I recently was sent some wine from a Virginia winery after admitting that I never have tasted wine from the region. To be honest, when I hear ‘Virginia’, the very first thing that comes to mind is a speeding ticket that I received after being spotted by a camouflage police car hiding in the woods. After that experience, I made a promise to never get ‘caught’ in Virginia again – not even for their vineyards.
So Virginia wine came to me…
I received the shipment with two wines from Early Mountain Vineyards and tasted them both separately. I really didn’t have any idea of what to expect and was surprised by the overall quality of the red, but that isn’t why I am writing this post…this post is about the other bottle that was sent – a nearly perfect domestic Rosé.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I finally posted about Rosé last week, announcing that I have a strong preference for French Rosé, and that I struggle to find the same caliber of complexity in domestic versions. Well, that post was a preemptor to what I am about to write here – Early Mountain Vineyards may have deciphered the secret formula behind American Rosé. I am not just saying this because it is fundamentally a proper Rosé – this had something that I believe could officially put the US/Virginia on the Rosé map, with multiple layers of flavors and sensations that I have not before discovered in any Rosé – French or American.
Now is the part where I need to describe what I am raving about – a bit of a challenge considering that what I tasted opened an entire new dimension on my palette – similar to when you discover an amazing food and wine pairing for the first time and realize that each bite and swig enhances and draws out more goodness from the other. Instead of describing all over again, I am opting to display my slightly edited (so you can better understand), raw tasting notes here:
Early Mountain Rosé Notes
Zingy, mineral, dry surprise!
Color: extremely light salmon.
Flavor: peaches on palette.
Extremely bright yet balanced; refined.
Tasted by itself, then with lemon cucumbers, splash vinegar, lemon pepper. Main course was crab cakes. Held up beautifully to all. Not traditional rose but very unique special and surprisingly amazing. Husband even loved it.
I can’t stress enough how much I adore this Rosé! It is the only domestic Rosé that I feel confident enough to post about, directly following my initial ‘I only drink French Rosé’s’ post. Why come out now, the very next week and say ‘oh, but except this domestic one..’? Because tasting this wine is the first time that I felt hope for American versions of this pink beauty. In fact, the Virginia Rosé is so similar, yet unique enough in comparison to it’s French counterpart, that I would go as far as to describe it as New World Rosé – have you ever even heard of that?!
Final Note: If you want to taste an amazing, American Rosé, or get a feel for what a New World style of Rosé might envelop, look no further than Early Mountain Vineyards in Virginia. This is my new standard for measuring domestic bottles, (and maybe even French versions too).