2018 La Clarine Farm 'Rosé Alors!' Sierra Foothills
Region: Sierra Foothills < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming at the high-altitude Suma Kaw vineyard (2900 foot elevation) with volcanic loam soils; whole clusters were lightly foot crushed and loaded into the press for a long, gentle pressing, then the juice goes into old, neutral 158-gallon puncheons for barrel fermentation; malolactic fermentation occurred spontaneously. The puncheons were combined and left to rest for 10 months before bottling. Then the wine rested in the cellar until spring 2020 release; unfined and unfiltered; 15ppm of SO2 at bottling only; 12% ABV; 208 cases produced
Winemaker: Hank Beckmeyer
Hank is a cool dude who makes a range of fantastic, organically farmed, and naturally made Cali wines. We love that he posts his farming and winemaking philosophy front and center on his website: LaClarineFarm.com. Almost as much as we love this opaque, savory, textural rosé. Beautiful coppery-pink in color, the wine smells like watermelon jerky (you know, the Trader Joe's one here, with which I am obsessed). But take a swig and you get sour raspberry, strawberry and bitter orange Campari-esque notes to start, then the flinty, volcanic side emerges, with deep mineral notes that taste iron-rich, almost sanguine. And unlike many rosés, it finishes long and strong, and a bit salty.
According to Hank, the 2018 vintage is one of the best in recent memory. He says, "Rosé Alors has been aging in bottle since June 2019, and has gained complexity while still retaining its youthful vigor." We quite agree - no mere porch pounder here, this is a serious and intellectual rosé with crunchy red fruit qualities that prevent palate fatigue (something that happens often, for us at least, with rosé) and make it a great food wine. Try with veg or fish dishes.