So July fourth once again hoves into view. If you live stateside and feel even vaguely patriotic, you might want to celebrate America’s independence with alcohol. But it falls on Tuesday. Most of us work the next day. So alcohol bombs and bourbon shots might lead to undesired fireworks the morning after, while at your office desk, involving your recycling bin.
Local beer can be light and right. But allow me to suggest another American drink that you can quaff while the grill rages, children swarm, the sun bakes, and guests talk your ear off:
A Pinot Noir Rosé grown on the Sonoma Coast by Flowers Vineyards and Winery:
Now, I get it, “Flowers Rosé”: probably just some name made up by marketing teams to tap into female demo, right? Well, no. Flowers is the family name of Walt and Joan. They left their plant nursery in Pennsylvania, drawn by a classified ad, and bought 321 acres in Sonoma in 1989. They planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay high on Sonoma’s coastal cliffside, two miles from the water, higher than any sane person would: 1,150 to 1,875 feet. Extreme elevation and the fog-laden cold climate kept Pinot and Chardonnay happy.
The Flowers’ 2016 Rosé is 100% Pinot Noir and comes from their edgy Sea Ridge View vineyard and a few neighboring farms. 2016 was a mild year. They did not use saignee method (a bled off, secondary wine that like a lot of rosé producers use to beef up their reds and pay the bills). No. Instead they chucked Pinot, whole cluster, into a gentle press and let it settle into tanks. A native yeast but controlled ferment occurred in stainless tanks and neutral barrels. Cold halted malolactic fermentation.
What does this all add to?
Flowers, Rosé, Sonoma Coast, California 2016 $32
The APPEARANCE looks a brilliant, bright, light salmon color with gold highlights and a medium clear meniscus.
AROMAS and FLAVORS echo light, fresh rose petal, lychee, wild strawberry, and briney sea salt.
The PALATE feels dry, with crisp but controlled acidity, a classic, mild alcoholic warmth (12.5% abv), and a medium body. Yet this wine is all about texture: crackling yet viscous, round yet bright.
Flowers’ 2016 Rosé will tame any hot dog, corn cob, dull conversation, or firework emergency with complexity and grace. Think of rosé from Provence or Sancerre and this won’t disappoint you. No Californian rosé is more restrained. It is refreshing, present, and lengthy and pretty damn near perfect: outstanding 5 of 5.
Happy Independence Day America. Sorry British Empire, better luck next time.