2017 Rosé Caché

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For centuries Grenache has been the foundation of so many satisfying rosés globally. This ancient variety found welcoming soils across the Western Mediterranean, from the Southern Rhone, Spain, Sardinia, and then on to New World vineyards. Loving sunshine, hot summer days, and parched land, easily blended with other lower tannin red varieties, Grenache’s rosé offerings please a range of preferences.

America’s love affair with well-made rosé is now in full bloom and Washington Grenache is an eager suitor. Pale, pure, penetrating, these wines deliver just enough fruit and structure to be a favorite go-to summer choice. The hot summers we experience in the Columbia Valley yield exciting Grenache, dating back to the 1950s (those earliest Grenache wines were all rosés).

Long time Betz Family fans know that my earliest rosés were anything but pale (this is Bob writing!). I always darkened them up with Syrah, adding weight, structure, and color, making them more “chillable reds”. But now in the hands of Louis Skinner, Betz Family’s winemaker, this is the real McCoy, a graceful wine that’s still compelling enough for mealtime.

Louis has long championed the spirit of rosés made in the Southern Rhone, bone dry yet with attractive fruit sweetness, refreshing but with ample concentration. The 2017 Rosé Caché reflects his dedication to the style: Grenache-dominant (65%), with the balance made from other southern Rhone varieties in our stable, Counoise and Mourvedre. The hot mid-summer temperatures in 2017 led to concentrated berries, with one of vineyard yielding a low 2 tons/acre. Fermented for 5-6 weeks in stainless steel, he preserved all the vitality and tension of satisfying rose and maintained the fruit essence of Grenache. 

This vintage of Rosé Caché lives up to its name, The Hidden Rosé; they kept it deep in the cellar, away from me until just before bottling so I couldn’t add Syrah to the final blend. And I’m glad they did. Its pastel peach-pink color hints at its southern Rhone inspiration. Fresh raspberry/strawberry fruit leads the aromatics, with touches of dried brush, cream, earth, and lemon curd. The palate is racy yet ample, with abundant berry flavor, and crystalline freshness. 

Bring on summer.

Wine Specifications

  • Vintage: 2017
  • Appellation: Columbia Valley
  • Alcohol: 13.0%
  • Region: Washington
  • Residual sugar: 3.6 g/l
  • Winemaker notes

    A bright yellow colour suggests a warm vintage. There is a green tint to the wine, which suggests a “coolness”, an indication of the cooler evenings which were particular to the 2017 vintage. The nose appears concentrated with an immediate burst of floral concentration and citrus blossom. Subtle hints of stone fruit and fresh honey are backed by a hint of struck flint, ginger spice and toasted nuts. The palate reveals an array of fresh sun ripened fruits. White peach, apricot, pear and golden delicious apple are evident, with subtle hints of nuts, freshly baked bread and allspice. The oak is exceptionally well integrated, giving the wine dimension and balance, whilst not being evident in any particular way. The 2017 Quinta Essentia Chenin Blanc is drinking beautifully on release. Further cellaring for up to ten years from vintage will reward with a melding and development of the various elements into a highly complex taste profile. Expect to see rich honey notes, warm toasted nuts and freshly baked brioche as the wine matures.
2017 Rosé Caché

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