2018 Rosé "Spring Ephemeral"
Thisis from the 10 acre site that we farm on the banks of the Columbia east of Lyle. Currently, there isn’t any white wine planted here (we have plans for two new blocks next year). Instead, we make a special effort to with Rosé. Each year, to keep it interesting, we alternate between making Rosé from Grenache and Zinfandel. The two grapes produce totally different wines. The skins of the Grenache are so thin, that even as a red wine, its barely darker than what one would consider Rosé. When we leave it on the skins for a few days before pressing it creates a wine that is closer to orange in color than pink and the flavors are far closer to those of a light white wine than a red. The Zinfandel, of course, behaves in the opposite way.
Its from the steepest part of the site where the basalt cobbles rise regularly to the surface of the soil. The dry-farmed grapes struggle in these conditions and the shoots barely reach the first wire. Zinfandel is known for producing exuberantly fruity red wines that are high in alcohol. We leave the grapes on the vine until the last possible moment, but they rarely rise more than 22 brix. The grapes macerate on the skins for just five days, but this is enough time to yield a wine that looks more like a red than a rosé, electric, cloudy, pink with purple hues. Just as the wine begins to ferment we siphon the juice from the fermenter and shovel the remaining grapes into a basket press. Because this maceration happens before the fermentation has begun, the extraction is aqueous. If it was to be a red wine the extraction would have needed to take place in alcohol. Its this juice based extraction of flavor that makes it a rosé and imbues it with wildly fresh aromas of watermelon skin, cracked black pepper, sage and orange peel.