2023 Oversand Wine Company, Rosé Wine, Central Coast, California.
The bright, salmon hued and crisply Bandol inspired 2023 Oversand Wine Company Central Coast Rosé is expressive with tangy strawberry, ruby grapefruit, guava, watermelon and sour cherry fruit, along with rosewater, sage, minty herb, lavender and a salty refreshing accents. This steely, but flavorful dry pink is almost exclusively for the Nantucket Island and their local market and put together by wine guru Carl Sutton, who I talk about below, and who I recently caught up with while he was here in California. Sutton, who has wine projects from Sonoma to Nantucket, also is consulting with a winery in Arizona, has a long history as a winemaker and I first remember tasting his wild ferment and unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc in the early 2000s. Most recently, I saw him in his adopted hometown of San Francisco, around 2015, when he was selling his speciality dessert wine and his Vermouth, which had a cult following in the City. The Oversand project is brand new and looks to be a huge hit, mostly for a wine shop on Nantucket that commissioned it, as Summer season comes to the Island, a Provence style Rosé made with 78% Mourvèdre, 11% Grenache and 11% Cinsault, faithful to the legendary Domaine Tempier, Château Pradeaux and Gros Nore, should sell out quickly. This light bodied Oversand Wine Company dry Rosé is energetic stuff with mineral tones, wet stones and zippy acidity, it is in the league with Mourvèdre led pinks, like Bedrock’s Ode to Lulu, Liquid Farm, Star and Dust, Ian Brand’s P’Tit Payson and Randall Grahm’s original Bonny Doon Vin Gris. The label shows the map on Nantucket to find one of its famous lighthouses, hence the Oversand name.

Winemaker Carl Sutton who puts these Oversand Wine Company wines together, is formerly of Sutton Cellars, which was one of the original urban San Francisco wineries, founded in 1996 and famous for doing small lot natural style wines, before it was hip. all from from unique vineyard sites, mainly in Sonoma County. He says that is was wines hand made by a guy in a warehouse in Dogpatch, SF… and that, oh yeah, he also made a great vermouth, which was how I heard of him and he wasn’t wrong. Carl caught the Vermouth craze when cocktails were making their huge comeback in the mid 2000s perfectly and Negronis were all the better for his Vermouth. Now very much a practical winemaker with experience, Sutton, enjoyed a period with the dogma of of Natural Wine, on reflection he wouldn’t change a thing. He relates that, the idea at Sutton Cellars always had been to allow the most character (to shine through) in what he made (and makes) with the least amount of additions, processing, or manipulation. In the current zeitgeist of “natural” wines this may sound like a well worn trope, he adds, but the last time he filtered a wine was in the late 90s, the last he purchased yeast used was for a stuck ferment in 2004. Sutton always preferred organic, dry farmed fruit, as he still does, always hand harvested and sorted, and fermentations that go slow, usually lasting close to three weeks or more. In the last decade of Sutton Cellars the use of new oak has diminished to zero, and his new projects remain faithful to his vision, but with a focus on palate pleasure, as seen here with his Oversand Rosé, a wine perfect for lots of sunset walks and smiles. Let’s hope this wine finds its way to a broader audience, but be happy for those visiting Nantucket this Summer!
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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