Will they ever be as sweet? The answer is, no! because rose has made a revolution, and there are new kids on the block. Gone are the days of bygone all there was to rosé was a sweet, cloying white zinfnadel. Today’s American pink wine is diverse, exciting, and runs from off dry to bone dry, from juicy strawberries to salted watermelon. To focus on these diverse styles of rosé, this month’s #winestudio is focusing on the various style of rosé from Sonoma County. The first up is Passaggio Wines, who’s winemaker Cindy Cosco loves to play with different fruit sources. I’ve known Cindy for a while now, from her humble beginnings at Crushpad in San Francisco after a career in law enforcement, to her thriving tasting room on the Sonoma Plaza. Starting with the Barbera, on through the Mourvedre, pushing through Rosé Colored Glasses (a Tempranillo) and on to her latest pink project from Merlot, there is always something new to taste form this eclectic winery. 2014 Mourvedré Rose (sold out) – quite possibly my favorite of the three, the Mourvedré Rose comes from Clarksburg, a warm climate in the Central Valley. With juicy red fruit, strawberries and raspberries as expected, but with an herbal and floral finish, this is a perfect rose with grilled wild salmon or grilled chicken. 2015 Rose Colored Glasses – Sourced from Sonoma County, this starts out similarly to the Mourvedré, with bright red berries, it quickly reveals itself to be a stronger rose with deeper red fruit, watermelon, and a hint of spice. A classic rosato style, it stands up well to burgers and other grilling meats. 2015 Merlot Rose – is the newest kid on the block, hailing from Carneros. Low in alcohol and deep in color, it has classic Merlot flavors of cherry, plum and blackberry, but finishes with a beautiful green herbal note and savory dried herbs. This is a fun addition to the club, and I can taste the salted watermelon salad, pork chops or turkey burgers. Three cheers to Cindy and her rose project, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! While the Merlot rosé was a sample sent to me for the purposes of particiapting in #winestudio, all other Passaggio wines were purchased by…me! Next up in #winestudio, Ellipses Wine Compnay Rose of Pinot Meunier!
One of my favorite stops the last time I was in El Dorado was Miraflores, a sprawling hilltop winery with a beautiful terrace and expansive views. On the day we next visited, it was raining, but that wouldn’t deter our delicious tasting of Italian focused winemakers here in El Dorado. There is a long history of Italian immigrants in the area, largely due to the Gold Rush and enterprising folks who started restaurants, businesses and other ways of striking it rich supporting the miners, and maintaining cultural ties to the homeland. Today, we tasted through some examples of modern day Italian winemakers: Miraflores is located on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, in the heart of El Dorado wine country. Winemaker Marco Cappelli is both an artist, and a scientist, like any good winemaker, and focuses on creating wines of distinction that reflect the varying terroir of the region. With 12 years of experience at Miraflores, Marco also has been a winemaker in Italy, France, and Australia – learning about terroir, wine styles, and the uniqueness of each region. Mirafloras sits at 2700 feet, on granite based, well drained soils. The 2012 Barbera is clone 4, which is lower in acid than other clones, which creates a richer, more mellow final wine. Fermented in opt top vats, it aged 22 months in neutral oak to allow the fruit to show through. Rich, and bold red fruit, with chewy and dense figs, leather and coffee give way to bright Bing cherry and a zippy finish. A great example of what elevation can do! $28 C.G. Di Arie Vineyard and Winery was founded in 2000, when Chaim and Elisheva Gur-Arieh purchased the 209 acre property in the Shenandoah Valley. With the rolling hills averaging about 1,700 feet, they knew that this area had the potential to create world class wines. Today, they are able to produce up to 15,000 cases of wine, in the state of the art gravity flow facility that also houses an art gallery. With 40 acres currently planted, they plan to put 30 more to vine by 2020. Chaim strives to make wines that have balance and style. The 2012 Primativo is a lighter style wine, mimicking the Zinfandel that so many immigrants to this region planted. It’s spicy gingerbread flavors are uniquely different than the classic California Zinfandel from this region. The bright acidity make this an excellent wine for burgers, BBQ, and general enjoyment. $25 Nello Olivo is a character straight out of a Hollywood movie. Larger than life, and full of verve, this second generation Italian-American has wine in his blood. Born to a large brood in the Bay Area, Nello started a successful property development business in Los Angeles, where he raised his family before the real estate market crashed in the early 1980s. Heading north to the Cameron Park area near Sacramento, which was near his beloved Lake Tahoe retirement dream, Nello and his family purchased 21 acres in 2000. Here, he planted seven varietals, focusing on the historical Italian grapes that he is […]