In 15 years writing about Washington wine, never could I have said that there was a great rosé vintage in the state. Too few high-quality producers. Vintage conditions weren’t quite right. For a long time, local rosés were too often dark-colored, off-dry castoffs from juice intended for reds.
Since I began, they’ve gotten more intentional, drier, better. Now a decade of improvement has reached fruition: 2019—its warm summer (ripe fruit), cool September (acidity)—delivered a great vintage of Washington rosé, with an abundance of light, bright wines, as well as fuller styles with generous acidity. Time to enjoy summer through rosé colored glasses.
Devison Rosé Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley 2019 $24
On the Nose: rhubarb, grapefruit, and white peach.
On the Palate: all of the above, and nicely tart.
Why It's Special: The mourvedre-heavy offering from longtime winemaker Peter Devison is an argument against any rosé-all-day frivolity. This is a serious wine.
Gilbert Cellars Rosé Wahluke Slope 2019 $18
On the Nose: watermelon Jolly Rancher and guava.
On the Palate: light on its feet, with tart pink grapefruit notes.
Why It's Special: So many rosés are only gently aromatic, but here’s a glass to bury your nose in.
Prospice Rosé Walla Walla Valley 2019 $22
On the Nose: watermelon, flower, and strawberry.
On the Palate: bone dry, with live-wire acidity.
Why It's Special: The inaugural 2018 rose from this Walla Walla Valley newcomer was great. This is better.
Seven Hills Winery Dry Rosé Columbia Valley 2019 $18
On the Nose: cherry and herb.
On the Palate: sleek in feel with mouthwatering acidity.
Why It's Special: This Washington stalwart only started making rosé earlier this decade but quickly distinguished itself.
Underground Wine Project and Why Am I Mr. Pink? Columbia Valley 2019 $15
On the Nose: sour cherry and herb.
On the Palate: light and puckering.
Why It's Special: The wine—from Mark McNeilly (Mark Ryan Winery) and Trey Busch (Sleight of Hand Cellars)—is a steal at this price.