2015 saw the addition of the Ricetti Vineyard Carignane Rosé, a gorgeous, organically-grown, dry-farmed ranch just down the road from my primary source of (red) Carignane. The zone between Ukiah and Redwood Valley in Mendocino forms the heart of Carignane country in California, and these vines are perfectly situated on the well-drained eastern bench of Redwood Valley. After 3 years of turning to stare every time I passed by, in 2015 I finally knocked on the door of the force of nature that is Pam Ricetti, who farms the vineyard with her husband Tom. The ranch is planted to a mixture of Carignane (Redwood Valley pronunciation guide: "CARE-Igg-Nin"), Napa Gamay (aka Valdiguié), and French Colombard, all maintained with the combination of stubborn respect for traditional farming techniques and passion for organic farming that is peculiar to Mendocino. The vines were planted starting in 1939 by Tom's father, Frank, and a handful of vines still remain on their own un-grafted roots. I'm very excited to start working with this ranch, which is the sole source of the new rosé.
The wine shows all of the youthful energy and bright fruit that one loves about new rosé, with cherries taking center stage. At the same time, the wine picked up some serious mineral backbone during its 3-minute stay on the skins, and backs it all up with plenty of Carignane’s great equalizer: acid. Delicious now, it has the bones to improve into the fall and beyond.
2.98 tons were hand-harvested on September 5th, 2015 and sent directly to press, with about 3 minutes of total skin contact before pressing started (about as long as it took me to realize how quickly it was coloring up and rush over to the control panel!). After a day of settling, fermentation proceeded at 58°F under the strength of the grapes’ native yeasts, finishing after 23 days. The wine then sat at 30°F for 4 months on its original fermentation lees before being racked, sulfured, and filtered in preparation for bottling on February 20th, 2016.