2016 Conn Creek Malbec Rosé #WineStudio

Last month I participated in the #WineStudio Rosé program.  The online program,  which included a virtual tasting of a diverse selection of wines from France, Spain, Mendocino and Napa Valley was held each Tuesday in June.  The last week featured the 2016 Conn Creek Malbec Rosé.

I previously posted about  a tempting trio of high quality for the price wine from Domaine Paul Mas and a compelling  Provençal style wine of Grenache , Sangiovese and Nebbiolo from Bonterra.

The Rise Of Rosé in the U.S.

Anecdotally, I was aware of the rise in popularity of Rosé (a.k.a. blush wine, pink wine) in the US.  There are more choices than ever (and seemingly a concomitant rise in prices) especially the dry style of rosé.   According to the Beverage Trade Network, here are some highlights of rosé consumption in the US:

  • Rosé consumption in the US has been on the rise for the past decade.
  • US rosé wine sales are better and more diverse than ever including emerging brands and bottles that get beyond the obvious fruity style.
  • The United States is currently ranked as the world’s third largest producer of rosé wine and is gaining ground as the trend shows its longevity year after year.
  • The only segment of the US wine market that is growing faster than the ‘premium dry rosé’ category is the ‘(sweet) red blend,’ according to recent data out of California.
  • US rosé imports are on the rise as consumer tastes shift from sweet blush wines to drier rosés.
  • Together, France and the US consume nearly half of the annual 594.4 million gallons of rosé produced globally.
  • Exports of rosé from Provence, France outpace other regions.
  • Google search volume for ‘rosé-wine’ has been on the rise for nearly a decade, an increase in market reach and consumer interest.

It would seem that rosé has risen gone from being “just” a popular drink among hard-core wine enthusiasts who appreciate its refreshing and food-friendly character, and the diversity of styles available to the main stream wine consumers who have brought into rosé as a lifestyle choice because of the image drinking rose perpetuates (i.e. by drinking rosé you’re transported to a summertime drive along the French Riviera, and living a carefree life.

The success of rosés is due to many factors including price, versatility, not being a pretentious wine, offering a new wine category for millennials to absorb etc., but the principal factor of its success is the image it perpetuates.” –  Pierrick Bouquet, founder of La Nuit en Rosé Festival, the world’s first wine festival dedicated exclusively to rosé

2016 Conn Creek Malbec Rosé

From time to time Conn Creek makes a small lot of wine in a spirit of experimentation and fun.  This rosé of 100% Malbec is the result of their most recent experiment .  Only 67 cases were produced! The grapes were sourced from the Antica Vineyard in the heart of the Atlas Peak appellation.  The handpicked grapes were whole-cluster pressed specifically for the rosé. This minimized color and tannin extraction. The juice then fermented to dryness in a refrigerated stainless steel tank to preserve the delicate aromas and flavors. Malolactic fermentation was blocked to preserve freshness and vibrancy.

My tasting notes follow:

Pale salmon color with strawberry, watermelon, raspberry and wild fennel aromas. On the palate, it’s dry and leans toward light-bodied with vibrant acidity and very appealing wild strawberry, watermelon, tart raspberry, wet stone and a hint of spice flavors with just a whisper of tannins that add to its harmonious character. It has a delicate lingering finish that suggest a very appealing savoriness for me. 12.5% abv; SRP -$24; 67 cases produced

About Conn Creek

Conn Creek is a boutique winery located on the scenic Silverado Trail in the heart of Napa Valley.   It was founded nearly 40 years ago. They are primarily focused on what Napa Valley does best: Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties.   They source grapes from prized vineyards across Napa Valley’s sub-appellations to craft their wines.  Winemaker, Mike McGrath started with Conn Creek back in the 1980s and perhaps is one of the longest tenured Napa Valley winemakers working for just one winery.

About #WineStudio

#Winestudio is an interactive beverage education and brand marketing program organized via social media. Each month a different theme is selected and an online conversation is built around that topic, creating focused content and media that provide value for both the participants and brands.

The June Rosé program previously featured Domaines Paul Mas from France and  Arinzano Winery from Spain, and Bonterra from Mendocino.

My Take Away

Wow…what a treat! I highly recommend this wine. It’s crisp, refreshing and delicious with a complexity and depth of character that sneaks up on you.  It was fabulous paired with my take-out Poke bowl of salmon and tuna as indicated above, but its acidity and savory bits make it very food friendly.  I like the suggestions from the Conn Creek website – pair with Prosciutto-wrapped Figs, Marcona Almonds, or Grilled Monterey Bay Squid, Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received wines at no cost from Conn Creek and #Wine Studio. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own


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One Comment

  1. You’ve just reminded me how much I enjoyed this rosé! Wish there were more of this “experiment” around.

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