Rosés are here to stay. Rosés of all hues can be found in Santa Clara Valley, from pale pink to hearty red. Most are made using the saignée, or “bleeding off” method, where the free-run juice from just-picked reds is collected and fermented before the reds are de-stemmed and processed.
Typically, wines made in this fashion tend to be a bit darker in color and higher in alcohol than those picked at lower brix for classic rosés, which are not bled off but pressed directly and made in the manner of white wine.
We have two perfect examples of both styles of wines from Aver Family Vineyards. The 2017 Grace, a deep raspberry pink, is a saignée of grenache, syrah and mourvedre. It’s bright, lively and juicy with strawberry, raspberry and pomegranate.
The 2017 Family Album is primarily a direct press of 85 percent mourvedre, 12.5 percent grenache, 2 percent carignane and half-percent grenache blanc. A deep shade of magenta, with plush texture and tannin, it’s more like a light red wine than a rosé, and certainly fills that role of the perfect red wine to have when you don’t want pinot and you need something chilled. Like a dark cherry-blackberry punch, this reminds me a bit of the rum cherry ice cream I was so fond of as a kid.