L’Ecole No. 41 2015, Alder Ridge Vineyard Grenache Rosé, Horse Heaven Hills, $22

lecole-no-41-alder-ridge-vineyard-grenache-rosé-2015-bottleThe little schoolhouse in the Walla Walla Valley has three tiers within its “family of wines,” and Mike Sharon’s rosé from the Horse Heaven Hills is among the nine amid his exclusive bottlings. He’s been making pink from Grenache off Alder Ridge going back to 2010, and it’s telling to look back at some of the history. In 2010, production barely topped 100 cases, and the residual sugar settled in at 0.6%. This latest expression is more than four times that scale, and it’s fermented more dry – 0.2%. The lightly colored Provençe-style pink broadcasts energetic aromas of cherry, strawberry-rhubarb compote, Graham cracker, caramel and vanilla bean. It drinks clean and bright with flavors of white strawberry and mint, Rainier cherry-skin tannins and penetrating pomegranate acidity. It’s one of the more costly rosés made in Washington, but Grenache recently ranked among the priciest grapes in the state.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 540 cases

Alcohol: 13.5%

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