2019 Sheldon Wines, Tempranillo Brut Rosé, Luc’s Vineyard, Fountaingrove AVA, Sonoma County.
Super crisp and bone dry this 2019 Sheldon Brut Rosé, made from 100% Tempranillo and has a nice cut of tartness and fresh acidity to go with an array of citrus, red apple and strawberry fruit along with hints of stones and subtle leesy brioche. This is very tasty and refreshing going great with steamed mussels, oysters and crostini bites with a variety of toppings, it also works beautiful as a starter aperitif with its low alcohol feel and brisk nature. Unlike some frothy Pet-Nat bottlings, this Tempranillo Brut Rosé was hand made done with Champagne method and the mousse is energy filled with small bubbles, a luxurious creamy beading, but still naturally racy and mouth watering. The Brut Rosé is a very limited bottling with only 50 cases made in this vintage, with Sheldon just releasing the new 2020 version now on their website and mailing list.

Sheldon Wines says this zero dosage sparkling wine is made in the traditional method by hand from a tiny organic vineyard in the Fountaingrove AVA in Sonoma County, in the cooler hills around Healdsburg, that is set on rocky soils and Sonoma volcanics. Winemaker Dylan Sheldon, who is getting close to his 20th professional vintage, has to hand riddle each bottle of his Brut Rosé 200 times during the process, as he notes, taking it from still wine to sparkling to coax this elixir into being, as we now see it in the bottle. Sheldon has taken his own path as a winemaker and has focused on unique varietals and a lower alcohol style, even before it was all the rage, he has in particular championed cool climate Grenache and he makes one of California’s best versions of Graciano, the rare Rioja grape that he is doing as a still and sparkling red, as well as some intriguing field blends, Sangiovese, a tawny Port and he is even exploring Frappato, the signature grape of the Vittoria region of Sicily.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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