2018 Big Basin Vineyards, Rosé, California.
The Big Basin Rosé is a treat, made from Carignane from 90 year old vines, plus a touch of Grenache, Mourvedre and maybe a little Syrah, with the main portion of the (Carignane) grapes coming from Wirz Vineyard in Cienega Valley, which is different than from some of the Rosés that Bradley Brown of Big Basin has done in the past that were more GSM based, making for an interesting and slightly fresher style version. Brown says that the two last vintages with Carignane, as the centerpiece of his Rosé has been remarkably success and that his fans have given him their thumbs up on it, and I can add mine too, this is delightful and refreshing stuff that has old vine concentration, lively acidity, mineral focus and is dusty bone dry. This modern California Rhone inspired Rosé joins an ever increasing list of small production groovy dry Pink wines in the state like Arnot-Roberts, L’Aventure and Epoch to name a few and is a nice addition to Brown’s stellar lineup of wines that includes his iconic Rattlesnake Rock Estate Syrah, along with his whole-cluster set of Pinot Noir(s) and other fine offerings.
The 2018 was a great vintage on the Central Coast and Big Basin’s Rosé shows this in complexity, bright detail and perfect ripeness v. acidity with distilled raspberry, strawberry, tart/tangy cherry, melon and pink ruby grapefruit fruits along with a melon fleshiness, dried herbs, rosewater, wild spices and wet stones. This is wonderfully transparent and has a nice steely edge too, and even sort at the end of Rosé season it delivers a depth of flavors and vibrancy that makes it irresistible and great with food, especially picnic fare, mussels in broth with country bread and with BBQ. This vintage shows a pale pinkish salmon color in the glass and it develops a nice delicate floral bouquet with air, Brown allowed it a short soak on the skins before its all native fermentation. This unfined and unfiltered Big Basin Rosé, with only 250 cases made is a rarity, but well worth searching out even at this point, it will drink well until the next vintage is released next Summer. I also want to note, Big Basin’s latest Coastview Chardonnay is fabulous and if you want a sleeper wine, it will really impress white Burgundy fans!
($27 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive