Over the last year and a half, the Winerabblers have had the pleasure of popping open and enjoying three different Cowhorn rosé wines. Barbara and Bill Steele are champions of biodynamic farming methods and have cultivated an environment filled with biodiversity. Their sprawling 117-acre Cowhorn estate, located in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, has just 25 acres planted in grapes. The property also houses the winery (mere feet from their grapevines), along with heirloom orchard fruit trees, hazelnut trees inoculated with Périgord black truffles, lavender, cherries, and asparagus. Click here to read more about the Cowhorn farming philosophy.

Cowhorn specializes in the Rhone varietals of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne. The Steeles chose the grapes after realizing that their property’s soil and climate, often referred to as terroir (pronounced ter-wa), was actually quite similar to the French Châteauneuf region, where the same grapes thrive. After tasting their wines, the Winerabblers think they made the right varietal choices. Follow this link to read more about terroir.

My deepest apologies, as I’m almost certain Cowhorn is sold out of these particular rosé wines now but hopefully, my tasting notes inspire you to order their new rosé offerings as they become available.

2019 Cowhorn Viognier rosé

2019 Cowhorn Viognier rosé

Applegate Valley,
Rogue Valley,
Southern Oregon,
Oregon

14.4% alcohol

Cork closure

Empty bottle weight: 17.7 ounces / 503 grams

Biodynamic, organic

Color:

Bubblegum pink

Bouquet:

I first smelled summer fruit aromas of ripe apricots, wild strawberries, and melons in my glass. As I continued to enjoy the bouquet, white flowers blossomed, transporting me back to the Cowhorn estate.

Palate:

Tart Asian pears and white ginger notes washed over my entire mouth, followed closely by apricots, casaba melons, and lemon zest. The sweetness was balanced with bright acidity and a vicious, fat mouthfeel. This Viognier rosé can best be described as multi-dimensional. That weightiness made it a wine I’m sure red wine drinkers would love!

Food pairing suggestions:

Bacon-wrapped figs, steak salad, pork chops with herbed goat cheese butter and fava beans.


2019 Cowhorn Grenache rosé

2019 Cowhorn Grenache rosé

Applegate Valley,
Rogue Valley,
Southern Oregon,
Oregon

13.5% alcohol

Cork closure

Empty bottle weight: 17.7 ounces / 503 grams

Biodynamic, organic

Color:

Salmon pink

Bouquet:

Notes of ripe raspberries, tart lemons, and minerally wet stone tickled my nose as I smelled this rosé, made with Grenache grapes.

Palate:

As I sipped, I found abundant minerality and acidity! Lemons and kumquats, then raspberries and unripe strawberries hit my tongue. As it warmed, I began tasting Rainier cherries, dried herbs, and lemongrass, all coupled with a slightly prickly, long finish.

Food pairing suggestions:

Grilled chicken breast with rosemary, barbecued vegetable skewers, potato salad with soft boiled eggs and bacon.


2018 Cowhorn Viognier rosé

Applegate Valley,
Rogue Valley,
Southern Oregon,
Oregon

13.8% alcohol

Cork closure

Biodynamic, organic

Bouquet and palate:

This Viognier rosé was filled to the brim with summer fruits of apricots, strawberries, and Rainier cherries! It also had lovely floral notes of rose petals, gardenias and wild ginger flowers. A rather hefty rosé, it had a chewy, full mouthfeel with a spicy ginger finish.

Food pairing suggestions:

Pomegranate feta salad, tuna melts on crusty bread, creamy parmesan prosciutto pasta.

www.cowhornwine.com

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About the Author: Michele Francisco

Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at michele@winerabble.com & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.

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