- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Etude, Rose of Pinot Noir, Carneros, 2004, $20

This well may be this country’s best dry rose. It’s the qualitative equal of fine Tavel or Bandol from southern France, but it displays even more elegance and finesse, as it is made with pinot noir rather than grenache or mourvedre.

Bright and bountiful yet in beautiful balance, it tastes of ripe fruit but does not seem remotely candied or cloying. I certainly have never tasted a better American rendition.

Though pink or blush wines often taste sugary, the classic model is dry. These wines are made just like their more muscular red cousins, except skin contact is kept to a minimum. The result is a touch of color as well as a hint of tannin, but nothing astringent or heavy.

Wonderfully refreshing, these are perfect wines to serve during late spring and summer, when many reds seem too heavy. In fact, good dry roses rank among the most food-friendly wines in the world.

The one difficulty with this wine is that vintner Tony Soter produced just 600 cases. Some of them are for sale in the local market right now, though, so hurry and get your share. The wine will drink well all summer long and definitely is worth a special order.

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