Charles & Charles Rose 2012
Rosé from Columbia Valley, Washington
The 2011 vintage was #42 on Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
The aromas of watermelon, grass, wet stones and citrus still dominate and they carry through the palate, but in a more dynamic way finishing with bright acidity. The level of C02 is reduced this vintage, so while previously there was a touch of effervescence it's more integrated this year. The winery's goal is to achieve the perfect balance of fruit, acid and savory.
Wine Spectator - "Light and spicy, with a clove note weaving through the beguiling raspberry and pear flavors, finishing dry. Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Grenache."
Charles & Charles Winery
A collaboration founded in 2008 between Food & Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year, Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Three Thieves, BIELER Pere et Fils, Sombra mezcal, and the Gotham Project). They produce just two wines each year, a rosé made in the old school way, and a cabernet sauvignon and syrah red blend. All the grapes for their wines are farmed sustainably in the Columbia Valley (largely in the Wahluke Slope AVA) by Butch and Jerry Milbrandt. View all Charles & Charles Wines
About Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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