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Wine of the Week: Anaba 2019 Sonoma County Rosé of Grenache

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This week's blind tasting

Rosé

TOP PICK

Anaba

2019 Sonoma County Rosé of Grenache, 13.1% alcohol, $30. ★★★★★½

This is a zesty, dry rosé with crisp fruit and bright acidity. It has aromas and flavors of stone fruit, green apple and a hint of pomegranate. Impressive balance. It’s gorgeous — the perfect rosé to marry with a sun-kissed day.

Tasty ALTERNATIVES

Ehlers 2019 Sylviane, St. Helena, Napa Rosé, 13.4%, $32. ★★★★★: A well-crafted rosé. Its generous fruit is kept in check with its crisp acidity. Notes of raspberry, peach and melon. Finishes crisp. Striking.

Argyle 2019 Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir, 12%, $30. ★★★★★: A refreshing rosé with notes of cherry, watermelon and a hint of currant. This rosé is nice and dry, with great minerality and crisp acidity. Lovely.

Red Car 2019 Sonoma/Mendocino Rosé of Pinot Noir, 12.6%, $28. ★★★★★: A vibrant rosé, with bright notes of red grapefruit, nectarine and mineral. Crisp acid. Great balance. Spot on.

Banshee Wines 2018 Mendocino County Rosé, 13.1%, $25. ★★★★★: Fruity, yet dry, this rosé is lit up with crisp notes of grapefruit and raspberry. Citrusy finish. Smart.

The vines are oblivious to our shelter-in-place protocols. Even if they could understand the severity of the pandemic, they couldn’t rein in their compulsion to grow.

These burgeoning vines — this clear sign of Mother Nature’s tenacity — is what keeps winemaker Katy Wilson upbeat.

“The vines are moving forward, and it gives us a sense of hope,” she said. “Nature is carrying on, and we’re going to make it through this.”

Wilson and her burgeoning vines are behind our Wine of the Week winner — the Anaba 2019 Sonoma County Rosé of Grenache at $30. This is a zesty, dry rosé with crisp fruit and bright acidity. It has impressive balance, and it’s layered with notes of stone fruit, green apple and a hint of pomegranate. It’s gorgeous — the perfect rosé to marry with a sun-kissed day.

The Anaba rosé can be purchased online at anabawines.com or through the tasting room’s curbside pickup. Other tasty rosés include: Ehlers 2019 Sylviane, St. Helena, Napa Rosé, $32; Red Car 2019 Sonoma/Mendocino Rosé of Pinot Noir, $28; Banshee Wines 2018 Mendocino County Rosé, $25; and Argyle 2019 Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir, $30.

Wilson said what makes the Anaba rosé a standout are its layered flavors. The 2019 vintage, she said, was the first to source fruit from two different vineyards rather than one.

The Landa Vineyard in Sonoma Valley is in the foothills of the Mayacamas. Meanwhile, the Flora Marie Vineyard in the Russian River has a higher elevation of roughly 230 feet.

“The balance of the two vineyards has created a dynamic, nuanced wine,” Wilson said.

The winemaker also said the rosé’s grenache fruit elevates it to more than a poolside quaffer.

“Grenache gives texture and body to a rosé, and so it can be taken a little more seriously,” Wilson said. “It also offers a wider range of aromas and flavors.”

The winemaker said she’s a good fit for crafting rosé because she has high regard for it.

“I take rosé seriously,” Wilson said. “I don’t see it as a throwaway wine. When to pick is crucial, and I’m confident I’m very good at making those decisions.”

The winemaker said if you pick too early, you might have good acid but the flavors may not be ripe enough. That could result in a boring wine.

On the other hand, if you pick too late, you might lose the acid, and then the wine will lack body and be flat.

“A matter of days can change how the wine tastes, and that’s why it’s so important,” Wilson said. “Timing is everything for rosé.”

Wilson, 37, graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 2005 with two degrees — agricultural business and wine and viticulture. She said she was drawn to winemaking because it’s a compelling blend of science, agriculture and creativity.

“With wine, every decision you make changes how it’s going to be in the end,” Wilson said. “You’re growing something that’s alive.”

You can reach Wine Writer Peg Melnik at peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5310.

This week's blind tasting

Rosé

TOP PICK

Anaba

2019 Sonoma County Rosé of Grenache, 13.1% alcohol, $30. ★★★★★½

This is a zesty, dry rosé with crisp fruit and bright acidity. It has aromas and flavors of stone fruit, green apple and a hint of pomegranate. Impressive balance. It’s gorgeous — the perfect rosé to marry with a sun-kissed day.

Tasty ALTERNATIVES

Ehlers 2019 Sylviane, St. Helena, Napa Rosé, 13.4%, $32. ★★★★★: A well-crafted rosé. Its generous fruit is kept in check with its crisp acidity. Notes of raspberry, peach and melon. Finishes crisp. Striking.

Argyle 2019 Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir, 12%, $30. ★★★★★: A refreshing rosé with notes of cherry, watermelon and a hint of currant. This rosé is nice and dry, with great minerality and crisp acidity. Lovely.

Red Car 2019 Sonoma/Mendocino Rosé of Pinot Noir, 12.6%, $28. ★★★★★: A vibrant rosé, with bright notes of red grapefruit, nectarine and mineral. Crisp acid. Great balance. Spot on.

Banshee Wines 2018 Mendocino County Rosé, 13.1%, $25. ★★★★★: Fruity, yet dry, this rosé is lit up with crisp notes of grapefruit and raspberry. Citrusy finish. Smart.

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