2016 Rosé of Dornfelder
January 23, 2017
March 1, 2017
The 2016 rosé is a vivid pale salmon color, with a mild haze. The nose shows beguiling aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, cranberry, lime and rose petal. The palate shows bright cherry, guava, and peach flavors, accompanied by an underlying minerality and a slightly herbal, almost absinthe-like note on the finish. Intense acidity keeps the wine focused, yet the overall impression on the palate is softened by the lush tropical fruit flavors.
We have released a minuscule rosé bottling from Pinot Noir saignee each of the last two years, but for 2016 we really wanted to find some good fruit and do a true cluster-pressed rosé. As luck would have it, we got an email from our friends at Mokelumne Glen Vineyard in the spring to tell us that they had some Dornfelder available. We decided to make both a red wine and a rosé wine from the Dornfelder, but you can read about the red wine in its own notes. For the rosé, we took the clusters to the press directly after picking, and squeezed them very gently, only using about 60% of the total potential juice to ensure we had the light color and delicate flavors we were looking for. The wine was then fermented in old oak barrels, and ultimately transferred to a used 500L puncheon for aging. Malolactic fermentation was prevented in order to maintain freshness and lively acidity. After three months in barrel the wine was racked to tank and bottled without fining or filtration. For this reason it often throws a sediment, or even so-called “wine-diamonds,” the crystals of tartaric acid that form when the wine is chilled. These are harmless, and will settle easily to the bottom of the bottle so that clean wine can be poured off the top.