I am particularly pleased with this year’s rose, and while I’d like to say it was entirely the result of careful planning, that’s only partially true. The magic of craft is serendipity, and it often seems as though there is no better explanation for success than that!
The small crop of 2015 had me scrambling for more fruit for our rose, and I stumbled upon a collection of Rhone varietals that are planted at Camp 4 in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. So, for our 2015 rose, in addition to our usual base of Syrah from Roll Ranch and Grenache from John Sebastiano Vineyard, we crushed Counoise, Carignan and Cinsault, which gave us pretty red fruits aromas and a measure of generosity on the palate. That, along with a dollop of Riesling to propel the aromatics is what made this wine so sensational.
I definitely have a concept of what I want our rosé to be. My favorites are light and lively—heavy rich ones just don’t taste as good on a hot afternoon! The grapes are whole cluster pressed, just like what we do for our white wines, and then the juice goes into to older French oak barrels for fermentation and aging.
Because this year’s rose was made up of six different varietals, as soon as the various lots were finished fermenting, I drew a sample from the barrels to see what we had and was engaged with its personality—the combination of floral aromatics and lively texture was immediately beguiling. Neither fat and rich, nor lean and mean, this rose catches just the right balance to make it easy to enjoy, and it has the complexity and tension to beckon you to try another sip.
Blend: 24% Grenache, 18% Counoise, 18% Cinsault, 18% Carignan, 15% Syrah, 7% Riesling | Alc: 12.5% | Vinification: Barrel fermented in Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 5 Months | 672 Cases Made