Monday, December 5, 2016

Drink Pink: Pinot Noir Rosé From Anderson Valley

Lazy Creek Vineyards a subsidiary of Healdsburg's Ferrari Carano Winery. It’s located about an hour north, in Mendocino county’s Anderson Valley. It is at this facility is where the company's full Pinot Noir production is centered.

A recent online tasting session introduced the 2015 Lazy Creek Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir to a group of wine writers, myself included. We were all provided samples of the wine for review. The session was moderated by publicist Chelsea Kurnick and featured winemaker Christy Ackerman. You can see the Ustream broadcast page here.

Christy Ackerman makes all of the Lazy Creek Vineyards wines, and all of the Pinot Noirs for Ferrari-Carano. She says she feels "very lucky" to work with Pinot Noir in general, and especially the grapes from the Lazy Creek estate vineyards.

Ackerman says the thing that makes Anderson Valley special is that it is "cooled by the ocean but at the same time protected from the ocean."  The cooling marine influence, so critical for growing perfect Pinot, is mitigated by the landscape. The best of the ocean is brought home without the harshness of the sea directly.

Sustainability is a growing concern at most vineyards, Lazy Creek included. Ackerman says they reworked the winery with an eye toward the environment. They cut water use by half, use cooling jackets for tanks and employ the natural cooling of their cave. They are big into recycling, they made packaging improvements that reduce their carbon footprint and even instituted a ten-hour day for the employees. She says that gives the Lazy Creek workers an extra day off to spend with their families.

Owners Don and Rhonda Carano describe Lazy Creek Vineyards as one of the smallest, and oldest wineries in Anderson Valley. The bottle a Gewurztraminer and the rosé under the Lazy Creek banner, but all the rest are Pinot Noirs.

Making a specific rose, not a saignee in which the juice is a byproduct of a red wine, allows for everything to be directed toward the making of the wine. It’s 100% Pinot Noir, carries alcohol at 14.2% abv and retails for $22..

The Lazy Creek Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir is a fairly bright salmon color and it has that lovely rosé nose of fresh strawberries and cherries. The flavor profile leads with cherry and pulls a tart little savory red wagon behind it. Slight hints of citrus zest and lemongrass make for a rather interesting rosé palate, more interesting than I usually find. Pair it with any sort of salad, or seafood. If you’re a snackmaster like me, cashews or nut roll are great with it.

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