2020 Stars & Dust, Rosé of Grenache, Tierra Alta Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA, Santa Ynez Valley.
California has another world class Dry Rosé to chase down, but sadly Nikki Pallesen of Stars & Dust only made 80 cases of this fabulous and brilliantly detailed Tierra Alta Vineyard Rosé of Grenache from the Santa Ynez Valley’s Ballard Canyon AVA, just north of Santa Barbara, it is has a wonderful mouth feel, layered with electric flavors and is mouth watering crisp, this like Pallesen’s sister Mourvedre version is excellent stuff. Bright and glowing in glass this Tierra Alta Grenache Rosé has a rotation of orange pith, grapefruit, strawberry and sour Bing cherry fruits on the mineral/steely palate along with rosewater, citrus bloom, faint herbs, wet stones and energetic acidity, making for very Provence style bone dry Pink that is drinking exceptionally well and should do for another couple of years, if you could ever wait, which there is no reason to do. There is enough presence, impact and structure here to be a serious contender for Rosé of the year and it has enough textural roundness to please a wide range of wine drinkers and it goes great with food too impressively, I recommend keeping an eye out for this one and get on the Stars & Dust list for the next release. Also interesting, is Pallesen’s new Grenache based red wine, which has been playfully nicknamed “Grenjolais” which I plan on trying out soon, it is said to a friendly quaffer with a light body and low alcohol, that suggests it would be great with a slight chill.

Nikki Pallesen’s, formerly of Liquid Farm, new Stars & Dust Winery is just launching with a set of Rosé bottlings, this one made from 100% Grenache and one that I reviewed earlier which is crafted from 100% Mourvédre, that is more Bandol like in presence and character. She is also focusing on Chardonnay and has got some intriguing things coming out, which I’m sure are going to be wines to search out. This version, 100% Grenache, was whole cluster pressed, non saignée and saw a short maceration to achieve the fresh detail and gentle extraction of its light pink color with a cool stainless steel fermentation before an elevage in neutral French oak barrels for six months. There is plenty of ripeness and extract to provide complexity and pleasure here and as this wine turns on the charm with some air, much the same as Pallesen’s Mourvedre did in the glass. A lot of attention to detail went into the Stars & Dust wines from the impeccable handling of the grapes from vines to bottle to the stylish Klimt inspired artwork label (super packaging) on these Rosé bottlings, reflecting the personality behind them, I can see Stars & Dust developing a cult following for the quality of the Rosé, joining the likes of Arnot-Roberts (Touriga Nacional Rosé), Randall Grahm’s Language of Yes (Tibouren/Cinsault Rosé), Martha Stoumen (Nergoamaro Rosé), Jolie-Laide (Rosé of Cabernet Pfeffer), Tribute to Grace (also a Grenache Rosé and Bedrock Wine Co (Ode to Lulu, Mourvedre based Rosé) to name a few awesome year round Rosés. I am looking forward to Pallesen’s upcoming Stars & Dust Chards, that are getting released soon, especially the Old Vine Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay, this is a label to watch.
($26 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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