Just over a year ago, I visited the Ashes & Diamonds Winery when they completed construction on their new production and hospitality buildings. Beautiful architecture molds together a kind of mid-century modern aesthetic with a Millennium-modern flare. What I found so intriguing about the wines is that they perfectly mimc that theme. Predominantly based on Bordeaux varieties, the A&D portfolio is a nod to OG Napa—rustic, hearty red wines that boast broadly of aging potential. Yet, the wines produced at A&D are completely approachable—and most importantly enjoyable—now. I know that sounds like an old moniker, but in the case of A&D’s red wines…it’s actually true.
Now, I know this review is a rosé—a rosé that has no business living life past one year on earth. But here it is. Something fun, light-hearted, and just joyous for the sake of being joyous. Why is that important? Because it shows not just the range of talent for the winemaking team to create wines at two ends of the age-ability spectrum (we all know Steve Matthiasson is a boss), but the range of the Napa terroir. Care for that fruit in the vineyard, pay attention to the picking times, treat the grapes with respect in the winery—and here you have something so light, so delicate, so not OG.
About the Wine: Ashes & Diamonds 2019 Cabernet Franc Rosé
Whole cluster pressed Cabernet Franc grape sourced from NapaValley (Los Carneros, Oak Knoll District, and Yountville)
6.9 g/L TA
Aged 7 months in stainless steel barrels
Appearance: pale pink-orange
Aroma: The rosé has a medium level of aromatic intensity and is quite youthful in nature. Aromas include rose petal, strawberry, raspberry, red apple, grapefruit, under-ripe peach, under-ripe apricot, grass, and wet stone
Palate: The palate is dry with medium level of alcohol, high acidity, and an overall light body. There are no tannins.
The flavor intensity, like the nose, is medium. The flavor profile of the wine mimics the nose with notes of raspberry, red apple, and those under ripe stone fruits. However, on the palate the notes of grapefruit and strawberry are more dominant, as are the floral components, and there’s an addition of some citrus notes as well (like lemon and lime).
The finish is medium (+) in length
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I concluded that the Ashes & Diamonds Cabernet Franc Rosé is of good quality. The wine was overall balanced, showing both fruit and floral components in the flavor characteristics, as well as a bit of minerality (in the form of wet stone and grass). The strong level of acidity did well to elevate those flavors and allow them to linger on the palate, although the finish did fall short of long at medium (+). Similarly, the alcohol, which is on the lower end of medium, did not overpower these generally light/delicate flavors—important since there was a lack of overall intensity both on the nose and in the palate.
This is definitely a ‘drink now’ wine—no need to bottle age it. (Like you could resist it that long anyway…hah!)
Food Pairing: This is the perfect wine for an aperitif or a refreshing finish to the evening. (In other words, it really doesn’t need any food.)
More Info: I received the Ashes & Diamonds 2019 Cabernet Franc Rosé as a sample. (Cheers Sao, and the whole A&D team!) Price: $39. For more information about Ashes & Diamonds, their wine, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Ashes & Diamonds website.
Read my technical review of Ashes & Diamonds: Technical Spotlight: Ashes Diamonds—Former music executive celebrates Napa’s greatest hits, bringing ‘old school’ winemaking at a new winery designed to evoke the past
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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**