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Pensacola News Journal, March 22, 2016

Wine Time: Rosé is real wine, and this one's a winner

By Max Rowe, Pot Roast & Pinot


When was the last time you drank a great Rosé? Or any Rosé, for that matter?Long gone are the days of ubiquitous, inexpensive, saccharine white Zinfandels having a place on any list as a “Rosé.” Most reputable winemakers these days make Rosé, and it's not just an after-thought anymore. Vineyards are being planted specifically to make Rosé wines out of a variety of different grapes, and they are being made with purpose, and by world-class winemakers making world-class wines. Styles vary widely depending on the processes and varietals used, and there is a Rosé out there for just about everyone that loves and appreciates wine .Even big manly men that are scared of drinking things that are pink.

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Rosé is the wine world's sign of spring, and everything that comes with it. Warmth, vivacity, new life, the return of color — all of these things are to be celebrated, and celebrated with a wine that reflects them. Rosé, in the vast majority, is light, brilliant wine, full of acidity and brightness. They are zesty, lively, and thirst quenching. In the minority, however, truly great Rosé wines will have all of these qualities, but also have depth, character and complexity. Eric Kent Wine Cellars' offering is certainly in this latter group, and deserves to be recognized.

Erik Kent Wine Cellars is a Sonoma-based California winery that produces exceptional Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, among others. It is owned and operated by husband and winemaker Kent Humphrey and wife and curator Colleen Teitgen. She carries the second title of curator because another thing that sets Erik Kent apart is that each wine label features a local artist, essentially making all of their wines “artist series” wines. So far in their 11 vintages, they have featured 75 different artists and labels, creating a vessel for amateur art to be seen by the masses, and making pretty darn cool wine labels while they're at it. Several bottles have sold at Pot Roast & Pinot because someone spotted the label for their “Small Town Pinot” through the wine room window, and their 2015 Rosé is just as striking.

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The blend in the Eric Kent Rosé changes from vintage to vintage, depending on what qualities each varietal is showing at harvest. The 2015 vintage Rosé is a bold blend of 65 percent Pinot Noir, 29 percent Syrah and 6 percent Grenache, making the final product a deep, almost Kool-Aid red Rosé that manages to perfectly marry characteristics of all three grapes into one stunning glass of wine. The Pinot Noir and Grenache provide a myriad of vibrant fruit flavors, mostly ripe strawberry and tart cherry, while the ample helping of Syrah in the blend provides the wine's deep color and elegantly tannin-laced structure. As I said before, this is no common Rosé, and would be a perfect match with almost any cuisine. It has lightness and acidity for being a stand-alone, warm weather daily drinker, but has structure and depth to pair with a grilled pork tenderloin dish, and in my case, could even stand up to the meatloaf at Pot Roast & Pinot. I double-dare you to come give it a try.Go outside and enjoy the beauty that Pensacola's spring has to offer. After that, come to Pot Roast & Pinot and enjoy a refreshing glass of Eric Kent Rosé or a bottle of their “Small Town” Pinot, “Cuvee Renee” Sauvignon Blanc, or “Kalen's Big Boy Blend” Syrah. They are all excellent.

Pot Roast & Pinot, 321 E. Cervantes St. 607-7336, or visit


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