San Juan Vineyards 2012 Afterglow, Washington, $17

By on March 12, 2014

san-juan-vineyards-afterglow-2012-labelIsland winemaker Chris Primus throws out all the rules when making this “East meets West” pink that’s fermented dry. The “West” component is estate Madeleine Angevine (36%), while the rest is Chardonnay (28%) from historic Otis Vineyard in the Yakima Valley and then … Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the Horse Heaven Hills. He co-ferments it all in neutral French oak, then finishes it in stainless steel. The trained chemical engineer embraces this “no rules” approach and makes it work for those who are adventurous. The nose is one of ambrosia salad with grapefruit segments and maraschino cherry, backed by gooseberry — a thumbprint of the Madeline Angevine — and hollyhock blossom. Indeed, it’s much drier than the aromas would indicate, starting with flavors of Rainier cherry, lemon/lime and clementine. The finish gathers up pleasing peach pit bitterness, hazelnut skins, blueberry seed tannin and a fleck of minerality often found in Horse Heaven Hills reds. Traditionally, this bone-dry blush is the Friday Harbor winery’s fastest-selling wine, and it’s a delicious foil for a ham sandwich, fried chicken or other picnic fare.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 173 cases

Alcohol: 13.1%

Winery website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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