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Friday Fishwrap
Everybody Loves A Bargain—Especially When It Tastes Good

By Stephen Eliot and Charles Olken

Yesterday, we tasted it. Last night we drank it. Today we are going to buy it, because the Rock Wall Winery has just put our new favorite Rosé on sale for the weekend. We will be on our way out of town and are stopping by to pick some up. By tomorrow, we’ll be sitting in the shade, looking at the mountains and sipping Rock Wall Grenache Rosé 2011.

This lovely wine that showed so well in our tastings yesterday morning was, later that day, touted by the winery as the perfect reason to visit them over the weekend. It is a new release, listed at $18.00, on sale for $10.

Here’s the long version of the story. We spent yesterday morning tasting our ways through a couple of dozen new California Rosés. One of our favorite wines of the day was the 2011 “Uncle Roget’s Grenache Rosé” produced by Rock Wall Wine Company located in Alameda but a stone’s throw from the door of CGCW. A few years back, longtime friend and local winemaking legend Kent Rosenblum and family sold the wildly successful, eponymously named Rosenblum Cellars to the big conglomerate, Diageo, and decided to start out anew with Rock Wall. Very much in its adolescence, and arguably still refining its approach and settling on a distinctive and consistent winemaking voice, Rock Wall is rife with promise and hits the occasional home run as it, in fact, did with its downright delicious Rosé.

It turns out the Uncle Roget is none other than Roger Rosenblum, brother to Kent and uncle to winemaker Shauna Rosenblum, Kent’s daughter. As the story goes, Uncle Roget likes Rosé and, in honor of his many years as winery part-owner, all-around good guy and uncle, he now has a wine named after him. It is made from grapes grown near Davis in Yolo County and is a bright and vibrant, bone-dry bottling comprised entirely of Grenache. It smacks of fresh berries and sports the brisk balance of a wine equally well-suited to service with a wide range of foods or simple quaffing as a warm-weather refresher.

We happen to like a good Rosé throughout the year and would encourage wine lovers to think beyond the seasonal limits set by most commentaries about it. Yet as our chosen weekend tipple shows, we have to admit that this one is just the thing to slake a summer’s day thirst while admiring Lake Tahoe—or even the backyard patio.

And here is why timing is everything, where opportunity knocks, why you have to make hay while the sun shines. Yesterday afternoon, in the midst of the usual deluge of e-mails, came this timely missive with the headline, “A Beautiful Day for Rosé”. It was must reading for its topicality, and as It turns out, “Uncle Roget’s Rosé”, the very wine we had corked up after the tasting and put in the fridge to accompany last night’s burgers and Bruce Addell’s Chicken-Apple sausage, was the same wine featured as Rock Wall’s weekend special, available for online or tasting-room purchase for only $10.00. 1

And, that, dear readers, is why we cannot wait for another month before telling about this wine that will be enthusiastically reviewed in our September Issue. This, quite simply, is the kind of bargain that does not come along every day, and it gets an enthusiastic thumbs-up vote in these quarters.



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