Jeff’s Corner 8-13-21

Hello, Everyone,

We’ve been fortunate to enjoy a relatively mild summer thus far in the Texas Hill Country, but this week things are starting to heat up, and one of the best ways I’ve found to cool off is with a well-chilled glass of Texas rosé. And (no surprises here) one of the best Texas rosés I’ve had is our very own GCV Rosé of Malbec.

So, today is rosé day, and we’re going to take a look at our just released 2020 Texas Rosé of Malbec. The ’19 brought us a Gold Medal at the Chronicle competition in San Francisco this year, and the ’20 has seamlessly slipped into some pretty big shoes.

Many things have fueled the incredible popularity of dry rosés in the last decade, not the least of which is its alluring color. The hues are as varied as a Hill Country sunrise, and range from pale salmon to bright pink or even crimson.

This leads us to one of the more frequently asked questions during wine tastings, which is “Where does the color come from, and how are they made?” Nearly all rosés are produced one of three ways: blending, minimal skin contact with the juice, or “bleeding” off must early during fermentation.

Blending is just that, adding a little red wine to white wine to give it a little color. This makes an unimpressive, inexpensive wine that is illegal in much of Europe. The phrase “blush wine” came into vogue to describe these when Sutter Home and Beringer were turning the wine world upside down with White Zinfandel, even though White Zin is not a blended wine.

We know that the juice from nearly all grapes looks the same, a clear, milky pale yellow. The color of red wine comes from the skins, and it takes about ten days to extract the rich, dark hue we find so attractive. A classic rosé (like our Rosé of Malbec and Cab Blanc) is made by limiting skin contact (maceration) to not much more than a day. The darker the grape skins, and the longer the maceration, the darker the rosé.

In the saignée (French for “bleed”) method, must is “bled” out of the tank early on during fermentation. This increases the skin-to-juice ratio in the tank, allowing greater concentration of tannin and color in the red wine. The juice that was removed can then be fermented into a rosé, or be discarded.

First produced in 2016, this is the fifth anniversary of our charming Rosé of Malbec. My favorite color for a rosé, the ’20 is a stunning pale salmon with a brilliant rim. All Texas High Plains fruit, the ABV is an afternoon-friendly 12.8%.

Vibrant, fresh fruit aromas of strawberry, red plum, raspberry, and cantaloupe dance with floral notes of pink carnation and honeysuckle. The palate is delightful, with well-balanced fruit and acid in perfect harmony leading to a crisp, clean finish that keeps us coming back for more.

This may be my favorite Rosé of Malbec to date, and I wanted a cool summertime food pairing and thought a chunky, spicy gazpacho would work. I asked my work buddy (and boss) Patrick his opinion, and he raised the bar by suggesting a watermelon gazpacho…