The great Rosé debate – to whole cluster press or saigner –keeps sommeliers and geeks up late, while eyes glaze over and yawns erupt from the 99%. From our perch, the right vineyards are of greater import than method. The foundation here is grenache from two quite different sites – a high altitude one in the Sierra Nevadas, and a couple of the latest ripening sub-sections of George Besson’s old vines in Gilroy. Though some grapes may be Alpine, the inspiration remains coastal – the relevant coast being the Côte d’Azur. To complete the classic Provençal encépagement, we include – in a single sequential fermentation [via wild yeast] – cinsault from the 127 year-old Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi, mourvèdre from a limestone bench in gloriously remote Topo Valley (and from a pair of recently grafted one-acre blocks within the Besson Grenache) and a touch of rolle. For the record, all but the cinsault was obtained via whole cluster press. Crisp and fragrant, though deceptively concentrated despite its modest alcohol, this bone-dry rosé serves as a happy companion to grilled ___, fried ____, fire-roasted ___, and most profoundly, ___ à la façon Provençale. Serve lightly chilled.
TA 4.8 g/l, pH 3.45, Alc.13.0%