2021 Arnot-Roberts, Rosé, California.
The latest Arnot-Roberts Rosé is really tasty stuff, made from mainly from Touriga Nacional, the famous Port grape though rare here, as per normal, but this year also includes some Gamay, Grenache and another Port varietal Tinto Cao, which adds to the complexity to this excellent Californian bone dry, mineral driven and low alcohol pink wine. This crisp and pale Rosé which comes it at just about 11% natural alcohol, but is filled with flavor, depth and even a sense of texture, making it a fabulous wine with a touch of savory smoky elements going nicely with a zesty array of retained fruit. The nose intrigues with a delicate floral note, ruby citrus, a hint of bacon and crushed stones that leads to a vibrant, but subtle palate of racy grapefruit, strawberry, sour cherry and melon fruits, plus rosewater, dried/dusty herbs and wet rocks. Totally unique in make up and style, this wine has the class and quality of the top Provence Rosé, though true to its own sense of place, being a wine that could only be made here in California, it speaks to the passion and pride of the winemakers here. This year’s Light salmon hued Rosé is 67% Touriga Nacional, 21% Gamay Noir, 10% Tinto Cao and just 2% of Grenache, picked early with low sugars and was crafted with precision and with a short maceration and aging period for freshness.

This beautifully detailed 2021 Rosé comes from various sites, depending on the varietals, but mostly it is Touriga Nacional that is sourced from the Luchsinger in Kelseyville, Lake County, where Arnot-Roberts first found Trousseau and still use. The Touriga Nacional for Arnot-Roberts Rosé loves the cool nights and warm days here, the Luchsinger Vineyard is up at 1400’ and set on volcanic alluvium soils, which are laid over ancient riverbed cobblestones, in the Big Valley area west of Clear Lake. The winery adds, Clear Lake is the second largest natural body of water in California after Lake Tahoe and is an influence on the climate and the quality in the grapes grown here. There are, an ever growing set, of fine Californian examples of dry Rosé and I am thrilled by what I’m tasted and reviewed in recent years, though this Arnot-Roberts version is still right at the top of my list of must haves and it remains a great value too. Arnot-Roberts was founded in Healdsburg in 2001 by childhood friends from Napa Valley, Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts, who have excelled in creating some cult like favorites made from alternative varietals, like the mentioned Trousseau, Falanghina, Ribolla Giallo, Gruner Veltliner and this Touriga Nacional based Rosé, as well as an awesome set of Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Gamay offerings, all of which are worthy of searching out!
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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