2020 Hundred Suns, Space Cat Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The crisp Summer refresher, the Space Cat Rosé by Hundred Suns Winery is a dry Rosé made from 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir crafted to excite the palate in flavorful way that is impactful versus dull with bright mineral intensity and fairly remarkable depth of flavors with raspberry water, sour cherry, juicy watermelon, zingy citrus, orange tea spiciness and hints of rosewater. This wine strikes a fine balance between the lean or too light and full flavored and weight styles with a substantial structural feel, and its layers flow impressively and makes for a wine that can go with a wider array of foods as well as drinking quite nice all by itself, its vivid acidity and wet stone element keeps things lively and less fruity. Grant and Renée at Hundred Suns Winery are killing it right now and their lineup is full of lusty stuff, especially their single vineyard Pinots, like the Shea and Sequitur Vineyard(s) bottlings, as well as the devastatingly delicious Gamay and this fun Space Cat Rosé, which sadly sells out too fast. As I have suggested in my reviews of Hundred Suns, getting on their list is a must, which benefited me in getting this very limited release.

Grant Coulter and Rene Saint-Amour’s Hundred Suns Winery, based in McMinnville, is one of the most exciting labels in Oregon these days and as noted here, Coulter’s experience with Beaux Freres, as head winemaker, has made him one of the state’s most sought after Pinot Noir producers crafting many excellent examples from his Old Eight Cut cuvee, one of the best values in Pinot Noir (and now Chardonnay too), to the mentioned special single vineyard collection. In recent years Grant and Renée have planted their own vineyard and Grant has taken on the winemaking at the very impressive Flaneur Winery as well, where he hand crafts Pinot, Chard, Sparkling and a bit of Meunier. Also they have released a couple of interesting Rhones too, with an Oregon Syrah and a Washington State Grenache, both of which are wonderfully tasty. The wines here are all made with unique to themselves methods with various levels of whole cluster and vessels employed for fermentation and aging with even some amphora used, making for some intriguing textural wines. I missed out on the early versions of the Space Cat Rosé, so I’m glad I grabbed a few bottles of this 2020, which I plan to covet for the warm days this year!
($20 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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