Because 2020 wasn’t challenging enough thanks to the pandemic, Mother Nature had to throw “gas on the fire”— pun squarely intended. A random August lightning storm resulted in a Statewide outbreak of wildfires, including the massive Walbridge Fire, located a few miles from Dry Creek Valley.
The 2020 vintage fell in line with all the trials and tribulations we collectively faced last year. Pandemic concerns for vineyard and cellar crew. Drastic extremes in the weather, particularly heat spells. And, of course, wildfires. If I never hear the phrase “smoke taint” again, it will be too soon.
This is the first time we have had to deal with wildfires PRIOR to harvesting grapes. You can imagine what it does to a winemaker’s stress during crunch time. Fortunately, winemaker Jason Valenti maintained his composure, and like a great quarterback, called an audible at the wildfire line of scrimmage. Nicely done, Jason. This 2020 Rosé definitely scored a touchdown. It was the lingering smoke that convinced Jason to make Rosé out of our best Mourvedre vines and some of our best Grenache blocks, rather than making a red fit for our best Rhone blend, Cuveé Foudre. Prevailing thought among winemakers is wines made from juice immediately pressed from the skins are at a much lower risk of having smoke taint. Our 2020 results confirmed this, as all of our whites and rosé are beautiful.
While we are saddened to not make Cuveé Foudre in 2020, the Rosé is AWESOME. It confirms what we’ve known for years - even Rosé benefits from higher-quality grapes. In order to highlight these fantastic lots, we decided to bottle two different Rosés. Our main, or first-string, blend is 70% Grenache and 30% Mourvedre. I will put this up against ANY Bandol wine. Full-bodied with incredible aromas and bright acidity. Only 615 cases produced, and it will go quickly.
We are also making a Petit Frere Rosé that is comprised solely of Grenache. Not as full or complex as the big brother, but it is a classic Provencal-style rosé, at a nice price. More on that later.
$35 / btl Mix-and-match any 6+ bottles for 10% off
Any 12+ for 20%