This month we bring you two Pinot Noir rosés; one from here in California and one from the Loire Valley in France. The Sancerre AOC is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc, but the red grape grown there is Pinot Noir.
Born in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Lucy is the charismatic younger sister of Lucia Wines, a celebrated label that represents a collection of vineyards run by the renowned Pisoni family. In 2003, following her limited debut in just two precious barrels, winemaker Jeff Pisoni immediately knew that he had crafted something exceptional. More than a decade later, the tradition of providing the utmost care and attention to this exquisite rosé carries on, and only a limited amount is produced each year. We selected the Lucy Rosé of Pinot Noir for Breast Cancer Awareness month because they donate $1 of every bottle sold to breast cancer aid and research.
The Cherrier family has been a proprietor in Sancerre for three generations. As an established and independent producer with generations of extensive knowledge about their region, the Cherrier family’s know-how and familiarity with the unique terroirs and climats in Sancerre allow them to craft wines of great quality. Along with holdings of 25 acres of Sauvignon Blanc plantings and 2.5 acres of Pinot Noir with which they produce a Sancerre and Sancerre Rosé, the Cherrier family are also among the best producers of the famous goat cheese, Crottins de Chavignol.
Carrie Upson - General Manager
About the Winery: Gary Pisoni began planting grapes in the Santa Lucia
Highlands 1982 — some of the very first in this region. Each year he and his
family learn more about the characteristics of their vineyards, farming and
winemaking to steadily improve the sustainability of what they do, and the
wines they strive to create. The Pisoni Family approach winemaking as an
art, a science, and a craft. As such, from planting to pruning to harvesting,
they work by hand, in accordance both with Burgundian tradition and their
own ongoing understanding of what will best sustain this land they love and
About the winemaking: This Rosé is from a blend of Pinot Noir grapes
harvested from estate vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The cool
weather from the Santa Lucia Highlands is the critical factor to maintaining
the bright acidity in this rosé. Combining the use of whole cluster pressing with saignée of Pinot Noir allowed them to create a more complex wine. This combination brings the light, crisp and elegant character with minimal phenolics from gentle whole-cluster pressing and slightly more fullness from the saignée barrels. The Lucy Rosé is fermented then aged for only three months to retain the freshest characteristics. They utilize barrels of at least a decade in age so they are truly “neutral.” This heightens the texture while minimizing the
flavor impact of the oak.
Tasting notes: Born from the cold and windy slopes of the Santa Lucia
Highlands, the 2019 Lucy Rosé reflects a true sense of place as its pale
grapefruit hue catches the light with each swirl in the glass. Just as sea
meets land a short distance north, crisp notes of salinity and sea air mingle
and dance with delicate aromas of fresh strawberry, orange peel, and peach
blossom. Gentle pressing combined with minimal skin contact produces this
rosé of distinct purity; one which, when paired with neutral barrel aging,
creates additional texture that offers a complexity not available in most
wines of its type. With bracing, refreshing acidity, Lucy is a wonderful
accompaniment to flavorful foods and friendly conversation.
About the Winery: The Cherrier family has been a trusted name in the Loire Valley since the late 1800s. In the village of Chaudoux, the family’s home just north of the village of Sancerre proper, Sauvignon Blanc is equally in its element: soils are a refined mix of flint and chalk, a terroir marriage that makes the best Sancerre so vibrant. Today it is Pierre Cherrier’s sons, François and Jean-Marie, who have taken winemaking at this generations- deep estate to a whole new level, with terroir-true wines that are stunning values for their high quality.
About the wine making: Hand-harvested Pinot Noir comes from a selection of fruit from ‘La Croix Poignant,’ a single-vineyard with classic Loire “terres blanches,” a combination of clay and chalk, plus flint stone. It is made in the Rosé de pressurage method (red grapes pressed directly, extracting a light blush color from the skins) and is fermented on indigenous yeasts and aged in stainless tanks.
Tasting notes: A crisp wine made from 100% Pinot Noir, the Sancerre Rosé has aromas of light spice, red berries, red plum skin, wild strawberries, blood orange. Fresh and refined, with crisp minerality and rich fruit aromas. Domaine Cherrier showcases the classic freshness, minerality, and fruit quality that Loire Valley wines can offer.