When I first tasted the Sidebar Cellars Kerner, from the Mokelumne Glen vineyard in Lodi, I thought to myself, “wow this is a fun little white”, as I sat in the heat of Lodi in April. At that time, we were exploring the Mokelumne River AVA, and I didn’t make the connection to David Ramey of Ramey Cellars. Fast forward to 2016, and as I get my rosés ready to rumble, a little birdie told me that Sidebar Cellars did a rosé. Knowing how much I love pink wine around this time of year, I made sure I got my hands on one and I was glad I did! Sidebar Cellars was born out of Ramey’s desire to play around a bit, and presents a departure from the Ramey Wine Cellars more austere lineup of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon; hence, Sidebar. The 2016 Sidebar Cellars Russian River Valley Rosé comes from an old-vine Syrah vineyard, and represents a refreshing change of pace from the more common place saignée (bleed off) Pinot Noir rosés, which while delicious, can get a little boring. Bursting with strawberry and peach on the nose, herbal rose hips and hibiscus came through on the palate. Tart plum skins and tannin give this wine some oomph, while ruby red grapefruit hides at the back f the palate, offering a refreshing finish. The zesty green apple and lime lingers on your palate with a hint of pickled watermelon rind, and keeps you going back for another sip. This is a great summer sipper and pairs surprisingly well with sriracha potato chips! It would also be an excellent match to your Easter Ham or a roast chicken. Special thanks to Alexandra O’Gorman, Communications Director at Ramey Wine Cellars for this delightful sample!
It’s summer! Full fledged, off the hook summer. Even here in San Francisco, where it’s often foggy and cold on the 4th of July, we have sunshine . While the f-o-g is threatening to blow in and spoil the fireworks, you can enjoy these summer sippers as you celebrate. Think pink! Rose has gone All American and is no longer just from Provence (though they make some fantastic ones there too). Rose of Pinot noir – $19 (tasting room only but I highly suggest you buy a cold bottle and sit on their patio). Palest salmon pink. Beautiful bright summer strawberry, stone fruit, and floral notes. Finish of crushed raspberries and watermelon. It’s way to easy to drink a bottle of this on a warm day! Grenache Rose – $18 Ridiculously delicious. I first tasted this as the 2012 Pink Out, an all rose tasting event. 100% Grenache, this Dry Creek gem is the color of a baby’s lips, with fresh watermelon, strawberries and cream, and 100% yum! Corralina Napa Valley Syrah Rose – $20 coppery pink in color, a syrah rose is a beautiful thing! A bit more meaty than a Pinot Noir Rose, the Corallina tastes of ripe peaches and blood oranges, with spicy notes, and rose water. Ruby Red grapefruit covered in cream rounds out the palate with a nice round finish. Great for BBQs and burgers! Rose of Pinot Noir OGV Endless Crush – $30 A special wine that is made only every other year, the Endless Crush is a purpose made rosé, separate and distinct from Inman’s award winning Pinto Noir. Purpose made rosés can have more complexity and intensity, since they are not the byproduct of another process, and this gorgeous example is perfect for a hot day with a classic delicate pink color. Like most Pinot Noir rosés, there is a beautiful strawberry flavor profile, but also some crisp and refreshing grapefruit and tropical notes. I love this wine because it’s such a crisp and refreshing wine, with lovely minerality and citrus acid. 2010 Lazy Creek Rosé of Pinot Noir – $20 Another dry, crisp wine, there are lots of juicy tangerine flavors, with watermelon and orange juice. The salmon color is a bit deeper than some Pinot Noir Roses, but the flavors are great. Fresh strawberries and raspberries, with floral notes on the finish with a touch of bitter orange. Archery Summit Vireton Rose – $29 Love at first sip! This delicate rosé of Pinot Noir is full of tropical fruit, watermelon and Hood River strawberries. I absolutely loved this wine. The bright fresh raspberry juice was clean and crisp, and is a perfect summer sipper. Pale pink and delicate. Happy 4th! Please don’t drink and drive, and NO fireworks in the dry red flag areas!