By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Palmer_09roseMany roses made with 100% merlot bore me. There are exceptions of course, but mostly you simple strawberry and maybe some watermelon but not much else. Blending red varieties or even blending reds and whites brings out more complexity, which I look for.

But this Palmer Vineyards 2009 Rose Merlot ($19) really impressed me in a recent tasting. In fact, it's one of the best local roses I've tasted this year.

Citrus blossom and grapefruit kick off the nose, followed by strawberry, watermelon (of course) and sweet red cherry aromas.

Red berry fruit flavors are framed by fresh, well-incorporated acidity and just a bit of skin tannin, which brings a subtle spiciness and classic Long Island earthiness. Surprisingly long, the finish is classy and fresh and lingers with berry fruit, grapefruit and spice.

At $19, it might be a dollar or two pricey, but it's a rose that will appeal to a wide range of wine drinkers and is really well done.

Producer: Palmer Vineyards
ABV: 12.5%

Rating: 86

(Ratings Guide)