Tercero RoséHere’s a rosé to rave about, and this from someone who is not normally a rosé fan. I don’t enjoy their slightly sweet, pinky-dinky quality…and then I found the 2014 Mourvedre Rosé from Tercero.


Instead of the usual strawberry and/or melon aromas, this rosé smells—and tastes of guava and passion fruit with a deep, earthy heft along with perfectly balanced acids.


Right away, the color hits you: a salmony, pale orange hue which, according to winemaker Larry Schaffer, is the color you get if “you take a cluster of Mourvedre grapes at harvest and squeeze it.” He points out that young Mouvedre has “lots of structure, even though the juice was only in contact with the skins for a little over an hour.” Fun fact: the grapes were “foot stomped” by Larry.

Larry Schaffer with bottle

Foot-stomping winemaker, Larry Schaffer

After an hour on skins, it was cold fermented in stainless steel for about three weeks, then spent another three months in older French oak barrels, where it acquired its depth, spice, and earthiness.


Altogether delicious, this rosé is a “happy” wine, just incidentally from Vogelzang vineyard in Happy Canyon. And by changing one letter, Vogelzang becomes German for “bird song” (Vogelsang). Bird song from Happy Canyon: the perfect description of a lusciously different, exceptional rosé.

All for $22 at retail!!


I’ve long been partial to the racy, radiant Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region, in particular the offerings from Pernod Ricard Winemakers. This year was no different except that I also found one of their Pinot Noirs to rave about at the New Zealand Wine Fair — April 27th, 2015 — in San Francisco. Namely, the Brancott Estate Letter Series “T” Marlborough Pinot 2012.


The complexity of flavors is matched, or should I say produced, by the complexity of its production: This particular Pinot is released only when the highest quality standards can be achieved for the vintage.

BrancottEstateLetterSeriesTBalanced on that knife’s edge perfection of rich fruit and velvety tannins, the Series “T” was made by combining grapes from several vineyards on the estate: over half the fruit was handpicked from terraced blocks, the remainder machine harvested from flatter areas. After the grapes were de-stemmed, they sat in small open-top fermenters for a cold soak of about five days, then gentle extraction was effected by plunging and nitrogen rummaging.


The handpicked fruit was allowed to wild ferment, the machine-harvested grapes were inoculated with a range of yeasts for further complexity. After a post-fermentation maceration period to tame and integrate the tannins, the wine was racked to barrels for malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity.


The wine was matured for eleven months in barrel prior to blending. No fining or filtration was used prior to bottling.


The result is an extremely attractive, nuanced, fruit-forward Pinot presenting cherry/berry aromas with subtle hints of mocha and spice along with delicate floral undertones. The wine’s texture is at once smooth yet fleshy, palate gripping yet taste bud soothing.

$28-$34 at retail

Available from Paul Demartini

Pernod Ricard USA — 415.823.9468



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