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2020 reserve rose hg

Turning Lemons into Lemonade… Or in this case Turning Raisins into Rosé

Posted: Apr 22, 2021

Every vin­tage brings new chal­lenges that force our vine­yard and wine­mak­ing team to make dif­fi­cult deci­sions on a dai­ly and some­times hourly basis. The 2020 har­vest was no dif­fer­ent as we had to make some quick deci­sions about the intense heat spikes that defined the vintage. 

In the third week of Sep­tem­ber, we expe­ri­enced high tem­per­a­tures which we have nev­er seen before on our Purisi­ma Moun­tain Vine­yard. The heat took a big toll on two of our most prized blocks on the vine­yard, the Syrah grown in Block Six and the Grenache grown in Block Eight. With the fore­cast not show­ing any let up in heat, we knew that these grapes would shriv­el into raisins if left unpicked for too long. With quick reac­tion and deci­sion mak­ing, we were able to pro­duce two reserve lev­el, block des­ig­nate Rosé wines that are stun­ning and tremendous.

We’ve always won­dered what a Rosé would taste like from these blocks, and the results are clear. We’ve learned that if you make Rosé from these great blocks, the results are wines that are rich and intense while remain­ing clean and refreshing.

2020 reserve rose v gonly
Block Eight Rosé (left) and Block Six Rosé (right).

The two wines were made in slight­ly dif­fer­ent ways with the Block Eight Grenache Rosé made in our tra­di­tion­al Rosé way of destem­ming the fruit and allow­ing it to cold soak for 24 – 30 hours before press­ing to tank, while the Block Six Syrah Rosé was direct whole clus­ter pressed before going to tank. These reserve Rosé wines were both fer­ment­ed and aged in neu­tral bar­rels adding more depth and mouth­feel com­pared to stain­less steel fer­men­ta­tion and aging. Both were aged in bar­rel for 4 months pri­or to fin­ish­ing and bot­tling. These are both 100% vari­etal bot­tlings, unlike the Purisi­ma Moun­tain Grenache Rosé which blends a lit­tle Syrah into the Grenache.

Beckmen pmv block 8 uphill spring
Block Eight Grenache, our only head trained block on Purisima Mountain Vineyard.
Beckmen PMV Block Six Syrah
Block Six Syrah, the summit of our mountain vineyard and the first block to be farmed biodynamically in 2002.

These wines have explo­sive fla­vor pro­files, amaz­ing acid­i­ty and seri­ous depth with the Grenache show­ing clas­sic Rosé aro­mas and fla­vors of straw­ber­ry, cran­ber­ry, and cit­rus fruits. The Syrah Rosé has won­der­ful, com­plex flo­ral notes that accom­pa­ny the deep cher­ry and cran­ber­ry fruit. Tex­tured, live­ly and ener­getic, these are two of the finest Rosé wines we have ever bottled.

While it would be great to have per­fect weath­er all the time, the heat spikes in 2020 proved chal­leng­ing to both our vines and our wine­mak­ing team. Risked with the pos­si­bil­i­ty of los­ing some of our most val­ued crop, the 2020 Block Eight Rosé and 2020 Block Six Rosé rose like a Phoenix out of the ash­es. Many thanks to our wine­mak­ing team and crew for turn­ing what would have been raisins into epic Rosé wines.

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