||September 6-October 17, 2011
||19.9 avg brix
||5 months Stainless steel
||cultivated yeast - Stainless Steel
||March 21, 2012
Easily the lightest and most classic style of Rose we have made to date. Pale salmon color, with good intensity of fruit and some herbal tones on the nose. The palate is light, crisp and clean with plentiful fruit making the wine a classic for sipping through the spring and summer of 2012. The lively acidity keeps everything fresh today, but this wine is meant to be consumed in its youth.
The grapes for this wine came from Honah Lee Vineyard (Malbec and Pinotage), Nevaeh (Cabernet Sauvignon and some of the Merlot and Syrah) and vineyard on Harpers Ferry Road in Purcellville (Syrah) and Windhorn in Waterford (Merlot).
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and some of the Syrah came from our Road block of Nevaeh which is the flattest part of our vineyards and dominated by heavy red clay (Penn Silt Loam) creating lighter more fruit driven wines. We also bled off some of the juice from the Merlot on the Hill and Pond blocks to add some juice with a little more richness and complexity. The Syrah from out near Purcellville is a cooler site with rockier soils and in the wetter season of 2011 created Syrah with loads of green peppercorn and cranberry character. Windhorn vineyard is a tiny rolling vineyard with east and west facing slopes (more east for the Merlot) and is on deep Penn Silt Loam soils promoting lush fruit forward wines with vibrant acidity.
The Honah Lee Vineyard is a steep South East facing slope sitting at about 1300 feet elevation in the mountains just outside Orange, VA. The soils consist of hard red clay leading to more fruit driven wines. The wines tend to get very exotic characters to them while maintaining a balance of acidity due to their great sunlight exposure, as well as the cooler nights from the elevation. The vines are all trained on cordon pruned vertical shoot positioning to best collect sunlight exposure and minimize pressures.
The 2011 vintage simply put was heartbreaking at the time, but has turned out to be so much more then originally thought. There is no question that what everyone will remember was the harvest rains and lack of sunshine through the month of September. What very few people remember is the brilliant growing season that we had leading up to harvest time. Bud break was about a week earlier then average and the Spring brought just enough rain to keep the vines healthy through the warm and very dry summer months of June, July and August. There was great fruit set which was tempting to allow for a heavy crop especially after the relatively short but excellent quality 2010. This it turns out was critical for 2011. Those who managed for a lower yield really got a better chance to have some earlier flavor development and sugar ripening prior to the rains starting in the earlier to mid season white varieties like Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and even some Petit Manseng. While most wines do show some signs of dilution and several lack varietal character, there are some stunning wines from the vintage. Look mostly toward elegant and sometimes quite complex white while the reds will be lighter, fruit forward and easy drinking.
Unlike most vintages of Rose at Tarara, this year was not dominated by the saignee process (the process where a portion of the juice is removed from Red ferments). This year there was certain varieties that were simply ideal for making classic Rose, but less so for our bigger reds. The Malbec, Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon were all treating like white wine in that they had very minimal skin contact (only run through the destemmer into the press). The Merlot and Syrah were then blended in as a saignee portion. The wine was fermented cool around 60 degrees in stainless steel to complete dryness allowing for the crisp acidity of the vintage and elegant fruit shine. The wine was then simply cold stabilized, filtered and bottled in March 2012.
This wine simply makes me dream of days dining al fresco in Nice on the Mediterranean with a fresh salad of Arugula and Mesclun mix with fresh sliced strawberries and chevre and a simple olive oil drizzle along side a white pizza with grilled prawns, calamari and little neck clams.
I guess we will just do this beside Shadow lake one day