By Celia Strong
Spring is here, so we all sort of shift gears and start thinking sunnier thoughts. And that includes our wine thoughts. And, of course, we’ll need a new wine to keep our happy thoughts.
This is the very first time our wine for this week has ever been made. It’s a new rosé from California.
Most of us have heard of Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa, and its “second label,” Decoy. (Second labels are used by wineries as sources for wines that may cost less than their main label, may use grape varieties and grape sources that are different from their main label, may let them sell grapes that are not as good in a any one year as they like to use for their main label. For Duckhorn, Decoy was established as a more affordable line of everyday wines.)
The first Decoy wine was released more than 25 years ago. Today, Decoy has six wines, all from Sonoma County.
The grapes for Decoy wines come from many vineyards that they own. Some from vineyards Duckhorn owns. And some are from special growers.
Each vineyard’s grapes are fermented separately. In some vintages, they do up to 150 separate wines. It’s only after the fermentation that they decide which batches to use.
Decoy has its own winery and its own winemakers. But everyone in the Duckhorn-Decoy family works together to make their wines the best they can be. Attention to detail in the vineyard as well as in the winery make Decoy wines as good as they are.
Decoy Rosé 2016 was inspired by the great rosé wines of Provence. Many rosé wines are made, in the beginning at least, by crushing red grapes and removing the juice before too much color is achieved.
Decoy purposely harvests their rosé grapes at a lower Brix (ratio of sugar to juice inside the grapes). This lets them preserve their wine’s beautiful aromatics, pure fruit flavors and crisp, dry, refreshing mouth-feel.
The 2016 growing season had plenty of winter rains followed by spring and summer moderate temperatures with lots of sun. The harvest in 2016 was a bit early (Aug. 6 to Sept. 5) and had an average yield. The grapes were excellent quality with richness and complexity and superb acidity. Perfect for Decoy’s new rosé.
Decoy Rosé 2016 is made from 58 percent Syrah (a new variety for them) and 42 percent Pinot Noir. The grapes were from three different vineyards. They were all fermented in stainless steel for 21 days at 54 degrees Fahrenheit.
The wine, our wine, is a lively pale pink color. It is packed with strawberry aromas mixed with watermelon, as well as hints of lemon zest and wildflowers. In your mouth it feels bright and exhilarating and elegant.
The flavors are these red fruits along with tart cherry and red currant, and a tiny hint of herbs. Its acidity is refreshing and helps define the wine’s flavors.
All of which sounds about perfect for a new pink for this spring. And happy thoughts. For $17.99. Enjoy.