We produced five rosé wines from Pinot Noir in 2022, and in mid-January 2023 we began our staff blending trials for this bottling. Since each of these wines was produced from different fields they taste slightly different and the object of our blind tastings is to create the most balanced wine—some lots are used in full and other lots only partially. Tastings for this bottling started on a Monday and by Thursday our base wine consisted of all, or a portion of, four lots: three from our Hammer Olsen vineyard blocks—Chalone, Martini and ENTAV115—and the fourth from the Marking Corral vineyard. To this base wine we added varying amounts of the Patricia Lane lot, our ripest rosé picking. The majority winner in that tasting was a 5% addition of Patricia Lane but the vote wasn't unanimous; one taster thought that 5% Patricia Lane wasn't sufficient and another thought that the Marking Corral lot—selected at a previous tasting—was in excess.
Sarah overlooking the refrigerated stainless steel tanks that we use for rosé production. Pinot Noir grapes are destemmed into these tanks to let the red skins macerate in the juice, extracting flavor and building body. Sarah is Navarro's essential taster on the crush pad and makes the crucial decisions of when to press and separate skins and seeds from the juice.
José Luis dumping a bucket of cold Pinot Noir grapes into a half-ton bin. Cool grape temperature is critical for producing delicate white and rosé wines.
The next day the blind tasting consisted of four wines comprised of the winning wine from Thursday as the base, plus three modified versions: more Patricia Lane, less Marking Corral and a wine combining both alterations. Everyone agreed that making both revisions produced the most balanced wine, demonstrating the importance of building consensus. You'll be greeted with whiffs of rose petal and spring herbs followed by a procession of flavors—strawberry, red cherry and pomegranate—with a crisp, lingering finish. Platinum Medal-winner. Best of Show. 95 points.
A Pinot Noir cluster in bloom. During bloom we have our fingers crossed hoping for pleasant, sunny weather which is necessary for a successful pollination.