With the weather unseasonably cool in Southern California recently, it seems almost a shame to crack open a nice Central Coast rosé. Part of me feels I should wait until a warm, sunny day when I can lounge about on the deck and soak up the Laurel Canyon quiet. Another part of me feels that if I open the rosé, summer will come. Of course, someone on the east coast may have tried that, and look what happened. Triple digits. I'm throwing caution to the cool ocean breeze and opening a rosé from the Santa Maria Valley.
Opening the Riverbench '09 Pinot Noir Rosé is a little more difficult that opening most wines. They have sealed the top of the bottle with a beautiful, pink wax enclosure. Inside the clear bottle they have placed the beautiful, pink wine. It's a rich-looking pink - not quite red, but not pastel, either. This pink wine is produced in the saignée method, in which the juice is bled off from the skins. It's all stainless steel and rather full-bodied for a rosé. It's 13.8% abv.
The Pinot Noir grapes for this wine come from the Riverbench Vineyard. The nose is lovely, with cherries and rose petals. A slight earthiness shows up on the palate, but the fruit does not hide. Fun flavors of strawberry, cherry, raspberry and citrus abound. The bracing acidity may take you by surprise. The wine is nice and dry, and it finishes that way - for a long time, the way it should.