PORTLAND FOOD AND DRINK

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2010 MATELLO WINES ROSÉ OF PINOT NOIR (APPROXIMATELY 13.00-16.00)

If the Tradition is Owen Wilson, the Matello is Linus Pauling. Marcus Goodfellow’s Matello Rosé of Pinot Noir is a newcomer to the Willamette Valley pink sweepstakes but in a few short years it has become one of the best examples around. It’s a wine that will make you think way more than you should have to with a rosé. I also like the fact that this wine smells like Pinot Noir, tastes like Pinot Noir and manages to capture the elegance of the grape despite the pink window dressing.

The nose is downright subtle compared to the Chateau St. Martin Tradition. There are fleeting aromas of dried rose petals, bright red cherries, lemon zest and a tart fruit note that reminded me of quince. Just smelling this wine is enough to make even the most jaded olfactory system go into hyperdrive. After looking at the wine’s beautiful, washed out pink color in the bottle, these are exactly the kind of elegant aromas I was anticipating.

I do not, however, expect the rather exotic flavors I found in my first several sips. Sure, there were some nice, crisp cherry-berry fruit flavors here. Those usual suspects were surprisingly dominated by striking flavors like white grapefruit, tart watermelon rind and a note of something that I can only describe as fresh-brewed white tea. Marcus says he likes to make his rosé like a white wine and after I had consumed a glass or two I knew exactly what he was talking about. I was surprised to see the 13.8% alcohol on the label because this is such a lithe and graceful wine. Given the Tradition is doing the Shag on a pool table and the Matello is a waltz in a ballroom, I would have expected their alcohol percentages to be reversed. The Matello Wines Rosé of Pinot Noir is self-distributed in Portland and they may be reached at 503.939.1308.