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WBW#9: Argyle Brut Rose


One of the wines I picked up on my recent Oregon trip was this 1999 Argyle Brut Rosé.  When Sam, of Becks & Posh, announced that this month’s theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday was "Think Pink!", I knew that this was the wine I would use.

I invited R over for a Sunday afternoon tasting and kept my fingers crossed that we’d have nice weather, since rosé is a perfect warm weather wine.  As usual I planned a few different bites to try with our tasting.  I had some gorgeous lamb chops that would be perfect grilled on the barbecue; a new cheese – Rosemary Romao; grilled asparagus with Huile de Noisette and shaved Asagio cheese; grilled garlic bread – this is bread with cloves of garlic embedded; and my dessert entry for Paper Chef, which took place this last weekend.  R contributed Onion-Artichoke Bruschetta made with fresh-from-the-market Walla Walla spring onions. 

Just as R came in the front door, the sun broke through the clouds – perfect timing!  We set up our little feast out on the deck and the tasting commenced. 

The wine:    1999 Argyle Brut Rosé
The grape:  100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Awards and Ratings:

  • (1999) Wine Enthusiast – Best of the Year
  • (1999) Wine Spectator – 90
  • (1997) Wine Spectator – 87

The Tasting
This sparkler is full of bubbles!  I think it has more bubbles than I have ever seen in any sparkling wine!  And when poured in the glass the first rush of foam is the most beautiful shade of pink!  It just makes you happy to see it. :-) In the glass it is a pale, just deeper than blush, pink. 

The nose is sweet.  I experienced a rush of sweet, summer cherries. 

The taste is also of cherry with lots of strawberry.  R thought there was a hint of citrus acidity.  One of the things I really like about this wine is that it is not a heavy sparkling wine.  The brightness really lends itself to many foods or for sipping on its own on a warm day.  It won’t weigh you down. 

With the artichoke in the bruschetta the citrus in the wine takes a backseat, the wine complements; there is no clash as sometimes happens with artichokes.  The lamb had been marinated in olive oil, rosemary and garlic with a little salt and pepper.  With the lamb the cherry in the wine came back out in full force.  As was to be expected, the asparagus was not the best match, yet the combination was okay.  The asparagus brought out more acidity in the wine.

The dessert and wine worked well together, with the slight exception of the chocolate.  The chocolate was a bit too sweet to pair excellently but the rest of the dessert elements were wonderful with this rosé. 

Both R and I found this wine to be a delight.  I think it would be especially nice with a brunch, light lunch or for sipping on its own. 

Update:  Here’s an article on rosé from today’s Seattle Times. 

  1. Rachael permalink
    18-May-2005 8:27 am

    As someone who also chose a sparkling wine, I loved reading your entry. It sounds like it was a perfect day. I also am thrilled to hear about a wine that doesn’t clash with artichokes. I am super excited to go try it, thanks so much for the fab recommendation.

  2. Culinary permalink
    19-May-2005 11:54 am

    Thanks, Rachel! It was a great day – how could it be anything but, with a perfect glass of sparkling rose? :-) ~ B

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