The Southern Willamette Valley has some awesome wine industry growth right now. One of my favorite local producers is William Rose. They produce their wines right in the heart of Eugene, and sell it right off 5th and Lincoln at their location, The Oregon Wine Lab. Winemaker Mark Nicholl isn’t a Eugene native, but has made his home here. He has produced wine for Sweet Cheeks in the past and started his very own label. He is also the director of the Southern Willamette Wineries Association. They put on cool events like the Winter Wine Walk, an annual wine tour that celebrates all of our urban wineries in the area every December.
The last time I stopped by the Wine lab, I spotted the newly released 2013 Prohibition Rosé. As a huge rosé lover, I was very excited to try it. This wine deserved my excitement – it was fantastic. I’ve had a love affair with rosé wines for many years. I’ve met many different kinds of rosé wines, sweet, dry, and not so good. What I love about them is their versatility. I popped this bottle open on a cold blustery day, and it was perfect. By all definition it might fit better on a warm, July day. I drink them at holidays, with dinner, and in the summertime while I barbecue. All in all, they are great for any occasion.
The Prohibition Rosé has some excellent characteristics to it. Part of the reason is the way the wine is produced. It is left to age with all of its lees (all of the particles left after fermentation) until right before bottling. That means there is lots of time for the wine to get complex flavors during the aging process. The blend on this wine is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Syrah. That little bit of Syrah really added a beautiful color. Some rosé wines can be too light in color for my taste, this one was just beautiful. Similar to a pink hued sunset.
The first sniff of this wine was fabulous. Tart cherry and a hint of crisp apples filled my senses. In addition to the scent, the initial sip was packed with flavor. I picked up notes of raspberry, and tart cranberry. This wine was aged in steel barrels, and because of that it finished with a freshness that wasn’t too dry, nor too sweet. A thoroughly enjoyable experience overall.
I prefer to taste my wines without any food, mostly so I can really savor all the elements in the wine. This wine was really nice on it’s own. However, I could easily see this pairing well with grilled barbecue chicken or a fresh salmon salad with vegetables from the garden. I picked this bottle up at The Oregon Wine Lab for $18. It’s about as local as you can get, and is one of the best rosé wines I’ve tried in a long time. Stock up, and enjoy. Cheers!