Monday, April 16, 2012
A Duo of Domestic Roses in the Desert
My folks are in town this week. I took a little break from the madness of Los Angeles to brave the madness of Coachella and it's wake in Palm Desert. The weather is amazingly comfortable this weekend and having a seat in the shade couldn't be more wonderful. Our room wasn't quite ready when I pulled up at the JW Marriott, so I popped the cork on some rose as I sat in the front seat of the car (parked, of course), listening to Keane and enjoying the fresh air with the windows down.
I couldn't wait to try the first vintage of Liquid Farm's Rose 2011. It's a Bandol-inspired, crisp and refreshing rose that I don't think I'll be able to keep my hands off of this summer. A mere 100 case production of Mourvedre from the Vogelzang vineyard in the recently announced Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA, it is everything one could want. At a meager 12.5% alcohol, it sports under ripe strawberry, pomegranate, orange rind, crisp acidity, a sensed meaty aroma mixed with fresh Gardenia, and Fleur de Sel which adds a fascinating savory character. Once we got in the room, I broke out some cheeses and prosciutto. This rose was smokin' with the food! Especially the prosciutto! The salinity of the wine with the cured meat was astounding. You'll likely never see this wine on the market, but if you contact the winery, you might eek a couple of bottles out of them. It's worth it.
Another favorite from years past is the Soliste "Soleil Rouge" 2011, a rose of Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast. His Pinots are awesome and the one vintage of Syrah he has produced thus far is profound, but his roses are also very special. This vintage is beautifully ripe and friendly with peach skin and red fruit aromatics. On the palate, ripe strawberry, cherry and apricot come through with green apple skin. It's beautifully crisp, but a lot rounder and more crowd-friendly than the Liquid Farm. The food draws out the citrus tones and kills the fruit that is so endearing a,bout this wine. I prefer this wine if I'm not eating. The Liquid Farm fares better with some fats and salt.
I love the rose season. Here's to hoping that the market demands some rose wines this year. I'm very excited to introduce some people to these two fascinating new wines.