At Stolpman, all fruit destined for Rose is picked early, at low sugar and high acid, specifically intended for Rose wine.
We aim to craft a fresh and vibrant rose that also possesses character and texture. To achieve this dual objective, we carefully hand-pick all fruit so no juice bursts free from the taut Grenache skins. This way, we can closely regulate the profile and color of the wine.
We then take a two pronged approach to fermentation in the winery, making two distinctive components to be blended later.
The moderate summer and healthy yields of 2017 allowed for a rose harvest that lasted over a week. This time lapse allowed for a nice continuum of ripeness, from the first lots that went into the Vin Gris portion, to the later picks that were fermented whole-grape. The spread in ripeness further contributes complexity and helps us with our goal of combining freshness with richer textures.
AT THE WINERY
We immediately pressed the majority of the fruit to keep the juice pure and linear in profile, without any color or texture from skins. This portion ferments in a cold tank – the low temperature slows down the yeast, allowing for more flavor development through fermentation. One third of the fruit is gently placed into sealed stainless steel tanks, the grapes still intact and whole-cluster. We seal the tank and allow for naturally slow, whole-grape “carbonic” (without air) fermentation to take place. A portion of the carbonic grapes will rupture, allowing juice to absorb skin pigment. The End result is a light red wine with a hint of skin tannin and darker, riper flavor profile than the lighter vin gris portion.
A few weeks prior to bottling, we rack and combine both lots in an extremely cold tank to allow any remaining solids and tartaric acid crystals to fall out of the wine.
We opt not to add fining agents to the rose to keep the wine as pure as possible (and vegan) so it's possible that some tartaric crystals will gather at the bottom of the bottle if the wine is left in a cold refrigerator longer than a few days.
Wild, fresh strawberries pop out of the glass and flow through the front palate alongside firm peach texture and flavor. When young the wine is crisp to the point of light crunchiness and oozes with vibrant energy. The mouthfeel, ala 30% Carbonic fermentation, provides structure and depth with hints of rhubarb and spice. Enjoyed cold, the wine is brilliantly refreshing, with hints of mint leaf and citrus. The dry finish pairs with a wide variety of light fare, or drunk on its own, ensures that the bottle is drained perhaps a bit too quickly.