TasteRose By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Curious how Rich Olsen-Harbich with his terroir-driven, low-touch winemaking philosophy will change the portfolio at Bedell Cellars, where he took over head winemaking duties over the summer?

The Bedell Cellars 2010 Taste Rose ($18) is your first opportunity to taste for yourself.

This wine, which replaces the Domaine CC Rose in the Bedell/Corey Creek lineup is dominated by merlot (62%) with cabernet franc (27%), syrah (7%) and petit verdot (4%) — all intended for rose rather than saignee, whole-cluster pressed and fermented with ambient yeast.

The nose bursts with a distinct passion fruit-meets-guava aroma with notes of peach, strawberry, blood orange and a touch of earthy spice and sage.

On the dry, medium-bodied palate the flavors lean a bit more towards red fruit — particularly strawberry and red raspberry — with a dose of passion fruit and blood orange. In the background, there is a nice herbal component some peppery spice.

Not as racy as some local roses, there is still nice, fresh acidity here and a bit of tannin as well. They are subtle but add a bit of structure.

Producer: Bedell Cellars
AVA: North Fork
ABV: 12%
Price: $18*
Rating: 85

(*Ratings Guide)