Not a Fading Rose!
Posted by oenophilus on August 21, 2007
(Pronounce it roh-ZAY as I can’t figure out how to make an accent mark!)
Summer weather feels like it will be here for another couple of months here in Healdsburg. Nonetheless, here we are mid-August and while grapes are coming in, kids are off to school. Most importantly, our 4 1/2 year-old daughter, Malia started Kindergarten this week. Eeeek! Oy the drama! Not hers…Ours! I know I’ll get over the separation anxiety and enjoy the pride soon enough. What a great excuse to drink some more of the 2003 Iridesse Zinfandel Rose!
Why 2003??? Isn’t that too old for a fresh, young rose? This isn’t just some summertime, bubblegum wine cooler. As with many Iridesse wines, we used extended aging to allow the wine to develop and come into a new, multi-faceted flavor profile…Iridescence. Yes, this is cool, crisp and refreshing. But don’t even think about dismissing this wine as “just a rose”.
There are different ways to make what people categorically call Rose. Some take their grapes,crush and press them and make a white or pale pink wine, adding back a grape juice concentrate to give color and sweetness. Others will blend finished white wines and finished red wines to make a blend whose color is light. We have chosen to use a classic technique that the French call Saignee, where the crushed fruit macerated for a while before some juice is bled off to darken the red wine. That which is drawn off has the depth of color and compexity of flavor that we find most desirable.
The Iridesse 2003 Zinfandel Rose was gently pressed from naturally high-acid fruit, grown on a steep hillside on the edge of the Russian River Valley. After a longer than usual cold soak to extract more color and structure from the dark purple-black skins, the drawn-off juice fermented with a specially selected yeast from Champagne that allowed us to control is with very cold temperatures. The wine then settled in tank for over a year before being bottled and cellared for another three years!
While it is a fantastic aperitif, the recently released Iridesse 2003 Zinfandel Rose is a knockout with any number of food pairings. Try it with seared tuna, any pasta Arrabiatta, a salad tossed with vinaigrette, even some BBQ ribs. It’s fantastic with my Hawai’ian Ahi Poki! Check out the recipes section for my world-famous recipe. Is anyone else lucky enough to have a Big Green Egg? What’s that? You don’t know about the Big Green Egg? Oh don’t worry. You’ll regularly hear me waxing poetically about the virtues of the MOST amazing grill/oven/smoker that changed my life. Well, my outdoor cooking life, anyway. But, more of that later…