Grapelive: Wine of the Day August 4, 2020

2019 Arnot-Roberts, Rosé of Touriga Nacional, California.
Another one of the world’s most interesting Rosés, the Arnot-Roberts Rosé of Touriga Nacional is one of California’s most sought after pink wines and joins Bedrock’s Ode to Lulu, Skylark’s Pink Belly, Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris (especially the reserve), Ian Brand’s P’Tit Paysan Pierre’s Pirouette, Ryme Cellars’ Aglianico Rosé and Martha Stoumen’s Nero d’Avola Rosado as must have Summer treats! Rosé is in full swing now and the warm August weather makes these wines exceptionally timely and refreshing, but these wines are serious too, in particular this one by Arnot-Roberts with its cool and textured profile and bone dry subtle fruit, it is a wine that develops in glass glass and goes wonderfully well with a variety of cuisine options. I really love this Arnot-Roberts Rosé of Touriga Nacional after it gets some air and a touch of warmth as it unfolds its fruit and spicy elements, it displays a mineral driven character along with layers of sour cherry, plum water, seeped rose petals, a touch of peach flesh or melon as well as subtle strawberry along with a streak of citrus, saline, wet stone and dried herb. This vintage is surprisingly round and supple, almost creamy at first before finding its form and adding some steely/racy vitality, this stuff keeps you guessing and while cooly poised as a crisp sipper, it deserves to matched with a meal, whether a brunch menu or steamed mussels, and it makes for a great companion at the beach. Duncan (Arnot) Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts, of Arnot-Roberts, who grew up together in the Napa Valley are now one of the modern stars in California, known for their impressive lineup of site driven wines from their awesome Trout Gulch Chardonnay to their ultra geeky cool Trousseau! As well as a fine selection of Syrah, Cabernet and Pinots that are very limited production gems.

The Arnot-Roberts Rosé is has a vivid pink and pale salmon hue which sets of an instant smile and gets the saliva glands going plus the aromas of tangy fruit, flowers and crushed rock add to the compelling nature of this Rosé that was crafted from a blend of about 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Tinta Cao, both rare red varietals in California from Portugal, where they are commonly found in the Douro Valley, the Dao region and or Port wines. These intriguing Portuguese varieties are sourced from mostly the Luchsinger Vineyard in Kelseyville, the long time source for this wine with the Touriga Nacional and Tinta Cao grown at over 1,300 feet elevation above Clear Lake, in Lake County, set on volcanic rocky soils, as well as a bit coming from the St. Amant Vineyard in Amador County with granite soils. The grapes, which are farmed using organic methods, were picked to be exclusively Rosé and this wine is a non saignee made wine and comes in at just 11.3% natural alcohol, which is again notable, because instead of being sharp and simple, this wine has a real presence on the palate and a depth that belies its total sum. This vintage is not as electric or thrilling as earlier versions, but the restraint and depth make for an impressive performance and it grows on you making you wish you had another chilled bottle handy! This Arnot-Roberts Rosé of Touriga Nacional was fermented with native yeasts, after a short cold soak on the skins and then aged in stainless steel to preserve fresh details, all with hand crafted and precise winemaking by the talented Duncan Meyers and Nathan Roberts. I have been enjoying these wines, especially this one since about 2012 or there about and never miss a chance to get a bottle or two each years with their Trousseau, as noted above, and the North Coast Syrah also being favorites, as well as the mentioned Trout Gulch Chard, I recommend keeping an eye out for them.
($28 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive