2019 Drive Wines, Rosé of Zinfandel, Comstock Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley.
I recently was turned on to the Drive Wines and reviewed their latest Zinfandel, which was very tasty and I was looking forward to popping the cork on this Rosé, that turned out to be an even better experience than I had imagined, it is a fine California dry pink wine that delivers an elegant crisp and mineral fresh Summer wine. The Drive Rosé made from 100% Zinfandel is sourced from the Comstock Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley and was made in the vineyard to be Rosé with care picking and sorting to allow quality flavors to emerge without the higher sugars you’d get with a saignee or bleeding off juice from later picked grapes that would go into a normal red wine. This approach paid off here in the cooly refreshing delicately pale 2019 Drive Comstock Rosé of Zinfandel with its zippy and tangy profile, it shows racy citrus, bay leaf, drier spiced raspberry, sour cherry, lavender and tart mintiness. A bit awkward at first, everything gets better and better as it finds its groove and gets some air, I also will note it really is sensitive to temperature and shouldn’t be served too cold as this Drive Rosé gains complexity and texture in the glass and it ultimately becomes a wonderfully quaffable and rewarding wine.

Drive Wines began as a passion home winemaking venture with a first batch of Zinfandel made in the back of a vintage car garage which led to the creation of this label by partners John Musto, in charge of winemaking and Tom Young, who handles the day to day vineyard and winery operations. Musto, a huge race racing fan and wine enthusiast, works full time for the famous Ridge Vineyards, so he’s got Zinfandel flowing through his veins these days and he is also studying at Santa Rosa Junior College in their winemaking program. The Drive Wines label pays tribute to their love for vintage racing cars and the red Zin has a strip of subtlety drawn bricks at the bottom, which are a reference to the famous “Brickyard” (Indy 500) home of America’s most famous and historic race track. These new releases, the winery’s second set, are fun and delicious wines and this micro label will be interesting to follow in the coming vintages. As a die hard racing fan, I feel a connection to these guys and their pursuit of success, I also know it is not easy to make a quality (dry) Rosé from Zinfandel (that’s why most are sweeter in style) and theirs is really good, you should have seen how fast the bottle went empty!
($25 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive

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