’10 Morgan, Pinot Noir, Double L Vineyard,
Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County $78
Morgan’s 2010 Double L Pinot Noir presents aromas of pomegranate, pepper spice and smoky oak with hints of leather and cedar. Flavors of black cherry and strawberry are backed by a deft touch of toasty oak and structuring tannins. An exquisite match for duck lamb and prime rib.
’11 Quivira, Rose, North Coast $48
51% Mourvedre, 18% Carignane, 18% Counoise, 7% Grenache, 6% Syrah
At many wineries, the rosé program is merely a by-product of other wine production, often from red wine lots that are “bled” to intensify color. Not so at Quivira; their rosé is very intentionally crafted. Grapes are first carefully crushed, then given limited cold soak and pressed gently like a white wine. After the juice is allowed to settle, fermentation takes place in stainless steel at cool temperatures. The wine spends a short period in neutral French oak before bottling. In this bottling, the strawberry and pie cherry elements from the Carignane are surrounded and amplified by spice, rhubarb and a more complex range of fruits from the Mourvedre…yielding an arguably more intriguing nose that is fresh and clean, pierced with hints of orange zest. Rosé has a wonderful seasonality, and this release’s lovely, refreshing juiciness and low alcohol makes it the perfect wine to enjoy with friends on a warm summer evening.
’10 Tablas Creek, Rose, Paso Robles $58
The Tablas Creek Vineyard Rosé 2010 is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. The blend is traditional of the southern Rhône, though the blend of grapes is predominantly Mourvèdre, and therefore more like the solid, dry rosés of Bandol than the lighter Grenache-based Tavel.
Each year, they take the grapes for their Rosé from the oldest section of French-source vines at Tablas Creek. In 1994, two years after our French vines had been released from their USDA-mandated quarantine, they had propagated just enough to plant a few rows of each varietal . Over the next few years, they used cuttings from these plants to plant the rest of their 120-acre vineyard.
These few rows of high-quality vines ripen later than the rest of the vineyard, so they harvest the Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Counoise together and co-ferment them (on their skins) in a single stainless steel fermenter. After 48 hours, they draw about 800 gallons of juice off the blend, and ferment it dry away from the skins. These lots are then supplemented with saignées (bleedings) from other Mourvèdre and Grenache lots in the cellar.
The 2010 Rosé is cranberry in color, with an explosive nose of red chile jam, watermelon, plum, mineral and spice. The mouth is bright with flavors of watermelon and tart cherry. The sweetness of the fruit is chased quickly by bright acids and a long, deep finish with echoes of lime and tangerine.