May, the glorious month, when we know winter is truly behind us. Spring has sprung, and in a Mediterranean climate ~ where I’m living ~ so are the roses. They surround our homes, all colors, all styles, the visual flavors of the season. I just photographed this lovely Talisman, singular rose. Last year, just as I was really loving this one, I went to get my camera, and when I got back, it was gone… vanished… and I thought, “those pesky deer.” They know a delicacy, when they see one, too.

This year, I got it before they they did, but for how long? Not really sure, but we’re off to get some fencing today. I put this image on Facebook, with the following:

The Talisman Rose is what I chose, to give to my mother [when she was with me]. Now, my Mother Nature chooses to give them back to me.

Amalia Papagiannopoulou responded with, “Magnificent! I really appreciate the poetic way that you love nature!”

I do love Nature, always have, always will… She just speaks to me.


A Rose by any other name is called a Rosé ~ Backstory

The other roses in a Mediterranean Climate are called rosés. You can either see it and drink it in, our you can pour it and drink it in. Either way, they’re glorious. I’ve been doing some work with David Bruce Winery lately. I had no idea that it was our legendary Dr. David Bruce who first began to experiment with rosé wines, in the 60s… Predating Sutter Home, people. Sutter Home was an accident. Dr. Bruce was deliberate.

WINE SPECTATOR: author Tim Fish: “Often ahead of the curve, he tinkered with white Zinfandel as early as the 1960s…”

WINE SPECTATOR: author Dr. Vinnie: “Even though rosé, blush and pale red wines have been made for centuries, white Zinfandel as we know it was invented in the early 1970s at Sutter Home by Bob Trinchero, and yes, it started as a mistake. Trinchero had been making a dry version of a white Zinfandel, but then a batch stopped fermenting. It’s known as a “stuck fermentation”—when the sugar doesn’t completely converted to alcohol—so the wine remains a little bit sweet. A winemaker can try to get the fermentation going again by inoculating it with more yeast or adjusting the temperature, or decide to blend it with other wines. In this case, Trinchero bottled it solo. By 1987, Sutter Home White Zinfandel was the best-selling premium wine in the United States.

When art is wine, and wine is art

There is a lot of time and attention spent making wine, in one department at a winery. There’s also a lot of time and attention coming up with the wine’s presentation. Just look at these bottles, if you need more evidence.

These bottles, for instance ~ Today’s rosés…

Left to Right:

  • 2017 Christopher Bridge Cellars, Cuvée Rosé Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • 2018 Famiglia Pasqua Rose Trevenezie, 11 Minutes Odi et Amo, Verona Italy
  • 2018 Fleurs de Prairie Vin de Provence Rosé
  • 2018 Roubine Rosé Côtes de Provence
  • 2018 Forgeron Cellars Pink Rabbits Rosé of Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington

Wines of the Week

2017 Christopher Bridge Cellars, Cuvée Rose Willamette Valley, Oregon

Christopher Bridge’s Susanne Carlberg is a dear friend, and has been since I produced the Oregon Pinot Gris Symposiums, for Oak Knoll Winery. She recently sent a box of wines to me from her winery. “They’re a gift, just because.”

No grape variety is listed with Cuvée Rose.

Their wines are excellent. Her husband Carl is also the winemaker, and the label artwork is part of this story’s take on not only rosé, but also the design that accompanies it… consistently, with each bottle of wine. I love this cattle representation; it’s so Oregon. Remember their motto up there in Oregon, “Keep it weird.” How many cattle have you ever seen on a label, for instance? And, it’s not just any bovine, it has beautiful pink, rose colors, and the words as a sidebar: Family Soil Artisanality. Oregon’s wine history began in the 1970s, with much of Oregon being dairy and cattle country.


Christopher Bridge Cellars and Satori Springs Vineyard are owned and managed by the Carlberg family, since their inception in 2001 and 1998 respectively. Chris’ parents Ragnhild and Wolfgang Carlberg purchased the nearly 80 acre farm in 1952 primarily for its stunning Willamette Valley views and close proximity to Portland. They raised their family of three children here, while primarily working the ground with their hands. The farm was a simple affair with beef cattle and blackcaps as the main crops.

This Rosé was as smooth as buttah, with sweet strawberries and cream… Oh ~ my ~ gawd. Great for a Memorial Day Weekend. Great for any day, really, when a craving for rosé arrives.

2018 Famiglia Pasqua Rose Trevenezie, 11 Minutes Odi et Amo, Verona Italy

[LATIN: Odi et Amo = I hate and I love]

Why 11 minutes?


The new rosé interpretation by Famiglia Pasqua is a fine blend created from the most noble native varietals like Corvina and Trebbiano di Lugana and varietals like Syrah and Carmenère. The name 11 MINUTES refers to the duration of the skin contact, the pressing of grapes: the full load of grapes is very softly pressed. In this optimal length of time we extract the most noble qualities of the grapes and obtain the slightly rosy shade that characterize this wine. Once the precious must is created, it is cooled and transferred to a steel tank where it remains for about 11 hours, the necessary time for the more solid parts to decant.

Grape varieties: Corvina, Trebbiano di Lugana, Syrah, and Carmenère. Corvina dominates.

The Famiglia Rose was like enjoy liquid art that held so many mysteries. This is not a bottle to be the background music. This was like Rose Opera; i.e., Opera performed to the highest standards… Mozart, for instance.  (Rose Opera is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales.) It was floral like rose petals; and a long, linger finish, like my recent visit to Italy.

Now, let’s talk about this bottle art! The shape is non-traditional for the times, right? And, it certainly gets your attention. But, big “but” here, the cutout circle on the front label allows the oval of the back label’s artwork  to come through. It’s a really lovely, forlorn looking woman in a garden, with a tiny bird with open wings on her right hand. As she casts her eyes upon it… you make up what she’s thinking… So, as I’m enjoying the liquid art, I can’t take my eyes off the physical vessel for this outstanding wine. Not easy to photography, by the way; incredibly easy to enjoy!

2018 Fleurs de Prairie Vin de Provence Rosé

The life of the party!

The art of the deal for Fleurs de Prairie Vin de Provence Rose: both inside and outside of the bottle. It’s an elegant Rose, made even more grand by the special vessel which holds the wine. The name translates into “wildflowers.” I can’t help but wonder what it was like to produce this special glass, with textually embossed wildflowers. What a great wine to bring to a garden party. Placed with others, it won’t last long, though, because it’s really delicious…

Grape varieties: 55% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Syrah


“Fleurs de Prairie” translates as “wildflowers,” celebrating the beautiful fields of wisteria, lavender, poppy, and sunflowers carpeting Provence.

This wine is sourced from select Provençal vineyards that dot the coastal wind-swept hillsides of the region. The Mediterranean combination of sun, wind, mild water stress, and ocean influence provide ideal conditions for grapes to ripen to the perfect balance of flavor and freshness.

This wine is crafted in the traditional Provençal style with a pale salmon color, delicate flavors of strawberry, rose petals, and herbs, and a bright, refreshing acidity. It is made by the family-owned Les Grands Chais de France.

2018 Roubine Rosé Côtes de Provence

Roubine La Rose Cotes de Provence is another example of art within the bottle, and gracing the bottle itself. Beautifully embossed white roses surround the name of the wine. And, the real bottle discovery is when you hold the bottle by the bottom, only to discover the rose on the base. Watching the prototype being created would have been a fabulous experience.

Making glass is such an art… If you don’t believe that I have one word for you, Chihuly.

If you’re a collector of any sort, this is a keeper. So delicious… Only 13 percent alcohol, for those who are also looking for a food friendly rosé.

Grape varieties: 43% Grenache, 22% Cinsault, 9% Tibouren, 9% Rolle, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Mourvedre

Winemaker’s Notes: Harvested at night, this wine benefits from a skin maceration at a low temperature. The grapes were vinified separately. And the temperature was maintained between 59° F – 60.8° F (15° C – 16 ° C) after letting the must settle. A second (malolactic) fermentation was avoided to ensure the crisp vitality of the rosé. The wine was then filtered and bottled.

This adventure allow me to add a new grape varieties to my Wine Century Club list of wines tasted: Tibouren


2018 Forgeron Cellars Pink Rabbits Rosé of Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington

Last, but no least, in this series. The Forgeron Cellars Pink Rabbits Rosé is one of the bottles in their ARTIST SERIES.

They explain it this way:

The summer of 2018 was one of the hottest years on record throughout the eastern side of Washington. We experienced many weeks of above 95-degree temperatures. Once August came around it finally started to cool down, which lengthened hang-time, allowing for complex flavor development. The result is a truly remarkable vintage across the board. Each of our 2018 lots exhibit bright, fresh notes, and seemingly innate balance between fruit and alcohol

Variety listed: 100% Syrah

Forgeron is the French word for Blacksmith. Their wines in this series have labels that comes from street art. I have a lot of respect for street art… the drive to have one’s art appreciated by everyone, everyday, as people pass by. The labels  for this group of wine bottles features street art murals by artist Julia Yu-Baba. I love her work, having just been made aware of it, as I have also with their wines. Julia is highly talented and has great creds.

The rosé? Tangy raspberries, light bodied, and a lovely lingering finish. The green tint of the bottle gives the wine extra color, which belies the delicate color and flavors of the wine. You’ll know that once you put it into your glass. I wanted to taste this one last, based on its color. It’s a truly delicious rose… Think grilled salmon, that just wraps up the Northwest so well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me… Now to share the samples, as the Forgeron Cellars is still lingering on my palate. It was all remarkable…