I love dry rosé wine — not sweet or off dry — so you can imagine my delight when I tasted this 2011 Estate Rosé from the Fritz Underground Winery.
Made predominantly from old vine Zinfandel it is refreshing, juicy and wonderfully dry.
I received this wine as a sample from the winery. Narrow-mindedly I expected it to taste at least off dry because most California Zinfandel blush / rosé wines are made in a sweeter, softer style. Not so here to my delight and surprise. The Fritz Estate Rosé is delicious. It is jam-packed with vibrant cherry-berry fruit - with bright acidity that makes the fruit pop in your mouth, a gentle creaminess mid-palate, then finishes clean and dry with a slight spicy tangy kick.
At the Table
The Fritz Estate Rosé is juicy and punchy enough to enjoy on its own or as an aperitif. But is weighty enough across the palate to enhance many a summer dish such as paella, grilled Merguez sausage; roast eggplant salad or Salade Niçoise. We enjoyed it over lunch with a croque monsieur and salad. The liveliness of the fruit provided a perfect foil for the cheesiness of the croque monsieur.
About Dry Creek Valley, Fritz Underground Winery and the Estate Rosé 2011
Dry Creek Valley is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Sonoma County, California and takes it name from the small river 'Dry Creek'. It is quite a small and inland AVA, and while it does benefit from some ocean influence, it is predominantly a warm wine-growing area well suited to full-bodied reds such as Zinfandel. Dry Creek Valley is also home to some of California's oldest Zinfandel vineyards.
While I have never visited the Fritz winery, it is a sight to behold - as it is literally built into a picturesque hilltop in Dry Creek Valley. It was built in 1979 by Jay Arthur Fritz and is today run by his son Clayton. The 2011 Estate Rosé is a blend of predominantly Zinfandel with small amounts of Malbec and Pinot Noir to add even more deliciousness and layers to the old Zinfandel vines.
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample from Fritz Winery.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
Previous Wine of the Week: 2008 Domaine Cheveau Mâcon Chaintré "Le Clos"
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(Image: Fritz Underground Winery)