2014 Inconnu Rosé
Region: Carneros < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, clay loam soil, fermented and aged for one year in neutral barrels, partially under flor, and bottled unfiltered, with only a touch of SO2 at bottling
Winemaker: Laura Brennan Bissell
Inconnu, the new project from Laura Brennan, who has worked in the Bay Area wine biz for ages (you might know her from Hotel Biron), is finally on the scene. We’ve been tasting it and following winemaker, Laura Brennan, as she got started – selecting vineyards, finding a custom crush to make wine, agonizing over cellar decisions and finally, the dreaded TTB label approvals. All her wines have an elegance and balance to them, but this rosé is a standout. Made in a slightly-oxidative style (in homage to Clos Tibouren, a culty Provencal rosé), the wine sees a little skin contact, then ages on the lees in neutral barrels that are not topped off — so the wine gets some exposure to oxygen and develops a veil of surface yeast called “fleurette” or flor. The result is a complex, layered and serious rosé. But Laura would not advise you to take it so seriously. Yes, appreciate its strawberry, orange peel, floral and spicy notes, acknowledge the tannins that are just right, and the perfect mineral finish, but then pour another glass for yourself and a friend. Made for chilly days – don’t ice this down, just a slight chill please – and to be enjoyed with something warm and comforting like roasted butternut squash.