One Wine a Week: A Tribute to Grace 2013 Rosé of Grenache

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Many people have heard me to say that the Grace Grenache is my favorite wine ever – and if I had to pick only 5 or 10 in the world, that wine would probably be on the list. Now, I know this isn’t just one wine – Angela Osborne makes several different Grenaches from a few different vineyards, and she has made rosé from a few of those vineyards as well. However, there’s consistency in style and treatment here that unifies her label. All grenache, all floral, elegant, and, well, graceful. The fact that I’ve had this rosé in my fridge since the last wine club shipment is sort of a feat in and of itself, but I was waiting for a suitably beautiful day, and a suitably delicious meal to pair it with.

Night opened: Sunday

Days to drink: Technically, 4 – I finished the last half-glass last night because I didn’t want to waste it

Paired with: Grilled steak and tomato panzanella (night 1), and whole wheat pasta with corn, arugula, and ricotta (night 3)

I was excited and had high expectations when I opened the bottle, and I was not disappointed. This rosé is extremely pale in color but that belies its intensity of flavor, which is huge. It’s got a strong backbone of acid that cuts through every sip and every bite of food, but the nose is all sorts of flowers. It really was a wonderful complement to the steak salad, which had a nice diversity of flavors in it, but was light and fresh in its own way. The wine did not overwhelm, it did not make anything taste sour or off, and the food also lifted the wine above the dish so that when you were drinking it between bites, you could enjoy both the interplay of the flavors between the two. It also made a great palate cleanser. It’s got this great tropical element to the aroma, which sort of makes you think Sauvignon Blanc, but the taste is crisp and juicy in a way that SB just can never be.

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On night two, however, I have to say that I was shocked at the turnaround this wine made, which makes me think I did something to cause it. Night two, I drank it straight with no food, and the acid was a little overpowering. The wine just didn’t shine in the way it had the first day, and I couldn’t discern all of the fruit or floral flavors or aromas that I could on day one. Tala said, “maybe it was a lemon day,” which is a biodynamic wine joke. My personal opinion is still out on this aspect of biodynamics, but I won’t lie – my first thought was whether it was a root or a leaf day – or maybe it was something I ate, or maybe it was too cold, who knows. In any case, it was not a situation where I was willing to give up, so I put the cork in it, tucked it into the fridge, and decided to try it again the next day.

I’m really glad I did! On night three, I had it with whole wheat spaghetti with arugula, corn and ricotta mixed in. Very simple and straightforward, pretty light, and also delicious. On this night, the wine had lost some – but definitely not all – of its acid, and the florals and tropicals were back in a big way. It was not as successful a pairing as with the panzanella because the wine had lost some of its acid, but it still tasted remarkably good for a fresh, natural, young wine on day three. Given the wine’s elegance, I would’ve expected it to fall apart at this point and it was clearly on the downhill, but still tasted great. The acid fading out really brought forward the floral elements – jasmine, rose, gardenia; it smells like your grandmother’s powders or old-timey perfumes in the very best way. So fresh and flowery.

I think this rosé is a highly versatile and extremely delicious wine – it surpassed my expectations and I’d pick it up again in a heartbeat. Very food friendly, and I’d love to try sipping it again, maybe in the sun, on a back deck, on a Sunday afternoon. You can, too! It’s still available in the shop.