Drink Pink! Rosé of the Week: 2012 Quivira Grenache Rosé

It’s that time of year… Yes, it’s Rosé season!. With that in mind, I’ve embarked upon a   series of weekly “Drink Pink!“ Rosé tastings.  This week’s Rosé is the 2012 Quivira Grenache Rosé Dry Creek Valley.

The Winery

Quivira Vineyards and Winery, located in Healdsburg, CA specializes in Zinfandel, Sauvignon, and Rhône varietals.  The Quivira estate is composed of four distinct vineyards in the Dry Creek AVA - Wine Creek Ranch, Goat Trek Vineyard, Katz/Absner Ranch, and Anderson Ranch – a total of 93 acres of vineyards.

In the 16th to 18th centuries, the area we know as Sonoma County appeared on European maps as a mythical kingdom called “Quivira” whose streets were said to be paved with gold. Today, the region’s “gold” is the acres of grapevines that thrive there.

Quivira has been Demeter certified Biodynamic® and organic winery since 2005!  In addition to their vineyards, the estate consists of lush biodynamically and organically farmed gardens, a pond, greenhouse, chicken coop and a solar electric system which has supplies all of their electricity.  Produce from the garden is supplies local markets with fresh produce.  Additionally, Quivira offers estate-grown and estate-bottle olive oil and estate honey in their tasting room.

My most recent visit was during Passport to Dry Creek Valley this past April.  We always make it a point to visit Quivira because we love their wines, the tasting experience and checking out the gardens.

The Wine 

By all accounts, 2012 was a vintage to remember. A near perfect growing season left winemakers with a rare combination of bountiful yields and beautiful fruit. The 2012 rosè offers the first glimpse of just what that means in the bottle. A good harvest meant they could be particularly selective, sourcing the fruit entirely from their organic and biodynamically-farmed vineyards and picking at lower sugar levels (21 to 23 Brix) to keep the alcohol level low and the flavors balanced.  The wine is a blend of 51% Grenache, 32% Syrah, and 17% Mourvedre that underwent sur lie aging in both stainless steel and neutral French oak barrels.

Quivira 2012 Rose 2

My tasting notes follow:

Light red color with grapefruit, strawberry, and watermelon aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, and dry with crisp acidity, and a wonderfully supple mouthfeel. It shows strawberry, watermelon, citrus, and mineral flavors. Medium long finish.  13.5% alcohol | 602 cases produced| SRP-$19

Rating:  A- This is the third consecutive year I’ve purchased a Rosé from Quivira and it seems to get better each year! Definitely a Top 10 under $20 Rosé contender!

Pair with: A versatile, full-bodied rosè that could stand up to spicy, ethnic fare or smoked meats, but is perfectly suited for its familiar role as an aperitif. Try it with Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce.

Sample purchased for review 

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

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This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week; 2005 Domaine Carneros Le Rêve

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  My Wine Of The Week is the 2005 Domaine Carneros Le Rêve

The Winery

Domaine Carneros was founded in 1987 by Champagne Taittinger of France in partnership with Kobrand Corporation. It is located in the heart of Carneros in Napa Valley, along with Gloria Ferrer. The Carneros terroir is ideally suited to producing Chardonnay,and Pinot Noir, typically the backbone of both Champagne, and California Sparkling wine.  That’s because Carneros offers cool nights, foggy mornings, and sunny, breezy days offering fruit of extraordinary elegance, complexity, and intensity.

Domaine Carneros is a beautiful Chateau that was built in 1988. The building was inspired by historic Chateau de la Marquetterie in Champagne France, which is the estate home of the Taittinger family.

 

The Wine

Domaine Carneros sources 95% of their fruit from organic estate vineyards, and all of their wines are labeled with the Carneros appellation.  Eileen Crane is CEO/Founding Winemaker.

This wine is a Blanc de Blancs,  which means the wine is produced from all white grapes. Le Rêve, which translates to “the dream” in French, is considered to be the tête du cuvee  (flagship wine) of the winery.  The wine is aged 6 years in Domaine Carneros’ cellars, carved into the hillside beneath the winery, before release.

2005 Domaine Carneros Le Reve

2005 Domaine Carneros Le Reve

My tasting notes follow

Light straw color with persistent bead of tiny bubbles, with brioche baked pear, tropical fruit, and a touch of mineral aromas. On the palate it shows a soft creamy mousse, and is elegant, balanced, and complex with stone fruit, apple, tropical fruit, and mineral flavors. Long finish – 93pts.

Rating: Highly recommended!

Pair with: It makes a great apéritif, but is also fantastic with fresh oysters and other shellfish, crab cakes,  and ceviche.  Try with an aged Gouda or other hard cheeses. And it makes a delicious counterpoint with triple cream cheeses.

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Alcohol: 12% alcohol.

Closure: Cork

AVA: > CaliforniaNapa / SonomaCarneros

Varietal(s): 99%% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot Blanc

Cooperage: Aged on lees in the bottle for five and one-half years

Retail: $95

Cases produced: 4,450

Purchased for review

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Along The Napa Sparkling Wine Trail – Domaine Carneros

We recently took to an overnight trip up to Napa. On our agenda? Make our last stop along the Napa Sparkling Wine Trail – in our case Domaine Carneros.

If you’re not familiar with the “Napa Sparkling Wine Trail“, it’s composed of five sparkling wine houses in the Carneros and Napa Valley areas. They are Domaine Carneros, Domaine Chandon, Gloria Ferrer, Mumm Napa, and Schramsberg Vineyards. Each is enchanting in its own way. What they all have in common, besides sensational sparkling wines, is that they each take pride in serving up praiseworthy still wines. And that’s what I appreciate about going tasting at a sparkling wine house, you can taste sparklers with the option to taste still wines too!

Domaine Carneros was founded in 1987 by Champagne Taittinger of France in partnership with Kobrand Corporation. It is located in the heart of Carneros in Napa Valley, along with Gloria Ferrer. The Carneros terroir is ideally suited to producing Chardonnay,and Pinot Noir, typically the backbone of both Champagne, and California Sparkling wine. Domaine Carneros sources 95% of their fruit from organic estate vineyards (a couple of the sparklers I tasted were vegan), and all of their wines are labeled with the Carneros appellation. Eileen Crane is the winery’s first and only sparkling winemaker.

Domaine Carneros is a beautiful Chateau that was built in 1988. The building was inspired by historic Chateau de la Marquetterie in Champagne France, which is the estate home of the Taittinger family.

Domaine Carneros

My tasting notes follow:

The Sparklers

  • 2007 Domaine Carneros Brut – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Very light straw color with active stream of tiny bubbles and sweet bread dough, citrus and red fruit aromas. On the palate light bodied, dry, and crisp with moderately soft mousse, and tart cherry, apple and citrus peel flavors. Medium finish. Blend of 60% Pinot Noir/40% Chardonnay. 12.95% ABV. Aged 3 years in the bottle on lees. Vegan. (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé – USA, California, Napa Valley, CarnerosLight salmon color, with a persistent bead of tiny bubbles, and light yeast, red fruit aromas. On the palate medium bodied, balanced with red raspberry, cherry, and a hint of citrus peel flavors. Medium finish. 62% Pinot Noir/38% Chardonnay. 1% dosage. 12.6 ABV. Vegan (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Domaine Carneros Ultra Brut – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Very light straw color with persistent tiny bead of bubbles and toasty stone fruit aromas. On the palate, very dry, approaching medium-bodied with a creamy mousse and pear, and citrus peel flavors. Medium-long finish. Can’t wait to try this one with raw oysters! (90 pts.)
  • 2005 Domaine Carneros Le Reve Blanc de Blancs Late Disgorged Brut – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Light straw color with persistent bead of tiny bubbles, and baked pear, tropical fruit aromas. On the palate a creamy mousse, balanced, complex with stone fruit, tropical fruit flavors. Long finish. Aged on lees in the bottle for five and one-half years. Made from 20 different clones. 99% Chardonnay/1% Pinot Blanc. 12% ABV (92 pts.)

The Reds

  • 2008 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Avant Garde – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Ruby color with cherry, cola, and a touch of cocoa aromas. On the palate, light-bodied, elegant, and smooth with velvety tannins, and tart cherry, earth dark chocolate and spice flavors. Lengthy finish. (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Estate – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Dark ruby color with earthy, cherry aromas. On the palate, heavier than the Avante-Garde line- approaching medium-bodied, smooth, with velvety tannins, and cherry, earth, and cocoa flavors. Long finish (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Domaine Carneros Merlot Avant Garde – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Medium garnet color with plum, spice and black tea aromas. On the palate, medium bodied with easy plum, earth and spice flavors. Shortish finish (86 pts.)

Inside Domaine Carneros

It was a great tasting with table service that included a nice dried fruit and nut plate. I heartily recommend a visit to Domaine Carneros!

Full Disclosure: When I identified myself as a wine writer, my tasting fee was waived.