It is no secret I love a good rosé. With all of this hot weather we’ve been having my craving for them has definitely spiked! There is something about the crispness and fruit forward characteristics of a nice rosé. You can find these characteristics in many white wines throughout Oregon, but I just love the gorgeous pink hue of a good rosé. While on the hunt for a good wine to share with everyone, I stumbled upon the 2014 Gilbert Cellars Rosé. I drink many wines from both Oregon and Washington, but when I saw that this wine had a blend of Mourvedre and Grenache I knew I had to try it! I am so glad I took the risk. What a delicious find!
Gilbert Cellars has quite a history. Located in Yakima, Washington, this winery was started about 10 years ago. Before that though, the Gilbert family had been farmers in this area since around the time of World War I. Megan Gilbert and Laura Rankin were the founders of this winery back in 2004, and both were descendants of Curtiss Gilbert (who Mt. Curtiss Gilbert in Washington is named after!). I love a winery with a long history! Curtiss was an avid hiker, and was friends with the Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas who was his favorite hiking partner. When Curtiss passed away in 1947, William O. Douglas named the highest point in the Goat Rocks Wilderness in his honor.
What really drew me to this wine was the blend of 58% Mourvedre and 42% Grenache. I drink many rosé wines and this blend is one I hadn’t tried before. Grenache is one of my very favorite grapes, and while it does grow here in Oregon, it isn’t super common. Slightly bigger bodied than Pinot Noir, Grenache carries flavors of strawberries and raspberries and is often used in blended wines. It is actually one of the most popular grapes in the world, and once you try it you can see why! This blend is more Mourvedre than Grenache though, which definitely makes it stand out.
Mourvedre is a thick skinned berry that is grown all over the world. It is often used in blends, and very commonly with Grenache. The high amount of tannins and phenolics present in this grape make it a great pairing with Grenache, which is a little bit softer. Both of these grapes prefer warmer climates. That is exactly why you don’t see too many Grenache and Mourvedre rosé wines here in Oregon. I will say that they do exist though, and I have tried Grenache in the form of rosé and as well as a red wine. At least in the North, our climate is better suited for colder varietals like Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gamay Noir, and a few others.
My favorite part of a good rosé wine is the color. The gorgeous salmon color of this wine was just perfect. On the nose I smelled fresh strawberries. It didn’t smell like it was going to be too sweet, and my prediction was correct. This wine was very dry, but had flavors of ripe peaches and a hint of grapefruit. The acid balance was just perfect. I love a crisp wine that has rich fruit flavors. I happened to pick up a White Chocolate Raspberry treat from Red Hills Market, and the creamy sweetness of the dessert paired with the dry rosé was impeccable. If you love a good dry wine, especially rosé, this wine is made for you.They will soon be changing their name to “Gilbert Peak”, so keep your eyes peeled for some of their new releases this year. This bottle was just around $18, and a total steal. Cheers!