The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2017

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Page 87 of 116

june 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  87 ROSÉ REVEAL NUMBER SIX Ferrari-Carano 2016 Sangiovese Rosé, Sonoma County ($14) 100% Sangiovese From an all-woman winemaking team, this newly released rosé from family-owned Ferrari-Carano uses Sonoma County Sangiovese grapes from 2016's ideal growing season. The grapes were cold-soaked on skins for two hours before press- ing—long enough to show off the wine's prom-dress pink color. Watermelon and tart cherries on the nose are fresh and clean. Sangiovese is no stranger to the winery; the grape is featured in Ferrari-Carano's iconic Italian red blend Siena, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary release this year. "The Alexander Valley is a warm grape-growing area, leading to lower acidity levels; but since Sangiovese is a high-acid grape vari- ety, it works well for rosé," explains winemaker Sarah Quider. The winery only produced 6,347 cases of the Sangiovese Rosé. "I thought this was an Old World rosé," insisted Chris Thomas of Michael Mina. "The acidity was vibrant, and the dry raspberry/cherry tartness gave me those clues. But to find it's from Sonoma is a pleasant surprise." Mourad's Jordan Abraham wrote, "There's a really yummy combo of melon and candied fruit: watermelon, mint, red roses and cranberries." FERRARI-CARANO ROSÉ REVEAL NUMBER SEVEN McCay Cellars 2015 Rosé, Lodi ($18) 70% Grenache, 30% old-vine Carignan Mike McCay has made a name for himself in Lodi; he has set an example of some of the most elegant old-vine Zinfandels to come out of California. Also a fan of Rhône varieties, he sources old-vine Carignan—from vines older than nine decades—to add depth and complexity to this Grenache-driven rosé. The classic, pale sandy alluvial soils of the Mokelumne River AVA are McCay's go-to; this southwestern sub-region, with its older vines, has come to be known as Lodi's historic heart and soul. Mokelumne River's Mediterranean conditions are influenced by the region's direct proximity to the eastern expanse of waterways within the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. McCay picks the Grenache at 22 Brix and then, with native fermentation, it stays in stainless steel drums for one month. "I then proceed with the rest of my harvest and pull the wine back out of the drums and into the cold room for 45 to 60 days," he told the group. McCay, who has been making rosé for ten years, only produces 451 cases of this specific wine. Mark Guillaudeu of Roka Akor picked up "notes of pomegranate" and noted how "minerals interplay with red fruit." "The fruit, although subdued, was highly aromatic on the nose," said Ousi Li of Flatiron Wines. The Tasting Panel's Publisher/Editorial Director, Meridith May, added, "This is a gentle soul; tangerine and a plethora of spring flowers emerge, with a touch of salinity and spice on the finish." MCCAY CELLARS Jesse Moreno is Western Regional Manager for Riboli Family Estates. He presented Stella Rosa Moscato Rosé. Mike McCay of McCay Cellars.

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