Refreshingly dry, with a rosy hue and vibrant pomegranate, guava, strawberry and floral aromas and flavors. We sourced Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from one of our favorite vineyards in Calistoga, at the northern end of Napa Valley. Fermentation and sur lie aging in stainless steel barrels developed our rosé’s pure fruit expression and silky texture. With the twist-off closure, you don’t need to remember a corkscrew for your picnic!
Aging: 100% Barrel Fermented in Stainless Steel Barrels
Varietal Composition: 82% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 405 cases
The delightful rosy hue of our 2013 Napa Valley Malbec Rosé leads to vibrant aromas reminiscent of pomegranate, guava, strawberry and rose petals. The crisp, dry flavors begin lively and refreshing, and then pick up an unctuous, mouth-coating silkiness that comes from bâtonnage during sur lie aging. The wine’s full body and tangy strawberry finish make it a delicious choice for summer picnics and barbecues, especially with grilled chicken, gourmet sausages and trout. It also adds a festive complement to turkey or smoked ham for the holidays.
We chose predominantly Malbec grapes, with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Peppone Vineyard in Calistoga. This vineyard’s warm mesoclimate and lean, well-drained soils give our Bordeaux-heritage red wines their enticing dark-fruit, rose and spice character, so we knew the grapes would make a delicious rosé too. Malbec, which has been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years, finds Calistoga’s warm, dry conditions ideal for its temperamental personality. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, with their similar heritage, also show great affinity to this site.
The 2013 vintage even surpassed the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A very low-rainfall winter was followed by a dry, warm spring and nearly ideal summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, excellent fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest fostered intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines, and made our job easy.
We hand picked the grapes in the early morning and then lightly crushed them as soon as they arrived at the winery. We cold soaked the majority of the juice with the color-rich skins for 36 hours to achieve the vibrant rosé color and then bled off the juice (which is called saignée in France) into small, stainless steel barrels. We also whole-cluster pressed a portion of the grapes and fermented the juice the same way. After the wine fermented dry, we aged it sur lie (on the yeast) with bâtonnage (stirring) to develop the silky texture and add yeasty complexity to the aromas.