Although we make about 25 different wines at Mercer Wine Estates, our Rose’ is one of the wines I get most excited about. We grow a block of Grenache specifically to make rose’, quite a luxury for a winemaker.
What do we do different?
It all starts in the vineyard. We hang a heavier crop to delay ripening and coloring up of the fruit. The heavier fruit load slows down the ripening; we are able to get flavor development while the sugar, pH and acidity is still appropriate for Rose’ wine. When the flavors and acidity is just right, we machine harvest the Grenache to allow for maceration to begin right away. The trip from the vineyard to the winery results in beautiful pink juice on arrival. We drain some of the juice off into tank, then put all the fruit into the press and allow it to soak overnight. After 12-24 hours of soaking, we drain off all the juice and begin pressing the grapes. At this point, I stand next to the press and taste every couple of minutes. Once I detect the slightest hint of tannin in the juice, we shut the press off. The juice that we collect is allowed to cold settle for 2 days, then we clean rack it and inoculate with a yeast that is selected to help with aromatic expression. We ferment the rose’ nice and cool for 25-30 days. At the end, we end up with a wine that is delicate in color, aroma and mouthfeel and absolutely delicious to drink.
This is one of our favorite drinking wines–while we feel that most wine pairs best with good company and food to really enhance both the wine and food, Rosé doesn’t need anything extra. Easy drinking, pretty, and a great companion to a good book or a beautiful vista.
If you do want to pair this with dinner, we suggest Cantonese dishes (steamed shrimp dumplings, wide rice noodles with braised pork or beef), Mexican Seaside cuisine (ceviche), South-East Asian Salads (mango salads, gado-gado) and egg dishes–brunch!–poached eggs, quiches.
Our 2016 Rosé was released March 2017 and is available for purchase here.
Jessica Munnell, Winemaker