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Rose of the Month: February 2019

February 27, 2019

Rose of the Month: February 2019

 

2018 rosés are here! The month of February is when a lot of rosés are bottled and released, so I’ve been able to taste through more than 25 new rosés in the past few weeks. Most of the French wines are still being shipped, so I’ve selected a few stand-outs from California.

 

Lorenza Rosé                                                                                $19.00 btl/$205.20 case

From the winemaker: “As always, we lean on the vineyards with which we’ve had long-term relationships —old vines planted in sandy soils. These vineyards are farmed by people who each year commit to keeping their ancient vines and these special varieties in the ground. After a century of harvests it is here that we look to these vines to gain the tenor of the vintage. We have included two new vineyards to the stable this year, filled with history and great potential.”

HARVEST NOTES FROM THE WINEMAKER:

The theme for our vintage this year is the connection to a singular goal. It is with awe, appreciation and respect for the many hands that it takes each year to produce a bottle of Lorenza that we hope resonates with integrity and intensity. With the influence of a moderate growing season, the majority of the vineyards were hand picked at around 18 degrees Brix. Picking at night or daybreak keeps the fruit cold through the pressing and into the tank, preserving the aromatics, freshness and delicacy of the flavors. We have our hands in nearly every macrobin, pre-sorting and working with the pickers to select perfect clusters.

2018 was a vintage where patience indeed was a virtue. After a few years of early harvests, 2018 was what we might call normal—if there is such a thing in this climate of change. The moderate summer temperatures through harvest helped a gentle ripening, flavor intensity and great acidity. We look forward to sharing our 2018 vintage with you.

WINEMAKING:

Whole clusters were gently pressed while the fruit was cool. The juice was immediately transferred to cold stainless steel tanks for settling, racking and fermentation. The wines, pre-blend were lean, zesty and mineral driven. Blending created a focused relationship between layers of aroma, flavor and texture. After 11 years working with these four varieties (this year it’s 38% Grenache, 36% Carignan, 23% Mourvedre, and 3% Cinsault), we are tuned into the subtleties of the year. In the end the question is always—does this taste like Lorenza?


TASTING NOTES:

The 2018 is gorgeous with its luminous pale rose-gold hue and heady perfume of roses and Meyer lemon blossoms. The palate is focused with prominent salinity laced with citrus, essence of guava, delicate mountain strawberry, cranberry and white peach. The finish is laser-crisp and mouthwatering.

 

 

Hollyhock No. 5 Rosé                                                                              $20btl/$216 case

From the winemaker: “Like most good stories, mine begins with a girl. In early 2015, I was working at a small solar startup when my girlfriend asked me to come do some volunteer work at the winery where she was doing graphic design. I made the trek from San Francisco down to Paso Robles where I worked for two days at Field Recordings winery. After the second day, the owner Andrew Jones came and offered me a job. I will never forget the first words he said to me, "hey you work hard and don't seem like an idiot." WOW. What an introduction to the person who would soon guide me into my winemaking career. Needless to say, I packed my life into my car, quit my job and drove down to Paso Robles two days later. Wine was something that I grew up around but had never anticipated that it would be my career one day. After working with Andrew for a couple harvests he suggested that I start making my own wine under my own name. He was generous enough to connect me with farmers who offered the only grape I wanted- Gamay Noir. In 2016, I produced only a single red wine from the grapes I purchased. In 2017, I produced my second and third wines. My third vintage brings wines 4, 5 and 6. My labels will always be simply a series of numbers, indicating which wine it is in my career.

Hollyhock Lodge is a place steeped in family tradition and memory. Purchased by my great grandparents in 1936, it is where my grandmother taught me to appreciate wine at our sublime summer meals shared with family and friends. With the passing of my grandmother, Hollyhock Lodge passed to a new family. Named for the place where I learned to appreciate wine, Hollyhock Lodge wine is about sharing the gift of a glass, enjoyed among family and friends.

This was my first take at rosé and I love the finished product! I picked very early in the season in order to retain great acidity. The grapes were hand harvested before sunrise. Upon arriving at the winery, I did not allow any time on skins and pressed them using the champagne method in order to very lightly extract the juice over a long period. The wine was sent directly to stainless steel where it is spontaneously fermented and aged on its lees for six months. The result was a very light-colored rosé with great complexity due to the lees aging.” Gamay rosés tend to have a softness, fullness and roundness not seen in most rosés, although they still show bold acidity and subtle red fruit notes.




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