Brut Rosé 2016
2016 was another in a string of warm and delightful Oregon vintages. The growing season started with a bounty of fruit provided from a good set on the vines allowing us to precisely choose the level of cropping we wanted for our wines. The warm, dry season set us up for a very clean, ripe harvest. This is reflected in the intensity of the wines. At pick, we saw fruit in pristine condition allowing us to easily craft a stellar vintage wine.
A blend of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay grapes were hand harvested from two different vineyards in the Willamette Valley. They were chilled overnight to allow for a gentle press cycle the next day in a traditional pneumatic press. The different blocks were vinified separately in a mix of traditional French oak barrels and stainless steel barrels to develop depth and complexity of flavors while retaining an exacting freshness. The different vessels allowing different aspects of the fruits flavor profile to emerge over the course of the primary fermentation and subsequent elevage creating a more dynamic and complex end result than a singular fermentation vessel would. A portion of the wine went through a partial malolactic fermentation to bring further complexity to the palate. Prior to blending, a small addition of still Pinot Noir was added to achieve the desired hue and bring a rich, depth of flavors to the base wine. The wine was bottled in the spring of 2017 and matured sur latte (on its lees) until disgorging during the spring of 2020. Upon disgorgement, it was decided a small dose of 2 g/L would bring perfect balance and mid-palate weight to the youthful intensity of the wine. The wine was aged on cork for an additional year after disgorgement before its release to allow the dosage to integrate and the wine to relax.
This pale salmon hued wine does not so much leap out of the glass as it does draw the drinker into the glass. The aromas are compelling, complex, diverse - and unexpected. On first nose, there is quince, cardamom, and cedar box with delicate notes of fresh biga underlying this. As it hits the palate, there is a surprise hiding in the delicate bubbles of balanced acidity and savory characters highlighted by marzipan, panko, and hoshigaki (dried persimmon). The palate develops and builds across the broad mid-palate with hints of strawberry shortcake with a perfectly folded dollop of whipped cream on top. A delight for the senses carried on a cloud.