With a degree in fermentation science from in U.C. Davis (not to mention the title of “Cum Laude” at graduation), Rob Griffin moved to Washington state, taking a job at the now shuttered Preston Wine Cellars in Pasco in 1977. As one of the few single-digit wineries in the state at the time, Griffin received an education on the terroir and market unlike many others. With that knowledge, Griffin opened his own winery, Barnard Griffin, with 400 cases in 1983. Thirty-two years later, Barnard Griffin is a household name in Washington wine and was the first wine ever purchased by this particular writer (it was the Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend, to be specific).

A hugely successful seasonal for the winery is the Rose of Sangiovese, a perennial pick for many wine-centric publications and consumers who can still hold on to one more week of summer. The 2014 Rose of Sangiovese is 100 percent its namesake varietal, cool-fermented in stainless steel tanks until dry. This fan and winery favorite is ripe, lush and juicy with aromas of watermelon, strawberry, cranberry and red apple. Pulling more from the cranberry and melon, the palate is crisp but tender in generous red flavors and brisk acidity.

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