I tried an interesting wine the other day, the 2006 Fortitude Rose from Napa Valley. Fortitude is a project developed from the winemaking team at Etude and since I'm a big fan of Etude, I just had to try it. According to their website, the project is about "celebrating the hard work of independent family grape growers. With small blocks that Etude founder, Tony Soter; winemaker, Jon Priest and viticulturist, Franci Ashton call 'endangered' grape varietals – semillon, valdiguie (Napa gamay), charbono and carignane - Etude launched the Fortitude project." The wine is a blend of 84% valdiguie, 8% carignane, 7% charbono and 1% zinfandel. The valdigue core of the wine (also grown in the south of France where it's known as gros auxerrois) is grown by the Frediani family in Calistoga. They've been farming for three generations beginning in 1898, and the vines were planted in 1935.
This rose is very clear with a salmon/copper color and a redolent nose of strawberry pastry. Upon tasting, you get more strawberry pastry with other red berry fruit and a little Jolly Rancher. The finish is crisp and dry with nice acidity. I tasted the wine with some leftover cioppino and believe that they paired very nicely. You can find the wine at the Wine Warehouse on Bay to Bay Boulevard in Tampa and as an added bonus during these trying economic times the cost is only $8.99.