It’s spring, and that means the crop of new rosés is flooding the market from just about every wine region on the planet. The rosé craze shows no sign of slowing down, but the truth is that there are a lot of really mediocre blush wines out there. The challenge is to weed out all the one-note bottles and identify rosés that offer depth and complexity.
This brings me to an exceptional American rosé that outshines much of the competition year after year. For about $20, Argyle’s 2020 Rosé Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley sets a benchmark for the wines in the $20-and-under range, which accounts for the vast majority of the rosés you’ll find.
One of the first things that strikes you is the wine’s texture. There’s a touch of tannic and mineral “chewiness” that immediately sets it apart. Then, the beautiful fruit notes set in: cherry, raspberry, and blueberry, accented by hints of vanilla and spice. The wine is layered and complex, with refreshing acidity that invites you back for another sip.
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It’s made from 100 percent estate-grown Pinot Noir, with 90 percent of the wine fermented and aged in stainless steel-tanks and 10 percent in neutral French oak barrels — the latter an unusual treatment for rosé that might be responsible for some of the dimension that sets this one apart.
The wine is delightful on its own and would be an excellent pairing with all kinds of foods, from seafood to grilled chicken and lamb to asparagus sautéed and tossed with pasta. In a sea of rosé, this one will withstand the test of summer — and beyond.