What: Efeste Oldfield Estate Rosé Yakima Valley 2014 $20
Where: Efeste Winery only
Why: In the past, many Washington winemakers made rosé from red wine juice that was siphoned off during fermentation—a process called saignée. This had the dual effect of concentrating the red wine while creating some quick cash flow by selling the siphoned juice as rosé.
Now, however, an increasing number of wineries are growing grapes specifically for rosé, picking the grapes earlier or hanging a heavier crop to help retain acidity (those tart, fresh fruit flavors are the hallmark of a good pink wine). The result has been a significant increase in quality.
A perfect example of this transition comes from EFESTE in Woodinville. In past years Efeste has only made a saignée rose (the Babbitt rosé which is still in the winery’s portfolio). For the 2014 vintage, however, winemaker Peter Devison created a wine from grapes grown specifically for rosé. The result is one of the season’s best offerings.
The Efeste 2014 Oldfield Estate Rosé Yakima Valley ($20) is just over three quarters mourvèdre with the balance grenache. It’s full of rich, dry, thirst-quenching fruit flavors but retains a tart zing of acidity that stitches it all together. The wine is only offered at the winery—a good excuse to go visit Woodinville. Make sure to taste through the current lineup, which includes some of the best wines the winery has made to date.