2010 Rosé Round-up – Part II

Time once again to focus our attention on rosé with another look at wines from the 2010 vintage (read part I here).

The next two months mark the brief period when people in the Pacific Northwest are able to drink rosé as one should - sitting outdoors with the sun shining down rather than sitting under the sun lamp, taking vitamin D, and visualizing warmer days with a glass of pink wine in hand.

Here we take a look at three Southern Rhone-style blends along with one Sangiovese. Let’s get down to it.

The first wine is from Ott & Murphy Wines. Ott & Murphy is located in Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island. The winery is named after head winemaker Eric Murphy and his business partner David Ott. The 2010 Chanson Rosé is one of the more enjoyable rosés I have come across in this vintage – crisp and refreshing just as a rosé should be. Of note, Ott & Murphy recently opened an off-site tasting room in Langley. Look for a full post on this winery in the coming weeks.

The next wine comes from the Doyenne side of DeLille Cellars. Doyenne is dedicated to Rhone-style wines. With its 2010 Rosé, DeLille offers a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Mourvedre from two top notch vineyard sites – Ciel du Cheval and Boushey.

Dusted Valley Vintners’ 2010 Ramblin’ Rosé is a blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah. The grapes come from the first crop at the winery’s Stoney Vine Vineyard in The Rocks district of the Walla Walla Valley. The accompanying package from the winery even included a piece of rock from the vineyard – “I bet this is the first time you’ve ever received a rock in the mail!,” Dusted Valley’s Chelsea Tennyson says. Indeed!

The last wine comes from Waterbrook – a 100% Sangiovese.

Feel free to leave comments about rosés you’ve enjoyed this season.

Ott & Murphy Chanson Rosé Columbia Valley 2010
Rating: + (Good) Pale copper colored. Lightly aromatic with melon, strawberry, and citrus. A crisp, clean wine that tingles the palate and finishes with mouthwatering acidity. Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Roussanne. Coyote Canyon, Sugarloaf, Spice Cabinet, and Elephant Mountain vineyards. Fermented in 50% stainless steel and 50% neutral French oak. 13.2% alcohol. 70 cases produced. Recommended

Doyenne Rosé Yakima Valley 2010 $23

Rating: + (Good) Pale salmon colored with a tinge of copper. Aromas of spice, wild strawberry, and red fruit. Palate is dry , tart, and filled with spice flavors along with mouthwatering acidity. 55% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Mourvedre. Ciel du Cheval and Boushey vineyards. 14.1% alcohol. 300 cases produced.

Dusted Valley Vintners Ramblin’ Rosé Stoney Vine Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2010 $20

Rating: ./+ (Decent/Good) Pale strawberry colored. Shows abundant strawberry and cherry candy aromas. Tingles the palate, trailing off on the second half. 34% Mourvedre, 28% Cinsault, 26% Grenache, and 12% Syrah. Stoney Vine Vineyard. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. 14.2% alcohol. 273 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Waterbrook Sangiovese Rosé Columbia Valley 2010 $11

Rating: . (Decent) Light cherry colored. Aromas of watermelon, bubble gum, and spice. Palate comes off as a bit flat, lacking in fruit concentration. 100% Sangiovese. Canyon Ranch, Les Collines, and Oasis vineyards. 12.2% alcohol. 1.1% Residual Sugar. 1,657 cases produced.

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. Hmmm, I love good rosé. You seem to have left the price info off the single wine you recommend, though.

  2. We drink a lot of Rose' in the summer. Lately we've been enjoying Charles & Charles, by Charles Smith, 2010 100% Rose'. It's a great value and perfect for soaking up a little sun on the patio in the evening.

  3. Anon 11:34am, sorry about that. Updated!

  4. I'm interested in drinking Rose' because I really haven't tasted it yet. Awesome post you got there.

  5. Tammy, I've heard good things about the Charles & Charles this year. I'll check it out.

  6. people force themselves to like it because it is usually made with esoteric varietals (e.g. sangiovese, grenache, cab franc, etc.) it's a gimmicky thing and that's why wineries never make more than one rose' in any given vintage. winemakers love rose' because it sells but they never drink it themselves and it is sort of an inside joke among winemakers.

  7. Oh, sweet Jesus...I don't know who you are Mr(s). Anonymous, but you are quite wrong. First of all, how do you figure that Sangiovese, Grenache and Cabernet Franc are esoteric? Sangiovese is the number one planted grape in Italy, Grenache is the number one grape planted in Southern Rhone and Cabernet Franc is one of the top grapes in Bordeaux. Second of all, for the winemakers that actually make rose, it is another wine that they work hard on and is far from a joke (thanks for trying to discredit any winemaker that makes one). Third, it is quite evident that you don't know any winemakers, because at least 99% of the winemakers that I know, (across the world) do in fact drink rose, (myself included).

  8. Chip
    1st- those wines are esoteric as varietals in Washington state (this is WASHINGTON wine report) so let's use some common sense and keep it relative here ok

    2nd- winemakers make rose for cash because it's gimmicky. again this is why you will never see more than one rose from any given winery in a single vintage and yet they make MULTIPLE whites and reds.if your two wine winery made a cabernet sauvignon and/or merlot you wouldn't sell as much.

    3rd- ask to see some of your friend winemakers' private cellars and tell me how many roses you see. it's like having a bottle of mead. it's a kitschy thing.

    4th- For full disclosure you only make two wines and have been around for about 10 minutes. grow some fruit make over a few thousand cases and come back and we'll talk. good luck with your gimmicky music-themed winery

  9. Alright, dude:

    First of all, those grapes are STILL not considered esoteric, even by Washington State standards. Just because it's not Cabernet or Syrah, that doesn't mean that it's esoteric. If you want esoteric, try something more along the lines of tinto cao, tannat or zweiegelt.

    Second, just because you think that rose is a gimmick, doesn't mean that it is. If it was a gimmick, why would so many people actually spend the time and money on making it? Fun fact for you here: rose is usually the one wine that winemakers make the least amount of money on. They pay the same prices for the fruit as others do that make reds from the grapes. So, what's the point in that if it's only a gimmick?

    Third, I have seen many of my winemaker's personal cellars, and I will give you that not too many of them have roses in them. But, do you want to know why? It's because the roses are in their fridges, waiting to be consumed. Rose is not always an age worthy wine, thus they don't spend much time in cellars. A proper cellar isn't a garage or an empty closet. A proper cellar is for aging wines because they aren't quite ready for consumption. Much like beaujolais nouveau, rose is made and sent immediately to market because it's a drink now type of wine, not something that you lay down for four or five years.

    Lastly: you want to talk about full disclosure? Try writing without an anonymous screen name. I have no problem with people knowing that I am the winemaker and proprietor for Vinyl Wines. I'm very proud with what I have accomplished in the "ten minutes" that I have been around. I mean, hey, you know who I am, so I must be doing something right. If you want to have a conversation based on logic and facts, I'm game. But, if you want to continue to talk negatively about me and my business, without knowing me on a personal level, I'm out.

    Cheers, mate.

  10. Oh, by the way Sean: great article! :) I love the Dusted Valley rose.

  11. Anon 11:25am, I wouldn't say that the reason winemakers only make one rose is because it's gimmicky. I believe it's the same reason (most) only make one Cab, one Merlot, one Syrah etc - because they have a better chance of selling it that way. Imagine if a winery said "Here's my lineup of roses!" Yikes. Not to mention they don't keep too long if a winery can't sell them.

    Additionally, some grapes lend themselves more (Rhone varietals, sangio, and cab franc) and less well to making rose (cab and merlot particularly - can't say I've ever had a good one).

    For some I do believe that rose is nothing more than a cash cow. It's not made with much intention and rather is just done to generate some quick revenue - and some of the wines sure taste that way. Some spend a whole lot of time thinking about their rose and make different growing and picking decisions for it. Steve Brooks at Trust Cellars is a good example. All those grapes are grown specifically for that rose, not as a saignee from his Cab Franc.

    Personally I have a whole bunch of rose around. But none of it will be making it into the cellar. By the time summer is over it will all be long gone. Assuming we have a summer...

  12. Pool Party. Fourth of July. Maybe 7 or 8 winemakers. Open the cooler. Rose' both local and import and some in plain unlabeled bottles. And beer. And a couple Rieslings. But mostly Rose'. And beer.

    I make and sell Rose' not because it's a gimmick and not because it makes a lot of money. I make it because I like it. If you think it's a good idea to make and (here's the important part) sell a bunch of different Rose's per vintage, go ahead...show us how wrong we all are.