Ok kids, so since the weather has started warming up (at least here in Florida), we can start to break-out some rosé reviews! Rosés really are quintessential “patio wines”, but some guys have a problem drinking it (for the same reason that they have a problem wearing pink) i.e. they think that it threatens their masculinity. Therefore, it’s my hope in this review to kill two birds with one stone, namely: – Show that rosé wine isn’t just “for the girls”. – Prove that real men can indeed wear pink. If I achieve one out of the two, I’ll be happy…
The Waterbrook winery was founded in 1984 in Walla Walla (admittedly, it does sound like somewhere out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon), Washington. Their goal has always been to focus primarily on producing value-driven wines, which especially considering the economy, has stood them in good stead with the critics. They currently have 19 wines at 90 points and above with the Wine Spectator, as well as numerous features in their ‘Best Buy’ section. Even Robert Parker rated them in the “Top 5 Value Wineries in America”. Not too shabby!
Sangiovese is the most widely planted red grape in Italy, but it doesn’t see much acreage in the U.S. of A. Shame really, as I feel that most wineries in this country do a good job with it, since they’ve already taken the bold step to grow it, and now they probably feel like they have something to prove. This opposed a great deal of wineries in Italy taking it for granted, and pumping out juice without too much of a care in the world.
The main problem with Sangiovese is that most consumers just don’t understand it. Ask people what the main grape in Chianti is, and I promise you that 99% of them will answer with something along the lines of: “…I thought Chianti was the grape!”
Place (click play on the video for a brief tour of Waterbrook)
If you’re searching for great values / off-the-path wineries, you might want to give Washington State a little more of your attention! I really feel like Washington has been under the radar of most wine drinkers for the longest time. It’s worth noting that there are now 740+ wineries in Washington, compared to only 163 in 2000. For that reason, we can hopefully expect to see more on retailers shelves in the not too distant future.
Waterbrook wines are sourced from the Columbia Valley, the largest of Washington’s nine appellations. The Valley covers around 11 million acres (over 17,000 sq miles) and represents a third of Washington’s land mass.
Walla Walla was the second recognized AVA in Washington, right after Yakima Valley.
A few of the big advantages for Washington State are that vineyards receive an average of 2 more sunlight hours than California, few problems with rain, mold, mildew or rot, and an extra-long growing season, which allows grapes to hang well into October and sometimes even November.
Judging by the color you’d be expecting more sweetness, but Waterbrook have done a great job with balancing the fruit and acidity with this Sangiovese rose, and sugar hardly has a say in the matter…which is nice! Soft and delicate, with the expected strawberry and raspberry, but not as in-your-face as we’ve come to expect from U.S.A “pink wines”. There’s also some peach in there, but it’s hiding behind the pink grapefruit. Mineral-driven from start to finish, and speaking of the finish, it’s bright, refreshing and leaves you craving another sip. This has “patio wine” written all over it!
If you just give them the chance, you’ll see that roses can be surprisingly versatile when paired with food! 11.8% alcohol on the Waterbook rosé so we’re good to go on spicy dishes, but also goats cheese, salads, honey-baked ham, smoked meats, BBQ, burgers on the grill, pizza…or by itself as you relax….poolside.
$12 – Quite surprising that they can manage to produce a wine of this quality for such a low price. Certainly one of the best roses I’ve ever tried for this kind of money.
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