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July 1, 2009
Mike Dunne's Wine of the Week pick 07-01-09
Sac Bee

Mike Dunne's Wine of the Week pick - 07-01-09
By Mike Dunne
Published: Wednesday, Jul. 1, 2009 - 11:16 am

Boeger Winery 2008 El Dorado Vin Rose ($15)

When my wife and I began our series of Fourth of July hikes into Fourth of July Lake many years ago, we took along a bottle of Beaujolais to savor during lunch at that Carson Pass gem.

Never again. While the Beaujolais was perfectly acceptable with trail mix, cheese and jerky, its alcohol was a bit too relaxing. The first stretch of trail out of Fourth of July Lake is a long, steep and narrow switchback, and on a day when it's hot, as it often is in the summer, the climb can be more work than play, especially after a bottle of Beaujolais.

Ever since, water has been the beverage of choice for that excursion. But as I prepare for each year's trek I'm tempted to toss a bottle of wine into the pack. I leave it in the fridge, however, and through the day look upon it as the reward awaiting us when we return home.

This year it will be the Boeger Winery 2008 El Dorado Vin Rose, which when I first tasted it while visiting El Dorado County wineries not long ago said with spunk and clarity that this is just the sort of dry, lean and crisp wine to enjoy alongside a Sierra lake on a summer day - or later that evening as fireworks unnerve the household cat.
The Boeger Vin Rose is a restrained and wiry blend of barbera (69 percent) and mourvedre (31 percent). It's a pretty pink, with a whiff of forest duff in a smell mostly of wild strawberries, and a clean fruitiness that is surprisingly long for the genre.

The wine wasn't exposed to a splinter of oak, and it was made entirely with "free-run juice," the liquid that flows out when grapes are first crushed, before the fruit is pressed hard to squeeze out more juice that includes tannins unwelcome in a delicate vin rose.

Winemaker Justin Boeger says he was shooting for a "nicely crisp, medium-bodied rose," relying mostly on ripe fruit off a new vineyard of barbera for the wine's sharp acidity. The pressed juice as well as the barbera's skins went into the winery's regular barbera, its signature mainstream wine.
By the numbers: 13.3 percent alcohol, 440 cases, $15.

Context: Much as I'm tempted to take a bottle into Fourth of July Lake, I'm not going to do it, and instead will take Justin Boeger's advice to save it for later, sipping it on its own or pairing it with a light cheese or light fish dish.

Availability: The wine is available only at the winery. An earlier Boeger vin rose, however, the 2006 El Dorado Rose de Valdepenas, a bigger but no less refreshing representative of the style, which in its forthright fruit and solid build shows that vin roses can age, sells at Corti Brothers for $15.

More information: Visit www.sacwineregion.com or Boeger Winery, 1709 Carson Road, Placerville, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

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