2023 Holman Ranch Estate Winery & Vineyard, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Susan’s Saignée, Carmel Valley AVA, Monterey County.
The vibrant, steely crisp and refreshing pale salmon hued Susan’s Saignée Rosé of Pinot Noir from Holman Ranch in Camel Valley is a delectable and tasty Spring and Summer treat with a bright array of bone dry flavors, including racy ruby grapefruit, peach flesh, watermelon, sour cherry, wet stones, tart herbs, saline and rosewater. This light to medium bodied Rosé certainly captures the 2023 growing season perfectly and has loads of personality, it can be enjoyed on its own, for Summer sipping, as an aperitif and or with a meal. As mentioned in my more recent tasting of Holman Ranch, there’s a lot to get excited about, with the quality of their wines really jumping up in the latest two vintages, especially with the main estate Pinot Noirs, but even with the rare Syrah, the Pinot Gris and this Rosé seeing step up. This property is a gorgeous piece of land with a sunny exposure and blessed with cool ocean breezes that continuously flow in from the Carmel Bay and the cold Pacific Ocean, making for a prime location for Burgundian varietals, helped further by the chalky stone strewn terrain with California shale/sandstone and loam soils. Pinot Noir Rosé wines can be found in a wide range of styles, but this one is right in between a Provence Rosé and a Burgundy or Marsannay style version, staying on the drier side of things, which I enjoy best.

The winery notes that a prolonged cool period of weather during set proved positive, as the vines were able to develop slowly with above-average yields in the vineyard and wonderfully healthy fruit overall, as was the case state wide. The cool Spring weather gave way to a very moderate Summer, delaying the start of harvest to a record late pick, and while nervous, winemakers here and other places were rewarded with an extra degree of depth and concentration, while having loads of acidity and low to moderate alcohols. This all makes for an exceptional year to stock up on, and these early release wines, especially the Rosé and the Pinot Gris from Holman Ranch are some of best done to date at this property. Winemakers, father and son, Greg and Chris Vita, who have farmed and made the wines here since the beginning, crafted this Rosé using a gentle long bladder pressing, without any skin maceration and fermented it exclusively in cool stainless steel. This one sees just about three months on the lees in tank before cold settling and bottling, all to keep things tightly focused and extra fresh on release. Interestingly this wine, only 500 cases made, usually comes from particular blocks of Dijon 667 and 777 clones, that are nicely suited for the earlier picks and allows for just about 12.6% natural alcohol, keeping it finely balanced and eager to please.
($38 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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