The unseasonably warm winter has given way to an early summer and that means wineries are releasing their rosés. We hosted a rosè-off with wines from several Loudoun County wineries: Breaux Vineyards, Boxwood Winery, Fabbioli Cellars, and Hiddencroft Vineyards.
Breaux Vineyards: a perennial favorite, this is the first wine made by the new winemaker at Breaux and it really reflects his style. Where previous Breaux rosés had a sweetness to them, this is a dry rosé. This dryness is a reflection of the vintage as well as David's style. The blend is also new, previous vintages were 100% Cabernet Sauvignon based, but the 2011 vintage is a blend of 53% Nebbiolo, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Chambourcin. The wine had aromas of strawberry and cranberry with some spiciness. In the mouth the wine was bright with nice acidity and good red fruits that lead to a medium finish.
Fabbioli Cellars: We got this wine a week before its official release. This is the third year that Fabbioli has produced a 100% Sangiovese Rosé and the production of this wine is meticulously monitored by assistant winemaker (and CellarBlog favorite) Melanie. The wine is 100% steel-aged, which is reflected in the crispness of the wine. The wine is refreshing without being sweet. I got aromas of of strawberry and peaches, which carried over to the mouth. The wine had flavors of cherry with a surprising hint of cinnamon and soft tannins which lead to a smooth finish.
Boxwood Winery: The most complex of the wines, 2011 Boxwood is a blend of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and it is done in a Provencial style. The nose is particularly interesting on this wine with apricot, stawberry, and herbal aromas. The fruit in the mouth gives way to elegant tannins that provide structure without taking away from the fruit and acidity and lead to a nice long finish.
Hiddencroft Vineyards: Slated to be released in the next few weeks, this is the first rosé from Hiddencroft and it is 100% Chambourcin. Of the four wines, this wine had the sweetest feel, though it was by no means a sweet wine. There was red fruit on the nose and strawberry and cherry flavors in the mouth with a soft finish, a very good deck wine.
So, which one was the favorite? If you were part of the tasting panel, leave a comment with your favorites. Based on the comments and votes at the tasting, while all the wines were excellent (not surprising since they were selected based on their track record), the Breaux Rosé was the winner that night!