2021 Holman Ranch Winery, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Susan’s Saignée, Carmel Valley AVA, Monterey County.
The estate grown dry Rosé from Holman Ranch is a refreshing and well rounded wine that was a treat on a warm Spring day with its mineral tones, wet stones and bright fruits makes for a tasty experience that gets better and better with every sip, especially extra chilled and with a bowl of steamed mussels. I hadn’t had the Holman Ranch wines in a while and after a few tough vintages they seem to have things going in a good direction, especially with this crisp Rosé of Pinot Noir, known as the Susan’s Saignée, that was crafted using ripe juice bled off their normal picks of Pinot Noir sourced from their picturesque Carmel Valley vines and clones 777 and Pommard. The 2021 retained good acidity and has a pleasing mouth feel with a nice tension between the zesty citrus and silken texture, it is a Rosé that looks to be a real crowd pleaser, perfect for outdoor dinning and or beach sipping. The Holman Ranch Susan’s Saignée shows ruby grapefruit, sour cherry, crushed raspberry, strawberry water and peachy fruits along with a hint of spice, seeped roses, orange rind and mouth watering saline. The historic Holman Ranch property was originally founded back in 1928, though the grape vines, mainly a selection of Pinot Noir parcels named after family members, came much later, with wine production beginning in earnest with the 2012 vintage, with quality getting better and better as the vines mature.

The Holman Ranch wines are hand crafted by the father and son team of local pros, Greg and Chris Vita, who also consult for a number of Carmel Valley producers, using 100% estate grapes and employing traditional and sustainable methods, with this wine seeing 100% stainless steel for a cool temperature fermentation and short aging period which lasted just three months before they bottled this pretty dry pink wine. These small production wines include a range of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with just about 400 cases done of this Rosé, it should be a popular Summer release to be enjoyed as soon as possible. According to the winery, the 2021 growing season began with bud-break at the beginning of April, starting growth out a little later than usual that ended up being a blessing with the extra hang time allowing for concentration and zippy energy in the must. The even but cool weather led to promising flowering and a good set, which the team at Holman only hung a modest crop. They add, that restricted yields allowed the small clusters to progress through verasion with very little irrigation, and the ripeness was achieved at the end of September, giving some floral perfume and opulence to this Rosé, which finished at about 13.5% natural alcohol, that resulted in full Pinot flavors to shine through on the medium bodied palate. This pale salmon hued Rosé is inspired by the Burgundy versions of Pink wines, like those from the Marsannay area, and while I recommend drinking it now, the winery suggests more patience and some bottle aging to let it fill out, but I personally like the youthful vibrancy it shows now.
($35 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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