Morgan Twain Peterson knows there’s magic in gnarled, contorted grapevines.
The winemaker is behind our wine of the week winner, the Bedrock Wine Co., 2020 Ode to Lulu, California, Old Vine Rosé Wine at $24.
“What sets this rosé apart from others is that it comes from very old vines planted between 1888 and 1922, so there’s a natural step up in density,” he said. “Despite its light color, it has a lot of intensity.”
This Rhone rosé is elegant with pitch-perfect balance, yet it’s edgy with tangy, high-toned fruit. It has notes of raspberry and strawberry with a hint of white pepper. It’s light on its feet and striking.
Other tasty rosés include Bricoleur’s Flying by the Seat of Our Pants, 2020 Kick Ranch Vineyard, Fountaingrove District, Sonoma County, Rosé of Grenache, 13.8%, $29; Lucy, 2020 Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County Rosé of Pinot Noir, 13.9%, $19; Quivira Vineyards, 2020 Wine Creek Ranch, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Rosé, 13.3%, $24, and Raeburn, 2020 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Rosé, 13.5%, $20.
As for the winning Bedrock rosé, Twain Peterson said crafting it took some effort.
“As with most things in California, it’s easy to make a wine of power. But finding freshness and the right balance between weight and energy is the challenge,” he said.
The 40-year-old winemaker is the son of Joel Peterson, the founding winemaker of Sonoma’s Ravenswood Winery.
Twain Peterson studied at Vassar. “Even though I have a B.A. in political science and history and went to graduate school for American studies, wine has always been present in my life,” he said. “Winemaking is in my blood.”
But the vintner, whose first vintage was in 2007, endured a challenging 2020 due to the wildfires and the pandemic.
“We had to shut down our tasting room for eight months, and we have wines we won’t be making due to fire exposure,” he said. “I have no epiphanies. I’m just happy that our model of being geographically diverse ensured we still have some wine to work with.”
Bedrock wines are produced from grapes grown in regions that include Amador, Napa and Sonoma counties and Lodi.
While grappling with the wildfires and the pandemic, Twain Peterson also was adjusting to his new role as a father. In October he and wife Kayte became parents of JP, short for Joel Howard Peterson.
“I have no expectations for JP to join the winemaking world, and who knows what the industry will look like 20 to 30 years from now with climate change,” Twain Peterson said. “That said, I would be perfectly happy if he went that direction after exploring other things in the world. … JP, like me, had a bit of Champagne put on his lips early on.”
Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at email@example.com or 707-521-5310.
Wine, The Press Democrat
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