Competition Shows Rosé Rising Through The Ranks


Rosé would like you to know she's no longer that sweet, pink stuff you know as “blush”.
This past week, Napa Valley Register contributor Bob Ecks covered the results of March's Rose Wine Competition in Healdsburg. Along with the competition's results and the impressions of the contest's judges, Ecks included a brief history of rosés modest ascension from lowbrow plonk to the dignified lady she is today.
He first become interested in rosé during a trip to Provence. Upon returning home to California, Ecks said he “sought out American rosés and found very few 'modern' wines – that is, good dry crisp and tasty rosés unlike the preponderance of sweet, weak and mass produced 'blush' wines of the past.”
That trip to Provence and the resulting search for good American rosés eventually led him to found the Rosé Wine Competition in 2013. Entries were California-only. 
Impressed with the turnout from the first and second competitions, Ecks expanded the 2015 competition to wines from the entire United States. 
“Although the majority of submitted wines were from Northern California, we received 192 total entries from 20 different states,” Ecks wrote. 
Included in the list of non-California wines was Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and 13 other states. 
“During the competition, the flights kept coming out, usually 10 at a time, as the judges looked, smelled, swirled, sampled and spit, then wrote down comments and scores,” Ecks noted. “The colors in this type of wine competition were particularly fun to observe, as glasses ran the gamut for almost clear to pale ocher, apricot, rust, copper, peachy, pink, orange, rogue, fire engine red, magenta, and eve …. dark purple.”
Judge Rick Fraga said he the variety was noteworthy.
“'I was impressed by the number of rosé wines entered this year,” Fraga told Ecks. “I knew that they had returned to California in a big way over the past few  years, but it is obvious that winemakers from across the U.S. are joining in to the pink wine craze.”
The competition divided the entries into two categories: “dry” and “a little sweet”.
Martin Ray Vineyards and Winery's 2014 rosé won  Best of Class for the dry category, while Truett Hurst's 2014 rosé won Best of Class for the “a little sweet” category.
Judge Parker Wong said the consumers are in the midst of a rosé renaissance. 
“As a category, rosé is on fire and consumers can't go wrong with the variety of styles that medalled in this competition,” Wong said. 

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