte’s in the Corbieres region of France, made mostly from Grenache Gris. Dazzle is made from a special block of Pinot Gris at The Benches/Wallula Vineyard, with 2% rosé of Sangiovese blended in to stabilize the color.

It’s a passion project from Long Shadows, and it’s clear that this is Gilles Nicault at his most whimsical. The nose is summery and complex: rose petal, watermelon, raspberry, tarragon. The first thing to note on the palate is that this drinks quite dry (0.8% RS) compared to some previous vintages. The attack is all spritzy goodness with a bit of dissolved CO2, and then it turns rich and creamy (13.7% listed alc) on the mid-palate and finish. That creamy texture makes me think this one will easily survive the summer and then be a fine pairing for autumn meals as well. Purchase just enough so that your final bottle graces your Thanksgiving table; that’s the trick.

2013 J.K. Carriere “Glass” White Pinot Noir (Rose)

We have 34 bottles remaining in the warehouse for this 2013 rosé, which we originally offered last October. Because of the way it’s made (see our offer archive for the details), an extra year of bottle age hasn’t hurt this wine in the least.

Glass is first come first served until those 34 bottles are gone. For Renegade and Dazzle, there’s no telling how long they’ll last this year, so let’s open those two up – first come first served with no upper limit. Renegade and Dazzle should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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