Monday, December 26, 2011

Wind Rose Cellar's 2009 Bravo Rosso

Issaquah. Mukilteo. Nisqually. Pend Oreille. Puyallup. Wenatchee. Yakima.

Can you pronounce these words after drinking a bottle of wine with a cracker in your mouth? If so, there’s a good chance you’re a native or long-time Washingtonian like myself. If not, never fear…we’ll do a lesson another day.

Even with 25 years of Washington residency under my belt and plenty of practice pronouncing tricky geographical locations, Sequim was a new one to me. I saw the name on the return address of Wind Rose Cellars, who has graciously sent me a bottle of their 2009 Bravo Rosso for review. After consulting Google Maps and learning that it was, in fact, located in Washington…I was ready to dive in to the review…and had another fun name for my vocab list. For the record, it’s pronounced “skwim”.

Wind Rose Cellars

A joint project of a husband and wife team, Wind Rose Cellars strives to produce premium Italian style wines grown in Washington State. With an inaugural professional vintage in 2009, Wind Rose lets the grower and Mother Nature do their work. According to the winemaker, Wind Rose makes food-driven wines:
Our wines at Wind Rose Cellars are crafted with food in mind. There are two basic ways to pair wine with food: match the food to the wine or the wine with the food. I know many of us will look for a wine first then figure out what to pair with it, or vise versa, we know what we are making for dinner, now we need to find the wine that complements the dish. The old saying, “White wine with white meat and red wine with red meat,” is a good basic rule, but not doctrine. I think a better way to pair wine and food is “Light with light and heavy with heavy.”

2009 Bravo Rosso
  • Blend: Primitivo 46%, Barbera 44%, Dolcetto 4.5%, Nebbiolo 4%, Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5%
  • Appellation: Washington State
  • Alcohol: 13.9%
  • Production: 312 cases

Appearance: This wine poured a gorgeous medium-purple with moderate translucency. Upon swirling, it coated the glass nicely.

Nose: I immediately got bold, fruity notes off of this wine – the nose screamed “Drink me, I’m Italian”. Juicy black cherry and currant was pervasive throughout.

Taste: Yum! One of the first things I scribbled down in my notes was that this wine was more balanced than I had anticipated – a very positive attribute. The primitivo and barbera were evident with a tart, tangy, puckery tannin with the fresh fruit. Do I sound like a wine snob yet? After trying the Bravo Rosso solo, I paired some with a steak and the fruit tones really opened up.

At around $17 per bottle, I found this to be a phenomenal value wine in the realm of Washington reds. I’d definitely drink it again, paired with another steak or some red-sauce pasta.


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