Pick of the Pink

Pinot not the only pink player

This month a selection of varietal rosés showcases Oregon's diversity. Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese. Grenache, Dolcetto, and Lemberger join Pinot Noir in displaying their distinctive differences while white blends demonstrate that several complementary varieties can lead to synergistic results.  

2014 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé             

This wine's finish is so compelling it deserves mention at the outset. Excellent balance throughout accounts for a taste experience beginning with bright, fresh strawberry on the nose joined by cranberry, tart cherry, green apple and hints of honeycomb in the mid-mouth. The flavors carry forward, lingering long after each satisfying sip. $18; 1,053 cases

2014 Raptor Ridge McMinnville Rosé of Pinot Noir            

A lovely, deep pink in appearance, this rosé’s lively acidity complements full-bodied depth of flavor featuring raspberry and strawberry.  A bright, dry, piquantly pleasurable palate calls for accompaniment with a savory dish such as grilled fish. $20; 124 cases

2014 Wy'East Estate Columbia Gorge Rosé of Pinot Noir   

Floral aromas, a hint of sweetness and a touch of tea leaf tannin combine to create a round, rich overall taste impression featuring tangerine zest and sour cherry. Its richness favors food and its freshness says chill for al fresco enjoyment. $20; 100 cases

2014 J. Albin Willamette Valley Saignee Pinot Noir Rosé    

White pepper teases the nose, accenting lush, just off-dry flavors. Melon and citrus meld with meaty apple to build a flavor base that maintains richness throughout. $16; 112 cases 

2014 Abacela Estate Umpqua Valley Grenache Rosé           

Bright, tart acidity provides the perfectly mated underpinning for this delightfully refreshing sipper with southeastern French origins. Tasty notes of strawberry and lemonade dance lean and lively across the palate. $18; 878 cases

2014 Maryhill Columbia Valley Rosé of Sangiovese             

Soft, supple and slightly sweet, its Italian heritage has lent this vino rosato Americano an enticing pink hue and a floral aroma infused with jasmine followed by ripe strawberries overlaid with juicy grapefruit on the palate. $14; 2,497 cases

2014 COR Horse Heaven Hills Rosae of Cabernet Franc     

A unique spelling of “ros-ae” leaves no question as to pronunciation. But the big, bold Bordelaise variety belies its light color, offering an herbaceous entry accompanied by dark cherry and loganberry. A dusty core brings the taster ethereally back down to earth. $16; 250 cases

2013 Hauer of the Dauen Estate Willamette Valley Lemberger Rosé           

Lemberger, or Blaufränkisch, enjoys popularity in southwestern Germany, but has seen only limited planting in the Pacific Northwest. This rare Oregon version surprises with spiciness akin to Gewürztraminer augmented by Bordeaux-like earth and pepper undertones. An adventuresome taste experience. $12; 300 cases

2014 Puffin Brand Oregon Rosé                                                       

Made at Gold Hill in Southern Oregon for the owners of longtime Cannon Beach retailer, The Wine Shack, this blend is loaded with citrusy fruit and grassiness. Elements of grapefruit and herbs are reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. $20; 84 cases

2014 Anindor Elkton Trillium White Wine                                        

A limited offering from this Umpqua Valley winery, the Trillium blend combines Pinot Gris (50 percent), Gewürztraminer (25 percent) and Riesling (25 percent). Enticing elements of nature captured in a bottle include honeysuckle, pine and wildflowers. A hint of sweetness, bright acidity and good balance makes this wine shine. $18; 56 cases

2014 Brooks Willamette Valley Amycas White Table Wine

Lively, fresh, clean, delightfully easy-drinking from a blend of five different varieties. Unlike the kitchen sink, however, this Pinot Blanc-Riesling-Muscat-Gewürz-Pinot Gris combo comes together with amazing aplomb. Jasmine, freshly mowed hay and tart grapefruit all contribute to a more than satisfying mouthful with a long finish. $18; 800 cases

2014 Airlie Willamette Valley Seven White Blend                            

Peachy keen with hint of spritz makes for a light, lively, enjoyable summer quaffer offering hints of honeysuckle and nice balance throughout. $15; 231 cases

Past and Future Value Picks

February 2015: non-Bordeaux red varietals and blends ($30 or less)

March 2015: Bordeaux red varietals and blends ($35 or less)

April 2015: Pinot Gris ($25 or less)

May 2015: Pinot Noir 2012 or 2013 ($30 or less)

June 2015: Rhône- and Loire-style whites ($25 or less)

July 2015: rosé and white blends ($20 or less)

August 2015: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner Müller-Thurgau, Grüner Veltliner ($25 or less)

September 2015: Chardonnay ($35 or less)

October 2015: Pinot Blanc, other white varietals: Auxerrois, Vermentino, Albariño, etc. ($25 or less)

November 2015: Pinot Noir 2013 ($45 or less)

December 2015: dessert and sparkling ($30 or less).


The Oregon Wine Press tasting panel has selected the following wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. To the best of our knowledge, they are currently available in the marketplace. Wine must be: 1) produced by an Oregon winery; 2) priced (retail) $30 or less for reds, $30 or less for Chardonnay, $30 or less for dessert and sparkling wines, and $25 or less for remaining varietals; and 3) currently available to consumers. Recommended wines were selected using a double-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish.

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