Willamette Valley Wines To Sip On National Rosé Day And Beyond
by Elizabeth Brownfield
To wine lovers, it may seem foolish to devote one day to rosé. Why celebrate a wine for just 24 hours that we sip it all summer — and all year — long? But today is National Rosé Day, which at least is a good reminder to discover some new expressions of this vibrant style of wine to add to our cellars before the sweltering months of summer.
To seek out some of the country’s best rosés, look no further than Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The majority are made from the region’s famous Pinot Noir grapes, but there are also standout rosés made with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Meunier, and more varieties.
Even if you think you’re not a fan of rosés — if the ones you’ve sampled have seemed generic, one-dimensional, cloyingly sweet, or perfumey — this list will have you rethinking your stance. All are sophisticated and nuanced, balanced wines that showcase the unique characteristics of Willamette Valley’s world-class grapes.
2015 Argyle Knudsen Vineyard Brut Rosé
This nuanced bubbly from Willamette Valley’s first and most famous producer of sparkling wines is blended from equal parts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. It’s the first brut rosé sourced from the historic Knudsen Vineyard in Dundee, and these older, higher elevation vines lend complexity to the blend. With notes of Oregon strawberry and pink peppercorn, and a velvety, lingering finish. Get this limited production bottle now since it may be the only Knudsen Vineyard Sparkling Rosé the winery ever produces.
2019 Argyle Rosé
Another gem from Argyle’s Knudsen Vineyard is this dynamic rosé sourced from experimental blocks of high-density Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted in the mid-90’s. The two fruits are macerated together for 48 hours, gently pressed with Pinot Meunier from Spirit Hill Vineyard, and then fermented in neutral wood barrels and aged on the lees for 6 months. The vibrant blend boasts notes of ripe watermelon and cherries with delicate flowers, with good acidity and pleasant minerality.