Head-trained Zinfandel vineyard planted 1950/ Alexander Valley / 200 cases produced / 13.2 ABV 

Remember White Zinfandel? How could you forget? (or maybe you’d like to) That serendipitous accident back in the 70’s brought fortune and fame to a few, and inadvertently saved some of California’s oldest vineyards. It also gave the wine a bad rep, but who doesn’t love a checkered past? Fast forward to now, and while that old-school sweet style of White Zinfandel is still widely consumed and often derided, California Zinfandel is typically made as a dry, bold red wine with good spice and ample fruit. It can also produce a pale salmon-colored dry rosé with stone fruit flavors and mouthwatering acidity.

We made the Carpenter rosé from a couple tons of old head pruned Zinfandel grown on Alexander Valley Road midway between Healdsburg and Geyserville. We picked the grapes at about 22 brix and made the wine quickly to preserve the freshness, using whole clusters, racking after 48 hours, then cold-fermenting, racking again after fermentation completed. The wine settled for ~3 months and was bottled in February, 2020.

Fresh, bright and like spring in a glass.  It reminds me a little of biting into the season’s first giant, salted wedge of watermelon. Or a just-ripe nectarine with a whisper of white pepper (no, I don’t pepper my nectarines, but you get the gist). To me, rosé is about pleasure and not to be taken too seriously. This wine is seriously delicious. Quaffable. It goes with porches, pools, green fields and beaches, a BLT or BLAT, pasta and pesto, pizza, all the salty apero snacks.

Y’aura-t-il assez de rosé cet été? In other words, stock up before it’s gone.