2021 Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! Summer-Salters Rosé, Shake Ridge Ranch Vineyard, Amador County.
Hardy Wallace’s new Summer-Salters Rosé under his Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! label is unbelievably pale pink/salmon in the glass, but is full of depth and is a rare age worthy Rosé that reminds me of the geeky cool (pleasantly funky) Clos Cibonne Tibouren (Cotes de Provence Rosé), it even has the green tinted glass bottle and textural quality you find that Provence legend. That said, this is a wine that could only be made in California, with a blend of 50% Mourvedre and 50% Primitivo (Zin) coming from high elevation in Amador County at Ann Kraemer’s epic Shake Ridge Ranch Vineyard. The color, wet stone, muted fruit essences and subtle earthiness are incredibly seductive, this is no generic, mass produced and sterile pink, with complex layering of sour cherry, spiced raspberry, ruby citrus, red peach and strawberry fruits that are accented by dried herbs, a hint of iron, leather, rosewater and loam. The mouth feel and personality here is non too common in Rosé, again it takes on an old world kind of charm and rustic or transparency which you find in structured Mourvedre driven Bandol wines, and the Primitivo seems to give a touch of caramel and a nice contrasting slightly bitter Rhubarb freshness. All in all this is an impressive effort and one that deserves a meal to go along with, even though it would be no slouch if sipped with a warm sunset or by a cool steam on a hot day either. The intensity and lush mouth feel Wallace says are a direct result of tiny yields in this vintage, about a ton per acre, which is insane for a Rosé! Hardy Wallace, ex partner in Dirty and Rowdy Wines, is the winemaker here, he is a self professed Mourvedre fanatic and he has proven to have a great touch with the grape and he sources from some of the best and most historic low yielding vineyards in the state from the central coast to Mendocino, as well as Contra Costa and here in the Sierra Foothills.
This wine was no afterthought, it is serious stuff and took a lot of attention to detail and passion to achieve this result and it started with using grapes from a great vineyard, which Shake Ridge certainly is, known for an awesome selection of Rhone varietals, especially Syrah and the Mourvedre, that plays the main role here. This Shake Ridge Ranch Vineyard is truly a fantastic location and is farmed by the Ann Kraemer, a pioneering legend in the Sierra Foothills, who is also a consulting viticulturalist for Domaine Chandon, Swanson, Cain, Calera, Paul Hobbs, and Shafer, to name a few. Shake Ridge, farmed organically and holistically is set on geological wonderland of soils with schist, Mariposa slate, greenstone, and marble, and, as has been told to me, within the vineyard rows at Shake Ridge there are big chunks of pure quartz that are scattered about. The Sierra Foothills has a warm/hot climate, but, here at this elevation, it sees a huge day to night swing in temperature with the vines getting a nice cool rest during the dark hours, when they are picked too, helping retain natural acidity, which is evident here is this 2021 vintage. For this soulful Rosé, Wallace, who is a natural, non interventionist winemaker, just de-stemmed the Mourvedre and Zinfandel (Primitivo clone) grapes and directly pressed them into stainless steel without any soaking on the skins! (weird for a guy known for making orange wines!) Fermentation occurred spontaneously with indigenous yeasts before the wine went to barrel, where it went through malo-lactic conversion. The Summer-Salters Rosé saw no racking, no stirring and was aged in old neutral oak for the short lees aging, of around 6 months before it was bottled, and as per normal here there was little if not no sulfur (sulphates) added. This excellent dry Rosé, which should drink well for 3 to 5 years, joins an exciting list of authentic California Rosé wines that have really found their groove over the last decade and I hope this one is available for many years to come, it is worth joining the Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! mailing list just for this stuff.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive