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I like Rose.  It’s become my favorite summer sipping wine.  For some reason I am still a bit shy about admitting my affinity for Rose wines around my wine friends (and since none – or very few – of them read this blog my secret is likely safe).  My rose consumption has risen considerably in the last week as I am reading Jamie Ivey’s La Vie En Rose for this month’s Wine Book Club.

Tacky Comment Alert:  I would like to preface this next statement by admitting that I am absolutely clueless about the wine making process and have huge respect for most wine makers…   In my mind, as an avid wine drinker, Rose is definitely one of the easiest wines to make.  You can throw all types of grapes in there, mask flaws with the simplest of wine making trickery… yet I am amazed at how many wineries screw it up!!!

I’ve had five different Roses in the last week – three of which ranged from not-so-good to down right awful.  I didn’t want to spend my time typing a post for the crappy ones, but I am however, willing to invest a few minutes to post about a borderline Rose that I had last night – the Church Creek 2007 Rose produced by Chatham Vineyards on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Last year we spent some time during the July 4th holiday at the in-laws beach cottage on the Eastern Shore.  During that trip, I got stung on the neck by a wasp, started this blog, and visited Chatham Vineyards.  I have had Chatham wines on many occasions and have always enjoyed them (I posted about our visit here).  During that visit I picked up three bottles of the 2007 Rose.  We knocked back two of them during the July 4th festivities and I saved one until last night.

Chatham RoseWow, what a difference 11 months makes.  Last summer I recall this wine being crisp and very lively with a nose of fresh strawberries and watermelon.  Last night, just 11 months later, the wine had fallen off a cliff.  This Rose had a dark strawberry color with tinges of brick.  I found old Strawberry syrup throughout – and not the good kind that you would put on pancakes – the old kind that is several years past the expiration date.  I also found a weird orange spritz component on the nose and some cranberry in the mouth.  Not much else going on with this one.

I don’t write this to bang on the Church Creek Rose.  I really do like Chatham wines and support them because they are a small, family owned operation here in Virginia and they produce excellent Virginia wine.  My wife and I will definitely be back there during our pilgrimage to the Eastern Shore during the July 4th break, but I am little disappointed in how the wine took a nose dive in just 11 months.

The moral of the story…  drink Rose… drink lots of Rose this summer… but drink them young!!!  If you don’t drink them young, they make excellent gifts for the in-laws this summer.

If you have a particular Rose recommendation, please post a comment or email me – I would appreciate any specific recommendations.