Rose Secrets

Last week we released our 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. The wine is delicious and we have boosted production in an effort to meet an increasing demand. Rose is no longer a summer – only beverage, and is rightfully taking its place as a year round choice. The reason is clear – Rose can and should be an attraction to the eye and a pleasure to the palate.



Mike T. Rose is quickly becoming a real part of our family of wines. The reason is pretty clear – the wine is a treat – clean, tasty and refreshing. What’s the secret?

Evelyn W. There are a couple of things we do that set our wine apart. The first thing is our choice of grape; Pinot Noir has bright fruit flavors, especially when not overly ripe.

Mike T. Does that mean we pick our Rose fruit earlier than that out our regular Pinot Noir?

Evelyn W. Exactly. We can then accentuate the fruit while keeping the acid levels lively.

Mike T. Then what?

Evelyn W. We keep the juice in skin contact for 8 – 10 hours in order to get the color we want, and then we have the wine go through a slow cold fermentation.

Mike T. A traditional process for Rose production is known as “saignee,” whereby red grapes are crushed and left on their skins for hours, then a certain amount is “bled” off to make Rose. The rest is made into red wine. Why not use that method?

Evelyn W. Mostly because the main effort in that procedure is concentrated on the red wine production. The grapes
are picked at optimum conditions for the red wine, usually too ripe for rose.

Mike T. So now we know.

Rose Secrets

Last week we released our 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. The wine is delicious and we have boosted production in an effort to meet an increasing demand. Rose is no longer a summer – only beverage, and is rightfully taking its place as a year round choice. The reason is clear – Rose can and should be an attraction to the eye and a pleasure to the palate.
Mike T. Rose is quickly becoming a real part of our family of wines. The reason is pretty clear – the wine is a treat – clean, tasty and refreshing. What’s the secret?
Evelyn W. There are a couple of things we do that set our wine apart. The first thing is our choice of grape; Pinot Noir has bright fruit flavors, especially when not overly ripe.
Mike T. Does that mean we pick our Rose fruit earlier than that out our regular Pinot Noir?
Evelyn W. Exactly. We can then accentuate the fruit while keeping the acid levels lively.
Mike T. Then what?
Evelyn W. We keep the juice in skin contact for 8 – 10 hours in order to get the color we want, and then we have the wine go through a slow cold fermentation.
Mike T. A traditional process for Rose production is known as “saignee,” whereby red grapes are crushed and left on their skins for hours, then a certain amount is “bled” off to make Rose. The rest is made into red wine. Why not use that method?
Evelyn W. Mostly because the main effort in that procedure is concentrated on the red wine production. The grapes are picked at optimum conditions for the red wine, usually too ripe for rose.
Mike T. So now we know.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

St. Valentine’s weekend is our traditional release date for our Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. This year is no exception. Come on by the Tasting Room and sample our new release from the 1010 vintage. We will serve some of these delicious cookies to pair with the wine.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons good quality strawberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine strawberries, jam, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons of sugar.
  4. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in the cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in the strawberry mixture, just until combined.
  6. Drop 2 tablespoon portions of dough onto baking sheets, spacing evenly apart.
  7. Sprinkle with sugar
  8. Bake until golden brown 25 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer cookies with a spatula to a wire rack, and let cool.
  10. These cookies are best served the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
This recipe makes about 3 dozen Strawberry Shortcake Cookies. Serve with Taft Street’s 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir (of course).

February Findings

After a very wet December, January turned out to be a drying out period. This gave many growers the opportunity to get into their vineyards and complete pruning. At the winery, bottling took off again, and our 2010 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc was bottled for a March release. As winemaker Evelyn White pointed out in our latest blog –“Conversations with Evelyn”– winter months are not the drowsy time many imagine. Rather, the time is well used cleaning everything, topping barrels, maintain machinery – keeping the place in shape. February’s big event is the release of our 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. Over the past several years this has become a staff and local favorite, and we have quickly sold out each vintage. We made a bit more of the wine in 2010, and we will release it on Valentine’s Day weekend, starting Saturday, February 12th. Join us at the Tasting Room, where we will pair the wine with some appropriate goodies. We also look forward to Saturday, January 19th, where we will pour our award winning 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Garagistes, 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and the 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay at the San Francisco Chronicle’s American Wine Competition Tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The year is off to a good start, as Laurie and Clayton continue to grow our retail and restaurant accounts list. We hope to continue expanding our in house sales, and will keep you posted as new events unfold. We’ve begun preparations for Next month’s Russian River Wine Road’s Annual Barrel Tasting (March 4th && 5th, 11th && 12th). In the meantime, we are enjoying the opportunity to greet visitors and share with them our family of wines; including our newest members – 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris and 2010 Sonoma Count y Pinot Noir. Come join us. Cheers, Mike Tierney President, Taft Street Winery