Celebrate Summer Solstice with La Fleur Craig Rosé
A Note from Elton Slone on the 2021 Release |
The warm weather has arrived after an unusually cool and windy Spring here on Howell Mountain and on Mount Veeder. Along with celebrating Mom, Spring also marks our transition to outdoor dining, gardening, an easing of work tensions (unless you’re a farmer) and a move to lighter dishes and wines as the heat of summer elbows its way in. Along with the first taste of summer comes the endless parade of rosé offers to my inbox. Everyone from the embattled Brad Pitt (Angelina’s oligarch buddies are a problem there In the partnership if you haven’t heard) to Jon Bon Jovi to every other producer of pink plonk in the universe has come out of the woodwork to offer up their flavorless solution to hydration-while-imbibing wine.
California alone offers up an endless sea of selections from Mendocino to San Diego. However, as the late, great Sean Connery noted in his underrated role as Juan Sanchez-Villalobos Ramirez in the terrific 1986 film “Highlander,” “There can be only ONE!” The time to claim your portion of California’s best-of-show Rosé has arrived.
Our 2021 Fleur de Craig Rosé from old-vine, Alban clone Grenache situated in the heart of our Howell Mountain Candlestick Ridge Vineyard is a thrilling example of what is possible with Rosé in California. Unlike 95% (at the minimum) of the Rosés produced in California, our Rosé is “intentional Rosé” meaning that it is not produced from draining down juice from the press in order to intensify color in red wine, a process known as “Saignée”. (You can look up “Saignée” for pronunciation guidance on Google, but it is simpler to remember that it rhymes with “uninspired”).
[Read more from Elton below …]
The 2021 vintage for us at Robert Craig Winery was an extremely small yielding one at 55% lower than normal for our crop. The stress from the fires and from the drought had our mountain vines in a state of discomfort for the entire year. However, the quality of the 2021 wines is nothing short of extraordinary, and our Rosé was the beneficiary of that elevated intensity for sure. Winemaker Jason Price along with Yordanos and Carly honed in on the Rosé as never before to seek that unique expression from our stony vineyard on Howell Mountain.
Our 2021 Rosé was harvested in early September at very low brix, pressed gently after only a kiss from the deeply colored skins of the Grenache berries, and fermented, utterly dry, in small bins before transfer to neutral oak. The pale, salmon color that we have been searching for (all over the south of France) has finally been achieved in 2021. Dried rose petals, bright bursts of citrus rind, red rock, cigarette box and bramble berry leap from the glass and the nose of this racy, complex wine.
At last, I can say without hesitation that there are no more tweaks that I wish we could have made in the process of making this Rosé. This is your opportunity to grab one of the few cases produced as one of our club members and best customers. The price isn’t nothing, but the wine is being sold at essentially our cost as a treat for the people who have supported us through the years. Thank you for your continued advocacy of what we do here, and please enjoy a relaxing and rewarding summertime.
Love and Peace,
2021 La Fleur Craig Grenache Rosé
Available to Members Only Until 7/1/22
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