Dry Rose has been an immense part of the winemaking culture across Europe, especially over the last century. France in particular has created a large part of its industry around the wine, with many techniques perfected in the Provence/ Languedoc/Rhone regions that have become standards around the world. Many Americans tend to think that pink=sweet, and unfortunately an overwhelming number of wineries perpetuate that reputation, even the more 'serious' wineries. Thankfully more and more small independent wineries are applying the techniques of the great dry Rose producers to their own creations, and the quality and volume of pink juice is improving every vintage. Stolpman Vineyards is one of the more innovative producers in Santa Barbara's Ballard Canyon AVA, with a diversity of mostly Rhone varieties on their property planted in blocks of experimental methods to create a broad spectrum of wines. Their rose over the last decade+ has evolved using different grapes and techniques, settling in the last few years on being exclusively Grenache off their estate, with a few tweaks in the formula each year to improve and adapt to each growing season.
An extremely pale salmon color in the glass, especially for a Grenache based rose which usually get more cherry in color, all thanks to Stolpman harvesting specific blocks early to keep the color very low and acidity high. They also do a carbonic, or whole grape cluster, fermentation that creates more color and aroma without adding tannin, and blend that back in to create a final color they are happy with. The aroma is straight of of Provence with a perfume of fresh strawberry and watermelon with a touch of tart citrus peel. There is plenty of body behind the light refreshing fruit on the palate (and the surprisingly low 11%abv) that gives the pale fruits lots of juiciness, and the tingly acidity makes the finish light and lively. Fans of great French Rose should not turn up their noses at this wine, as they would likely be hard pressed to pick it out of a blind tasting as an outlier. Kudos to Stolpman!
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The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!