Full Pull The Anti-Spontaneity Party

Hello friends. When it comes to new-school Washington rosé, count me as a member of the anti-spontaneity party. In our current low-supply/high-demand environment, planning is required.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: 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!

Okay, so I know I’m preaching to the choir here. You all proved that by ordering a ridiculous amount of Seven Hills Rosé (effectively sold out already, from what I’m hearing). So instead of continuing to hammer away at the planning vs spontaneity debate, let’s just turn the focus to today’s pair of blink-and-they’re-gone, mayfly rosés, two of the most popular pinks we offer each spring.

2015 Renegade Rose
This is the fifth vintage of Trey Busch’s Renegade Rosé that we’ve offered, and it has become a true list member darling, adored mostly because it is a screaming value, the least expensive rosé we offer every year. This year the blend is 80% Syrah, 11% Cinsault, 5% Counoise, and 4% Grenache. The finished alc is 11.6%, which means this was clearly picked nice and early – purposefully for rosé – in what turned out to be a historically warm vintage. I asked Trey about this year’s version, and here was his reply: Obviously a hot vintage but combatted that with heavier crop to slow ripening and bigger canopies. No skin contact, all whole cluster pressed to stainless. Blocked ML and bottled mid-January. Pretty similar to last 4 years really.

What I like about this rosé is that it combines the richness and soft mouthfeel and overall patio-pounding glug-ability of the warm vintage with low alcohol and plenty of bright acid from an early pick. The fruit combines cherry and melon, and the complexities run the gamut from mineral to green (watermelon rind, kiwi). There is enough heft to the texture that this could conceivably work even as late as autumn. But I somehow doubt many bottles will survive that long; this one is just too damned easy to drink.

It’s worth noting that the previous three vintages sold out in five weeks, eight weeks, and eight weeks. Furthermore, this 2015 just scored the only gold medal awarded to a rosé at the prestigious TEXSOM International Wine Awards, so it’s already gathering sales momentum. Chances of any medium- to long-term reorders look iffy at best.

2015 Tranche Rose Pink Pape
This rosé has almost taken on a whiff of the culty over the years for Tranche. It’s the sixth vintage of the project, which began in 2010, and we’ve offered every single one of them. Our history with Pink Pape is littered with the tears of under-allocations. For the 2012 vintage, we limited order requests to 3 bottles and max allocations ended up being 2 bottles per list member. Two summers ago, we maxed requests on the 2013 vintage to 4 bottles, and max allocations were 3 bottles per list member, with a full two dozen list members who ordered too late last year and were shut out entirely. Last year we were closer to full allocations, in part because we offered the wine very close to its release, and I intend to repeat that pattern this year.

As usual, Pink Pape is a single-vineyard (Blackrock) Provencal blend of Grenache (46%), Cinsault (31%), and Counoise (23%). Clocking in at 12.8% alc, it’s pale pink, a promise of summer in a glass. The nose combines lovely watermelon and green strawberry fruit with further green subtleties of cucmber. Bright and lively in the mouth, this fans out across the palate, propped up by its sturdy acid-mineral spine. The mix of fruits and minerals and green tones is balanced and beautiful. This particular rosé is always so versatile, I could see it working all summer long and then finishing up on the Thanksgiving table. Lovely juice, and if past is prologue, we will not have another opportunity to offer this particular mayfly.

Please limit order requests to 36 bottles of Renegade and 12 bottles of Pink Pape, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines 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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