2016 Liquid Farm, Rosé of Mourvèdre, Vogelzang Vineyard, Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara County.
Liquid Farm, known mostly for their amazing Chardonnay program, including their awesome Sta. Rita Hills Golden Slope Chardonnay, also do one of the state’s most prized pink wines, in fact it’s called “Pink Crack” by those in the know, looked to the region of Bandol in Provence for the inspiration behind this Rosé. according to winery notes It is a combination of 95% Mourvédre and 5% Grenache sourced from Happy Canyon (a Santa Barbara AVA). The grapes are pressed as soon as they arrive to the winery, cool and fresh, picked a touch early to keep low sugars and is barrel-fermented in neutral (French) oak, bottled after just 5 months of aging. The Liquid Farm Rosé of Mourvèdre, along with Bedrock’s Ode to Lulu, is often called the Domaine Tempier of California, which is high praise and it usually lives up to the hype, especially in vintages like this 2016, which I tasted from Magnum! The delicate salmon pink hue is subtle and sublime in the glass, with the extra year of age it seems a bit sleepy at first, but gathers itself up and gives a rich and vibrant performance, though I bet the 2017 will be a touch better at the moment, still this is seriously good stuff with a more mature Mourvedre feel and slight earthy intensity that is not unwelcome. The palate is maybe less racy that the newer vintage, but has a crisp sense of detail with tart baked cherry, distilled strawberry, a touch of leather, wild lavender, loam and a hint of watermelon. It has a core of fruit and the usually mineral freshness has become more hidden, best to enjoy these Liquid Farm pinks young, which is unbelievably easy anyway!
($28 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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