After tasting the Las Jaras 100% Carignan, I thought it only fitting to try the boys’ expression of the same variety in rosé form. Good news, Burt and Wareheim didn’t simply use “leftover” Carignan—more eloquently referred to as saignée—to craft their rosé. No, the two believe in purposeful winemaking. So, as I posted their general thoughts about the Carignan grape, I’d like to also quote their thoughts on rosé…
General thoughts on rosé… rosé should be fresh and vibrant, delicious and gulpable. You can’t just simply pick grapes earlier for rosé, because the wine will be out of balance. The grapes need to achieve appropriate ripeness for a great rosé. We handpick the grapes early in the morning and get them to the winery as early as possible. We want to minimize skin contact and phenolic extraction. Usually, we want to avoid malo-lactic fermentation, but this year the malo-lactic fermentation finished during primary fermentation.
About the Wine: The Las Jaras 2017 Rosé of Carignan is made of 100% Carignan grapes harvested from the McNabb Ranch Vineyard in Mendocino County, California. The grapes were hand-picked at 20.1 Brix. They then went straight to press, whole cluster, in a horizontal bladder press with minimal tumbles and, thus, skin contact during the process. Both the free-run and pressed juices then cold settled in tank and then racked. Juice was kept on fine lees and underwent weekly stirring for six weeks. The wine fermented with all native yeast then kept on its gross lees and stirred twice a month until just before bottling.
Flavor Profile: NOTE: I started with this wine straight out of the fridge and allowed it to come up to room temperature through the course of the evening. My tasting notes are based on this.
Open the bottle of the Las Jaras 2017 Rosé of Carignan and smell, oddly, a bit of rare-meat umami coming out of the bottle. The wine pours nearly clear with just the faintest peachy hue. In the glass, this rosé is a beautiful amber—bright and luminescent. Initial aromas are all about flowers, like a light potpourri. There’s also a subtle hint of nuttiness, like almonds with its skins intact, and just the slightest aroma of wild strawberries lingering in the background. Swirl, breathe in, and still the wine is more savory than anything else, marked with that initial umami, those nuts, and then, as if just wafting in an early-autumn breeze, the fruit aromas of strawberry, cranberry, and dried apple.
The palate of the Las Jaras 2017 Rosé of Carignan is light, crisp, and oh-so-delectably dry. Again, the fruit takes a back seat and, thus, the palate is left completely clean on the finish. Dominant flavors are of nut skins, peach skins, dried flowers, citrus zest, orange blossoms, and just a hint of white pepper leaning toward the finish.
Food Pairing: I paired the Las Jaras 2017 Rosé of Carignan with a roasted pork loin, served with roasted butternut squash and an apple-fennel salad.
Loved this pairing, full stop.
And I really am going to stop there. Sorry boys, the wine and food were both so delicious and the pairing so perfect that I spent more time eating and drinking and talking that I took one note in my book: “A bite of everything = yum.”
So there that is.
More Info: I received the Las Jaras 2017 Rosé of Carignan as a gift. (Cheers Eric and Joel!) MSRP: For more information about Las Jaras, their wines and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Las Jaras Wines website.
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