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.
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.
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.