Grapelive: Wine of the Day April 21, 2016

2015WaxwingRose2015 Waxwing, Rose of Counoise, Love Ranch Vineyard, Madera.
Scott Sisemore’s Waxwing Wines is a San Francisco based artisan winery making a boutique collection of small production offerings, mostly cool climate Syrah and Pinot Noir, but he does a few exotic bottling each vintage and this Spring 2016 release includes a couple of dry Rieslings and this beautiful Rose of Counoise. Sourced from foothill vines in Madera County not too far from Yosemite, at Love Ranch Vineyard, the Rose of Counoise is a crisp and intriguing pink with bright mineral rich detail and good low alcohol character, at just over 11% there is great lift, acidity and still exceptionally flavorful. Counoise is a lesser known and rare red Rhone grape, one of the Chateauneuf du Pape varietals and is almost never bottled as a single varietal wine, but along with Cinsault is gaining favor among young, and a few old timers like Randall Grahm, winemakers and it does well in Paso Robles, especially some of the Tablas Creek clone plantings. The 2015 Waxwing Counoise Rose starts with a vibrant pink/orange and salmon hue, a light perfume and a delicate array of steely elements and spices with watermelon, rosewater, tart sour cherry, unique guava and strawberry layers along with tangy citrus, dusty pepper, wild herbs and a lingering succulent plum/blueberry note. This is groovy brisk stuff with good focus and vibrant flavors, very refreshing and rewarding, be sure to check out Waxwing Wines, Scott is really turning out a fine selection of hand crafted wines, in particular this Rose of Counoise, but also his Santa Cruz Mountains and Sonoma Coast Pinots and Syrah are tasty and fairly priced, he sells mostly direct at www.waxwingwines.com, and through selected shops and restaurants.
($20 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive