“General thoughts on Rosé… Rosé should be fresh and vibrant, delicious and gulpable. You can’t just simply pick grapes earlier for rosé, because the wine will be out of balance. The grapes need to achieve appropriate ripeness for a great rosé. We handpick the grapes early in the morning and get them to the winery as early as possible. We want to minimize skin contact and phenolic extraction. Usually, we want to avoid malo-lactic fermentation, but this year the malo-lactic fermentation finished during primary fermentation.”
Vineyard: 100% Carignan sourced from McNabb Ranch Vineyard, which is between Hopland and Ukiah in Mendocino. These old vines were planted in the early 1950’s. The vineyard is dry farmed. The soils are Cole loam and the vineyard is covered with turkey mullein. Carignan in the area is quite prone to powdery mildew, but the grower does a great job of managing it with sulfur dust and canopy management. These vines stand at about 8 feet tall, which really allows air and light to penetrate the canopy.
Winemaking: We picked the vineyard at 20.1 brix. The handpicked grapes were whole cluster pressed in a horizontal bladder press. The free-run juice and press up to 1.6 bar was taken to tank. There was no skin contact and minimal tumbles. The juice was cold settled and racked. The juice was kept on its fine lees and stirred weekly for 6 weeks to allow the big fruity flavors to subside and more floral ones to take their place. Once the wine started to tick off, we let it ferment with native yeast. Fermentation was at 60-65F. Once fermentation finished, we kept it on its gross lees and stirred (inertly) twice a month until just before bottling. The wine was fined prior to bottling with a small amount of bentonite to heat stabilize and pack down the lees. The wine was not cold stabilized.
-From the producer