03 September, 2009

2007 Etude Carneros Pinot Noir Rose

I recently saw a post asking why we (I'm inferring the author was addressing those of us in the U.S.A.) have a less than enthusiastic view of Rose. It brought me back to the first time I seriously bought a bottle of wine many years ago. I was searching for something that someone who didn't really know wine would enjoy and it was for our first date.

It was a Pinot Noir Blanc and thinking about that really made me notice how much the question about Rose was poignant. That is, if we'll drink Pinot Noir Blanc, but we may not drink the same wine if it's labeled Rose of Pinot Noir, then we're certainly shorting ourselves...and why?

I suspect that we're further along in our view of wine now than we were when I bought that bottle several years ago. I think I am, but if that question still exists and we need an answer to it, then I think the best thing I can do, is to try and give my point of view of Rose.

Well, just like any other wine, it's great or it's not. There's nothing more difficult about enjoying a great bottle and there's noting special about Rose in itself. You've got to dig a bit to find the good stuff...so, dig we do.

Now, in typical French style, Rhone varietals and blends of Rhone varietals are what constitutes the vast majority of Rose and is what's considered proper in France. OK. Cool. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mouvedre. Mmm. Starting to sound good, no?

But in the new world, we're not much for tradition, at least in the Rose world. Rather than focusing on the Rhone varietals, we're happy to do Rose with several varietals of diverse appellations. So, in typical fashion and in trying to do what we say, I opened this bottle of Rose of Pinot Noir on a Wednesday night with pizza. Yes, Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza.

This pleasant, refreshing Rose is pale pink in color, slightly sweet with a fair balance of acidity and a pleasant, even mouthfeel. It's not restrained or raw, nor is it an enthusiastic example. It's very fresh nose is effervescent with strawberries and roses. The finish is delivered as expected with citrus and pomegranate brightness. Etude used good quality Pinot fruit from Carneros and while there's not alot of Pinot in Napa, let alone Carneros, it CAN be used to make some fine wine and in this case, this is a perfect example.

Now, the often heard issue with Rose is the propensity for a very dry wine. If you're into dry rose, then great, but, this is not the bottle for you. If you shy away from Rose because you are not a fan of dry wines, then please, please try this bottle. If you can't find the 2007 version, then the 2008 may be more available. I've not tried this, but I'd expect a similar, but not exact taste and feel from the newer vintage.

Perfect with salmon, chicken and of course Pizza, this bottle is very versatile and a good value.

2007 Etude Carneros Rose of Pinot Noir
Retail: $23
Grade: B


  1. I totally agree, great post! Maybe you'd like to read mine on the matter: http://missvickywine.blogspot.com/2009/07/rose-is-pink-but-it-is-wine.html

  2. It's very nice to meet you finally. I'm glad we see the same view from the same point on the subject of Rose!


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