This year we are going to feature one wine each month to spotlight. This wine will be available for purchase at a 20% discount!
May’s Wine of the Month is our 2021Rosé of Cinsault, Santa Clara Valley.

Every Mother’s Day, we release a sneak-peak of our latest Rosé vintage, and then our wine club gets the first real sips with our Spring release at the end of May.  The goal is to have just enough Rosé from the previous vintage to tide us through.  We usually fail, a few times running out before Thanksgiving :-(. 

This year we’ve timed it perfectly!  We have just a few cases left of our 2021 to make it our May Wine of the Month!  And it’s delicious.  And we don’t really need to put it at 20% off to sell it, but that’s what the rules say.  So, snatch up the last of it before it’s too late.

2021 Rosé of Cinsault, Santa Clara Valley

Harvest Date: September 23rd, 2021
Grapes: Average Brix = 22.0
Blend: 100% Cinsault
Crush: Destemmed and crushed.  Approximately one hour of skin contact.
Fermentation: Fermented in stainless steel
Aging: Seven months in all stainless, bottled April 27th, 2022
Finished Wine: Filtered for clarity & stability, Alcohol=13.3%
Production: Only 160 cases produced
Tasting Notes: With a pleasing orange pink hue, this wine starts with a wafting of cherry blossoms on the nose and mixed fruit cocktail.  The floral notes carry through to your palate along with healthy doses of strawberry, guava and watermelon that balance the acidity that decrescendos into a smooth finish. 

The Rise of Rosé

We’re a long ways away from the hey-day of Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel, and it’s even sweeter predecessors Mateus and Boone’s Farm.  The market for serious, dry Rosé has exploded in recent years.  The graph above shows Google searches for Rosé, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay from 2004 to today.  You can see the steady rise of Rosé throughout the early Millennium, but it was the second half of the last decade where Rosé really took off.  Things have cooled a bit from the Summer of Rosé that was 2018, but you can still see that each spring/summer, Rosé is now the search of choice.

What caused its rise?  Some say it’s the Instagram effect…with Rosé’s plethora of shades photographing well against the backdrop of a white yacht somewhere off the Mediterranean Coast.  And to be sure, there are “influencers” and celebrities peddling Rosé out there, some of them even not half bad!

But I prefer to think the rise is mainly because Rosé got serious.  It’s not the sweet plonk of yesteryear.  Rosé now sits proudly on the shelf, a versatile style of wine worthy of consumption anytime of year!

Cinsault, A Trip to Provence

We craft our Rosé from 100% Cinsault (pronounced sahn-so).  It’s a fairly rare grape varietal around these parts.  In fact, for our grape district (Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda & Contra Costa Counties) in 2022, there was just 4.7 tons of Cinsault crushed, and our Rosé accounts for almost 50% of that!  Pictured above, its berries are over-sized with thick skins, resembling a table grape, and it is sometimes sold that way.

Cinsault is drought tolerant and is said to originate from North Africa in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.  Eventually it made it’s way north to France where it is one of the allowed varietals in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but accounts for about only 1% of the acreage there.  It traveled south, all the way to South Africa (where it is known as Hermitage), and where it was crossed with Pinot Noir to create the varietal Pinotage, the favorite of former Loma Prieta Winery owner Paul Kemp.

But only in Provençal Rosés does Cinsault take a primary role where it, along with Grenache, is the backbone of the wines.  We model ours after those wines.  Sip, and you’re off to Saint-Tropez (one can wish!)!