Napa Rose, SFC Article

Good article from Jess Lander @ San Francisco Chronicle.

I just assumed the rose from these kind of producers were all saignee, and therefore probably lower acidity (higher PH) or ended up being acidified later to bring it to the same level as a typical rose. I’ve had a few that ended up being really good and I’ve had a few that felt like should have been dumped into the bulk market and were clearly saignee style afterthoughts in order to bulk up the main wine. Not dumping on saignee, some of the best roses are saignee, but it depends on the purpose of the winemaking. Anyway, it’s rose season and I’m enjoying it.

I haven’t tried any of the roses mentioned in the article, but the one wine that I have tried in this mode is the 2020 Blankiet Prince of Hearts merlot rose. I found it pretty terrible and wrote:

What there is of fruit and terroir is completely obliterated by the massive oak treatment - this has more in common with a vanilla coconut milkshake than a rose. Perhaps with some coconut rum in there - it says 14% alc on the bottle but feels like 15%. Sure, a thick lustrous texture - score much higher if that’s what floats your boat.

The Sullivan rose that “sells out instantaneously” is available for purchase on their website. So, live in the instant, I guess.

My vote for best rose, and I admit to not generally liking rose, is Kapscandy’s wonderful Rhapsody.

The author’s side gig is writing content for Last Bottle. :laughing:

Interesting article that was definitely more of a ‘sales pitch’ than anything else. As those on this board know, there are many producers elsewhere using Bordeaux varieties for their roses - Loire Valley anyone?

The fact that most Napa winemakers say they do not saignee does not surprise me - but it would not surprise me that many do in fact use it for some or all of their production. It’s become such the norm to ‘concentrate the must’ by bleeding off a certain percentage of the juice the day after crushing.

And as the OP stated, there is absolutely nothing wrong with saignee roses . . . but thought must be given to the ‘final product’. If you’re bleeding off a potential 15% alcohol red and not adding water and acid to lower the alcohol or make it ‘more refreshing’, you will end up with a wine that is truly more like a lighter red wine - but with some quite high alcohol levels.

The other thing about ‘direct to press’ vs ‘saignee’ - the fruit is at such a different ripeness stage that the flavors and aromatics that you pull out of each will be different. Better? Subjective of course.

I used to use the saignee method when I started making wine nearly 20 years ago but switched over to ‘direct to press’ (or in my case, foot stomped by me and then on the skins for short periods of time) over a decade ago. I am just happier with the results.