2015 Chesebro, Brut Rosé, Méthode Champenoise Sparkling Wine, Mission Vineyard, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County.
Chesebro’s artisan small batch Brut Rosé Méthode Champenoise Sparkling Wine is 100% Pinot Noir Saignée and was fermented with a touch of skin contact and aged on the yeast for about 7 years, making for a bright and fruit driven bubbly with a leesy richness and depth that is elegant and pleasing. Only about 50 cases were produced of this labor of love and rare, maybe one time only offering by the father and son team of Mark and Will Chesebro, proud Carmel Valley and Arroyo Seco winegrowers. Saignée means “to bleed,” and it also describes a method of Rosé winemaking that involves “bleeding” off a portion of red wine juice, with this one seeing an early pick to retain fresh acidity, allowing for the beautiful pink/salmon color seen here, without the addition of still red wine after the fact, as seen in most Champagne style wines. The extended yeast maturity here delivers an opulent mouthfeel and luxuriousness to go along with stony and mineral natural elements that the grapes brought to the table, along with the light strawberry, cherry and ruby citrus fruits. There’s subtle rosewater, brioche, baking spice and peach accents helping fill out the array of flavors here and the creamy vibrant beading mousse is very stylish, I highly recommend grabbing a few bottles before it is all sold out. The latest set of current releases here at Chesebro are tasty and this limited release bubbly is just one of many that have impressed me, and I look forward to all the upcoming bottlings, I usually never miss their zingy Vermentino, also known as Rolle in France, which might be the Central Coast’s first 100% varietal version of this grape, commonly found in Sardinia, and has long been a local favorite in the Monterey region, and great with the local cuisine.
Chesebro, an under the radar Monterey winery, is led by Mark Chesebro, owner and winemaker, who was a winemaker at well known Bernardus Winery for many years, is a straight up and no nonsense winegrower, who along with his son Willl, focuses most of the attention on the vines, in Carmel Valley at their estate farm and in Arroyo Seco, with Cedar Lane, their main source of fruit and the Mission Ranch Vineyard, and employs traditional methods in the cellar. The Chesebro label, with more input from Will, is seeing an upgrade and evolution, with a new artist series under the Cedar Lane Vineyard label that is just now about to be introduced with his mom’s artwork on display, which looks great on the bottle, keep an eye out for them, especially the Pinot Noir with a woodblock print of swallows. The Sparkling Pinot won’t be around long, but I also recommend searching out their unique set of whites, including their Albarino, Vermentino, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc especially, as well as their musque clone 2023 Sauvignon Blanc, which is due out this spring with the new label, that I recent got a chance to try from a tank sample. In the reds, Chesebro does, the mentioned Pinot Noir, along with a solid collection of Rhone blends, like the Grenache and Syrah Las Arenas, which has plenty of old world charm in the mold of a Sablet Cotes du Rhone Villages and or a Vacqueyras. They also do a very limited bottling of Carmel Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux inspired effort that offers a more restrained style than most California versions of this grape with a compelling old world charm and grip. It’s a great time to discover these Chesebro wines, all of which offer a lot of value, in particular the briskly vibrant whites.
($50 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive