Ample winter rains in 2017 and heavy spring precipitation in 2018, along with three years of smaller harvests, set up 2018 to be a banner crop year. Some varieties cropped 30% more than 2017 in 2018. Higher crop yields and a cooler summer growing season resulted in wines that are exceptionally fresh and display vibrant acidity. This is an especially exciting vintage for white wines and Rosé.
The 2018 Riley’s Rows Rosé was sourced from a small Syrah vineyard in Bennett Valley. The wine has a bright nose of wild strawberries and ripe citrus. The palate reveals notes of Chanterais Melon and Blood Orange.
My goal with this wine was to make a true Provencal style Rosé. So, I started with cool climate Syrah and harvested it at 22˚ Brix to keep the freshness and the bight acidity. We pressed the wine off skins right when it arrived at the winery and fermented it dry. Most New World Rosé is made as an afterthought from tank bleed (saignée style) that would normally be thrown out. This wine shows how good Rosé can be when it is made intentionally from high quality fruit.
My 2018 Riley’s Rows Rosé is delightful on its own but has the character and depth of flavor to pair with food.