Full Pull The Anti-Spontaneity Party III

Hello friends. We’re back with the latest in our anti-spontaneity rosé series. You remember the deal, right? When it comes to new-school Washington rosé, spontaneity is way overrated. In our current low-supply/high-demand environment, planning is required.

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 and May, stash them away in a dark closet or under the bed, and wait for our glorious, all-too-short PacNW summer.

Anti-Spontaneity Offer #1 was for 2015 Seven Hills Rosé on March 4 (and I know many of you have been *stoked* to have bottles on hand with some of the 80-degree days we’ve had in April). Anti-Spontaneity Offer #2 came on the first of April, covering 2015 Renegade Rosé and 2015 Tranche Pink Pape. Now that we’ve hit May, it’s time for another trio of blink-and-they’re-gone, mayfly rosés. Two of these are old Full Pull standbys. But let’s start with a newbie:

2015 Underground Wine Project Mr. Pink Rose
Here Trey Busch (also behind the well-loved Renegade Rosé) partners with Mark McNeilly from Mark Ryan to produce yet another value-priced rosé, this time 100% from Sangiovese. It clocks in at 12.8% listed alc, and the color, according to my note is “hot salmon” (kind of a gross descriptor, admittedly; this tasting happened during my surrealist period in the early days after my son was born). So yeah, let’s just say neon pink with an orange tinge; how’s that? The lovely zesty nose evokes the seaside, with salt air aplenty to go with notes of mineral and green strawberry. One thing Sangio never lacks is acidity, part of what makes it a natural choice for a summer porch-pounder. The fruit here is citric and alpine in character, but you barely notice it amidst the wash of minerality and acidity. This is truly refreshing, energetic. You could go either way with it: put a hard chill on it and glug, or sip slowly and contemplate the nervy texture and surprising complexity. A brilliant, well-priced debut.

2015 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. Pale pink in the glass, it begins with a nose of honeycrisp apple, cantaloupe, and watermelon (the red flesh, yes, but also some green rind notes). A bit of dissolved CO2 adds spritz and balances some seriously rich fruit (14.1% listed alc). This vintage drinks quite dry compared to previous years. There may be a kiss of residual sugar here, but it’s only a subtlety, not prominent like in some previous years. It’s more Tavel than Provence in texture, to me more appropriate for late-summer-into-fall, and certainly a lovely bottle to put on the Thanksgiving table. The problem, of course, is that the wine is unlikely to still be around by late summer. I’d also drink this with darker white meats, like chicken thighs or pork shoulder roasts. Yum.

2015 Syncline Rose
There are certain wines you can set your clocks by as Full Pull list members, and Syncline’s rosé is one of them. It has historical significance, as it was the first rosé ever offered by Full Pull, way back in summer 2010 (that was the 2009 vintage). We haven’t missed a year since, and for good reason: this is as consistently excellent as rosé gets in Washington. It’s also one of those pinks that never seems to survive the summer. And isn’t it the transitory nature of rosé that makes it so beautiful? The ache of the fleeting experience only serves to heighten the pleasure, doesn’t it?

No surprise that these Rhone specialists would produce a rosé that is a blend of 39% Cinsault, 36% Carignan, and 25% Grenache. One change this year: the bottling gets a single-vineyard designation, coming entirely from McKinley Springs in the Horse Heaven Hills. The grapes are picked specifically for rosé (13.9% alc), and produce a wine with lovely pale salmon color. The nose is fantastic, combining notes fruity (strawberry, kiwi, honeydew), green (cucumber, celery leaf), and mineral in turn. The palate offers a deftly balanced mix of supple fruit and juicy acidity, and the finishing lick of Aperol bitters adds complexity and an adult touch to a truly lovely rosé. One of Washington’s standard-bearers in this category, to be sure.

First come first served up to 36 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and 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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