Friday, March 25, 2016

Four Rosés From Bonny Doon #3

I will admit right off the bat that Randall Grahm is one of my favorite winemakers, if not right at the top of the list.  It's what he does with rosé that really endears him to me. Imagine my glee to find that Grahm is now pushing not one, but four rosé wines. We are visiting each one this month, to get you ready for rosé weather, whatever that is.

2015 A Proper Pink

A rosé made with Tannat? 69% Tannat and 31% Canernet Franc? Thank you, Mr. Grahm. This Bonny Doon Vineyards oddball is a great rosé for a backyard barbecue. It takes a chill very well, but try it at cellar temperature - or even room temperature - first. The aromas and flavors are explosive and it’s an all-around fun champion.

The Tannat grapes come from Mt. Oso Vineyard in Tracy, California, between Livermore and Modesto.  The Cabernet Franc hails from the Fetzer family's Ceago Vineyards on the shores of Clear Lake.

Grahm let's loose his veddy British alter ego, Reginald ffrench-Postalthwaite, on the label. He offers a quip on the current trend of masculine types sipping the pink: “The beastly locution ‘Brosé’ (shudder) has even infiltrated the language of Disraeli, Gladstone and our beloved Winnie! I’ll tell you. Some of us ‘real men’ have been in touch with our, shall we say, more leeward side for some time now.”

Grahm writes of this inaugural A Proper Pink vintage that it is “the companion to A Proper Claret [fully red] and Gravitas [white] and while the Vin Gris de Cigare [light pink] is intended for more sober-minded occasions, this is definitely the less buttoned up in style.” It does let its middle-red hair down.

Looking just slightly off ruby red, this wine carries the full aroma and mouthfeel of a red. Rich strawberry on the nose is joined by an herbaceous quality that balances well. You can think of it as a fruit bomb - it’s certainly loaded with red fruit - but there is a green edge to it that brings a deeper dimension. Acidity is fabulous and the finish is lengthy. A Tannat/Cabernet Franc rosé? Here it is. It sits at a very proper 13% abv, sells for $16 and 3573 cases are available. But I'm sure they are going fast.