Chloe Rosé Monterey County 2015

Delicate pink color (the winery says “ballet-slipper pink”); watermelon, strawberry on the nose; raspberry, watermelon, cherry, strawberry on the palate.

Medium acidity (3.62 pH), creamy mouthfeel, balanced, some crispness, resembles French Provence style. This can be classified as a dry rosé, but it is on the boundary (3.9 g/L residual sugar). Blend of 75% pinot noir, 20% pinot grigio, 5% merlot. Plenty of fruit expression. Elegant on the palate and surprising in the packaging (nice Alsatian-style bottle, screw cap closure), Chloe is positioned to play in the rosé market surge, particularly targeting female millennials.

Chloe Rosé Monterey County is part of a larger Chloe Wine Collection portfolio put together winemaker Georgetta Dane. The portfolio includes Prosecco DOC, Sonoma County Chardonnay, Valdadige DOC Pinot Grigio, Monterey County Pinot Noir, and California Coast Red No. 249 (a red blend). Dane says Chloe focuses on wines associated with celebration. The Chloe name comes from Greek word for “blooming.”

Dane has a fascinating life story. Her husband and three buddies were drinking in a Romanian bar when they decided to put their names in a lottery for immigration to the U.S. He won, and Dane left her job as a sausage maker and journeyed with her husband and young child to California. Neither husband nor wife spoke English, but they landed jobs with Kendall-Jackson. Motivated by fear that “I would be on the street if I didn’t succeed,” Dane learned English and winemaking quickly, then rose in the California wine industry. Today, she is the winemaker for Big House and Chloe, both widely available brands of The Wine Group.

The Wine Group headquarters in Livermore, California, and is one of the world’s three largest wine producers by volume (Constellation Brands is the largest; Gallo is the largest family-owned company and essentially is tied with The Wine Group in volume). The Wine Group’s roots trace back to the 1930s with Franzia Brothers, Mogen David, and Tribuno Wines. Today’s company formed within Coca-Cola Bottling in the 1970s; there was a leveraged buy-out from Coca-Cola in the 1980s, followed by aggressive brand acquisitions. Noticeable brands include Corbett Canyon, Glen Ellen, Concannon, Fish Eye, Big House, Almaden, Franzia, Cupcake, and flipflop. Trapiche has an alliance with The Wine Group in the U.S.

Chloe Rosé Monterey County 2015 edges toward being a sweet rosé but, thankfully, does not quite get there. It will please those who enjoy white zinfandel but want to step up in complexity and, in many cases, step back to drier style. $12-17

Chloe Collection website

Second photo: Winemaker Georgetta Dane