Our 2016 Rose Cuvée is made from two different sites on the property. The majority of the fruit comes from our Grenache and Mourvèdre plantings in the China Bowl block, which sits on shallow, rocky soil near the foot of the property. This steep, well-drained site offers a crop with excellent concentration, providing an abundance of vibrant fruit character. The remainder of the grapes came from Grenache, Syrah and Viognier vines organically grown on our two-plus-acre parcel named Bobcat Run. This block takes its name from a large resident feline that treats us to an occasional sighting. The site is ideally suited for growing Rhone varieties as it lies in a fairly cool hollow open to the southwest, and its rows run north-south for good sun and warmth without excessive exposure. The cooler conditions in Bobcat Run produce fruit with a great depth of flavor, adding nuance and complexity to the intensity of the fruit from China Bowl.
The weather during the growing season in 2016 was perfect for wine grapes, largely dry and warm, but not overly hot. Our Rose Cuvée was created in the vineyard, where we made an early pass through our Rhône varietals and culled out just enough fruit for this blend. Lightening the crop remaining on the vines had the added benefit of increasing the concentration of flavor and color in the grapes that eventually made up our 2016 Cuvée Alis. Just over one ton of the four varietals combined were picked on August 27, 2016.
The 2016 Rose Cuvée is a finely balanced wine that reflects our meticulous organic farming, fine-tuned crop management, and judicious winemaking. To achieve the color of this wine we destemmed the grapes into fermenters and allowed them to macerate on the skins for just under 48 hours. When the color of the juice was just right, we pressed it off and then fermented it at a low temperature in stainless steel.
The Rose Cuvée is a blend of four traditionally Rhône-grown varieties — Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Viognier. Hold this wine up to the light and notice its charming sunset pink color. On the nose you will find hints of jasmine over a luscious aroma of strawberry cheesecake. On the palate, the first thing you will find is a smattering of tart raspberries, opening quickly into a character of rich, ripe mandarin orange. Note the finish, which is quite long for a Rose, and holds a gentle note of melon.
This dry, floral, and fruity wine is very seductive on the palate and is an ideal complement for spring and summer cuisines. Drink now and over the next year.