Wine barrel broker Françoise Gouges comes from a wine-making family in Burgundy but moved to Southern California in her early 20s. She's never strayed far from her roots, though. As the representative for Tonnellerie Sirugue USA, she travels up and down the West Coast, from Temecula to the Okanagan Valley in Canada, selling the firm's French oak barrels that winemakers use to age their wine and impart notes of vanilla and toast.
Every year Gouges hosts a big rosé tasting in her Santa Monica garden. One wine that will surely be in the mix for that tasting is a rosé she discovered when she was up in Redmond, Wash., recently. She had picked the bottle up from a little winery in Walla Walla called El Corazon. It was their Wahluke Slope Red Frog rosé from the 2014 vintage.
Her friend Victoria was cooking that night and served grilled ahi tuna with the rosé. "The rosé grew on us over the period of an hour or so. It was much better at room temperature rather than super cold," says Gouges.
"A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Petite Sirah, it tastes like plums and dark cherries and has aromas of watermelon and cilantro. Plump and supple, it has a good meatiness in the middle palate and some grip on the finish. A solid rosé, interesting and evolving to the last drop."