Julia's Dazzle Rose 2016
From Allen Shoup comes Julia’s Dazzle Rosé. Produced and bottled independent of Long Shadows, Allen asked Gilles Nicault to make a dry rosé as a favor to him some years ago to satisfy his own love for the wine and a desire to share it with family and friends. Dazzle was an instant hit. The wine quickly affirmed Allen’s long-held belief that Americans would one day develop an affinity for this food-friendly wine, particularly perfect on a warm summer afternoon.
Vintage after vintage Allen’s guests asked him to make the wine more readily available outside of his own dinner parties, so in 2012, Allen asked Gilles to set aside a special block of grapes at The Benches, to allow for a modest uptick in the wine’s production.
Gilles selected a block of Pinot Grigio and gave it extended time on the vine to develop a bright tint through slow fermentation, then added 2% Sangiovese to the blend for color. Named after Allen’s granddaughter, Julia's Dazzle is light pink in color and offers aromas of strawberry and orange peel. It is a dry style but with sweet fruit flavors and clean sharp acidity creating a light and refreshing finish.
Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.
The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.
It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.
Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.