We love our Rosé. It shows the charms of Mourvedre when made into a pink wine by being rich yet refreshing, complex yet appealing, and worthy of pairing with substantial food. But it's always been a bit of an outlier in the world of rosés, somewhat darker than most, somewhat fuller-bodied than most, and just a little too expensive for most restaurants to serve in the way that most rosé is drunk in restaurants: by the glass.
So, early this year, we set ourselves to the task of producing a rosé under the Patelin de Tablas label that would complement the rosé that we've been making since 1999. We decided to base it on the world's most popular rosé grape: Grenache, and we identified Grenache vineyards within Paso Robles that we could harvest specifically for this rosé program. These vineyards are starting to arrive in the cellar. The photo below shows one bin, ready for processing Friday. Note Grenache's typical beautiful garnet color:
We don't yet know what the final composition of the wine will be, but we know it will be overwhelmingly based on this Grenache, harvested specifically for the Patelin Rosé and direct-pressed into tank. The rest will come from saignéed lots of Mourvedre and maybe even a little Syrah. We're guessing that the finished wine will end up around 80% Grenache, but we'll see how harvest goes. We want the wine to be a light salmon in color, more typical of a French rosé than the more cranberry tones of our estate Rosé, low in alcohol and vibrant, juicy and refreshing.
What is direct-press, you ask? Happy to show you. I shot a short (90 second) video in the cellar Friday documenting the process. The video begins with Grenache coming down our sorting table, into our destemmer. We then pump the berries and juice into our press, which isn't even pressing... just turning the grapes and letting the free-run juice flow out. That juice is being pumped into a stainless steel tank, where it will start to ferment. We did eventually turn on the press to squeeze the berries, but even in that portion, the color was only gently pink.
Look for the new 2012 Patelin de Tablas Rosé to debut in March, retail for around $20 and be available by the glass at your local dining establishment of choice.