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After a year-long hiatus, Wine Blogging Wednesday is back! Today marks the 80th edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW).  Started in July 2004 by Lenn Thompson (on Twitter: @LennThompson ) of The New York Cork Report — once a monthly fixture in the wine blogosphere — WBW is now an on-again-off-again-sometimes-monthly virtual gathering of wine folks from around the world.

wbw_logoEach month a different blogger hosts this virtual tasting by selecting a specific wine theme. Participants around the world join in the virtual tasting by selecting a particular wine (or wines) based on the theme and writing about their wine(s) of choice on the specified date.  Note that participants do not have to have a blog to participate in WBW.  You can also participate via microblogging platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

I’ve had the occasion to host WBW twice — WBW 68, featuring wines made from Gamay, and WBW 78, featuring wines made from Viognier.   For some reason, a lengthy hiatus followed a month or two after I hosted.  I’m certain there is no correlation.

Tim Elliott of WineCast (on Twitter: @winecast) is our host this month for the return of WBW, and he selected a topic near and dear to me, dry rosé.

I’ve been on a rosé bender this summer so deciding on a wine for WBW 80 was easy — the Matthiasson 2012 Rosé, vinted by winegrower Steve Matthiasson (on Twitter: @MatthiassonWine).  This particular rosé is one of my favorites of the season alongside Domain Tempier and Arnot-Roberts.

Though Steve Matthiasson requires little introduction, some background for context — farmer, iconic (term not used lightly) vintner, one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 2012 Winemakers of the Year, and vineyard consultant whose clients include Araujo, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Spottswoode, and Chappellat.’  Steve is leading a new wave of thoughtful vintners committed to pulling back the reigns of excess that has dominated Napa wines (and narrative) the last couple of decades.

I first met Steve and his wife and partner Jill in 2009 over a dinner of crab cakes and lamb at their home in Napa and have been an evangelist for Matthiasson wines since.

We paired the Matthiasson rosé with a new to us recipe from Rick Bayless that we clipped from this month’s Food & Wine — Mexico City Shrimp with Chipotle Mojo.  Never one to follow directions well, we went off script just a bit by adding our house avocado-jalapeno slaw for tacos vice plated atop rice as the recipe called for.


Overall, a nice pairing — we loved the Matthiasson, but lukewarm on the Shrimp.   If you happen to make this dish, I highly recommend that you use less garlic than this recipe calls for (speaking from experience here, we’re going to reek of garlic for at least a week), add more chipotle pepper and more lime juice. Trust me on this.

Matthiasson 2012 Napa Valley Rosé
USA, California, Napa Valley
100% Syrah (from Kahn Vineyard)
12.3% abv | $23
True to Matthiasson form, this fruit was picked a bit early to retain acidity.  Beautiful. Delicious. What rosé should be.  Light pink-salmon in the glass, aromas of orange spritz, cranberry, tart cherry, watermelon and white flower jump from the glass.  In the mouth, mineral after a rainstorm on summer afternoon with lime and tart cherry leading to a long finish of flint and cherry notes. Remarkable. Just 180 cases made.

Matthiasson kicks ass!

Hat tip Tim for hosting this month, and thanks to Amy from VineSleuth, Allison from A Glass After Work, the Art Predator Gwen Alley, and the others who advocated to get the WBW band back together.

Looking forward to September’s WBW!