Despite what so many winemakers might lead you to believe, rose wines, also known as "blush" in some circles, needn't (and I'd argue shouldn't) be sweet and syrupy like the ocean of ubiquitous white zinfandel coming out of California.
As Beau would say -- Real Men Drink Pink. I drink rose, partially because I have to review all the local renditions but also because I enjoy many of them. I particularly like the ones made locally from cabernet franc grapes. But more on that another day.
Wolffer Estate 2005 Rose ($14) is made in a dry style but is sure to appeal to white zin and more serious wine drinkers alike. More salmon-orange than pink, the nose reminds me of fresh picked peaches and red cherries.
Made with 48% merlot, 39% chardonnay, 7.8% cabernet franc and 5.2% cabernet sauvignon, it's fuller on the palate than I prefer, but fine acidity and a gentle zing of CO2 bring some balance. Flavors similar to the nose — peach and cherry — are joined by a discernable lime character on the finish that makes this wine a good pair for Caribbean or even lighter Mexican fare. Fish tacos anyone?
The inclusion of 39% chardonnay seems rather unique, but Wolffer's winemaker, Roman Roth, makes that decision in most years to bring acidity to the wine.