Finger Lakes Rosé Horizontal Tasting

Dry Rose tasting small plate

Our Sheldrake Point special tastings are accompanied by a small pairing plate.

Sheldrake Point Winery is riding high on a wave of rosé, as is the entire Finger Lakes AVA. So for our most recent special winery event, we led a Finger Lakes Rosé Horizontal Tasting.

Just five days before our horizontal tasting event, Kyle Anne Pallischeck, our Marketing and Sales Manager; Whitney Elrod, our Wine Club Manager; and I attended the “Discover Dry Rose” industry tasting meant to give winery and hospitality members a chance to “meet” all the 2015 vintage FLX rosés. Thirty Finger Lakes wineries brought 40 rosés to share. Together we chose what we think are the best of the Finger Lakes 2015 rosés to taste alongside our 2015 Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé.

A Rosé by any other name

Twenty-eight people attended our Finger Lakes Rosé Horizontal Tasting, sitting down to taste six rosés with a small-bites food pairing: Lively Run Goat Dairy rose peppercorn and lemon thyme chèvre on a cracker, strawberries and greens in a light vinaigrette, roasted asparagus, and bacon scones.

The wines were tasted from left to right, in the traditional fashion, and were specifically ordered from driest to sweetest (although, the “sweetest” wine was well under 1% RS.)

The rules for our Finger Lakes Rosé Horizontal Tasting were simple:

  • Try each wine with each food item. Take your time!
  • Take note of bouquet and flavors—preferred and not!
  • Keep a sip or two for review at the end.
  • No telling. (This was a blind tasting!)

We had a great crowd of guests who got right to work swirling, sniffing, sipping, and making diligent notes!

This is what our guests had to say about the wines:

Rose tasting notes

Rosé #1

The first Rosé was the driest of the group. Our guests noted that the wine was very lightly colored, and had a lovely strawberry finish.

Rosé #2

This wine had a stronger aroma, with unique flavors of lilac and “pretty fruit,” and a slight bitter finish.

Rosé #3

This wine presented with a classic green bell pepper flavor commonly noted from the Cab Franc grape. At this point in our tasting, the wines are starting to show a touch of sweetness.

Rosé #4

This wine had more complex flavors and a smooth mineral finish.

Rosé #5

This wine was termed “exactly what I expected” by one guest, another noted a floral nose and a sweet flavor (though I did express my concern that it was too sweet).

Rosé #6

Our final wine had the most residual sugar of the batch, while still representing dry rosé properly, with guests noting flavors of pink lemonade and cotton candy, and with a creamy finish.

Finger Lakes Rosé Horizontal Tasting: The Big Reveal

Sheldrake Point winemakers Dave Breeden & Julia Hoyle lead our guests through tasting six of what we think are the best of the Finger Lakes 2015 rosés.

Sheldrake Point winemakers Dave Breeden & Julia Hoyle lead our guests through tasting six of what we think are the best of the Finger Lakes 2015 rosés.

Our guests had a ball at our tasting event, particularly the blind aspect. We expected the group to try to guess which our Dry Rosé was, and the big reveal confirmed that we had a roomful of Sheldrake Point fans:

Rosé #1: McGregor Vineyard

Rosé #2: Fox Run Vineyards

Rosé #3: Red Newt Cellars for Kelby James Russell Wines

Rosé #4: Damiani Wine Cellars

Rosé #5: Sheldrake Point Winery

Rosé #6: Atwater Estate Vineyards

Awash in Rosé

Rosé is the fastest growing wine category in the United States, and our Finger Lakes colleagues are playing a defining role in the category. Our Dry Rosé is certainly the best-selling wine in our tasting room, and has been since 2012.

This spring we planted two more acres of Cab Franc, with another seven scheduled for next year, to support our rosé and red wine production. And, we made 2,520 cases of 2015 Dry Rosé in hopes of having enough for our fans—last year we sold out in May!

Want to be a part of a future Sheldrake Point Winery special tasting event? Visit our events page.

Do a horizontal tasting at home! Visit your local wine shop to pick up Rosés to taste alongside our 2015 Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé.

With experience developed in wineries throughout the Finger Lakes, Dave can always be found in our winery or lab, gently and patiently tending to the fermentation and aging of our wines while caring for our tanks, barrels and equipment. Armed with two degrees in chemistry and two in philosophy, Dave not only brings us expertise in the wine lab and on the crush pad, he also can be heard waxing poetic virtues of everything from Plato’s cave to contemporary third-party politics.