Local rosé made entirely from merlot is rarely interesting or, frankly, anything more than mediocre. It tends to be very one-dimensional and lack freshness. Some might even call it boring. Okay, I’d call it that too.
Except when it’s not.
I won’t pretend to know what Palmer Vineyards winemaker Miguel Martin did to make his Palmer Vineyards 2016 Rosé of Merlot ($20), our wine of the week, so good. But I do know that is, in fact, what it is. And far better than any of the merlot-based rosés I taste every year.
I don’t want to get too hyperbolic. This isn’t an overly complex wine, but along with the wild strawberry aromas and flavors there are notes of black tea and flowers that elevate it beyond the dull. Even more importantly, bright, citrusy acidity makes it quite lively on the palate, just what you want this spring and summer. It refreshes the palate and invites another bite of whatever it is that you’re eating.
You won’t see me write much about a wine’s label or packaging because generally I don’t care. But I have to admit, I love the new labels for this rosé. A lot of patriotic motifs come off cheesy and obvious. I think this one avoids that. It’s going to stand out on a shelf and be the wine to bring to Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day parties this year.
The winery just released this wine last weekend. It’s available at their tasting room for $19.99.