Aridus, Arizona, Arizona Terroir, arizona wine, Asmundson family, az wine, AZwine, Deep Sky Vineyards, grenache, Grenache Noir, Nebula, Rhone varietals, Rob Hammelman, Rosé, Willcox, Willcox Bench, Willcox Grapes, Willcox Wine, wine
Deep Sky Vineyards, recently featured in Arizona Wine Lifestyle, is a vineyard with a little bit of a twist. The Asmundson family, the owners of deep sky, also have a vineyard in Argentina. Inspired by the dark skies of the nights at the high desert, the Asmundson family are devoted to producing amazing wines, and amazing grapes. I covered a little bit of their street cred in the review of the Page Springs Viognier made with fruit from their vineyard (see http://azwinemonk.com/2015/02/17/arizona-wine-monk-deep-sky-vineyards-viognier-chenin-blanc-page-springs-cellars/), but it’s high time that I review a wine specifically from their Deep Sky label. Since theoretically the weather will get warmer soon once more, I opted for the Nebula rosé.
The Wine: The 2014 Nebula is a rosé made of Grenache Noir. The fruit for this wine came from Deep Sky Vineyards itself, located on the Willcox Bench, and was processed at the Aridus custom crush facility in Willcox. The fruit was processed by Rob Hammelman, and I was told that the wine itself was made by Mark Phillips. Both winemakers had an influence in the making of this wine, as far as I can discern. The wine was aged for two months on neutral French oak. 63 cases were produced. Unlike most rosé wines in Arizona, this was produced in a screwtop–specifically designed thus so that it would be easier to take on a camping trip or for a picnic lunch. (It’s a good idea, considering how perfect these wines are for such activities in Arizona. The only other one I’m aware of is one Kent Callighan produced) It is a deep, rich copper-salmon pink color, which actually reminds me of the Aurora Borealis I saw many years ago. It’s always interesting to me how dark Grenache rosé is in Arizona, compared to equivalent wines in this style coming from Provence.
EDIT: I have also been recently informed that a little bit of Petit Sirah was put into this wine just before bottling, which likely explains why this rosé is so dark.
The Nose: The nose is soft and elegant, with hints of sandalwood, gardenia, crushed sandstone, rosehips, thyme, sage, vanilla, grapefruit, starfruit, mint, and a touch of acacia and, oddly enough, fresh-cut cucumber. It’s also a little hot on the nose, but not unreasonably so.
The Palate: Mint continues on the palate, giving this wine a super-refreshing first impression. The mint intermingles with sage, apple, strawberry, grapefruit, hints of orange and white tea, with a random hint of apple. There’s a nice crisp acidity that makes this wine thirst quenching and exceedingly food friendly. The finish lasts for about 20 seconds. There is no heat on the palate; instead, it’s very refreshing.
Pairing: I hate to harp on ceviche as being a common pairing with our food-friendly acidic whites and rosé here in Arizona, but if something works, don’t knock it. Barring that, a friendly picnic lunch consisting of a ham and turkey club sandwich with swiss cheese, lettuce, and dijon mustard would also work really well here. Or, you can drink the Nebula straight up on a 100 degree plus day.
Impression: This is a great summer wine, well suited for porch-pounding, drinking by the pool, or after a hike, or on a picnic adventure. I’m looking forward to future vintages from Deep Sky Vineyards. Your best bet to find a bottle of this is either to track them down at festivals, or order from their website at http://deepskyvineyard.com/wines/
If the 2014 Nebula rosé were a person, it would be an astrophysicist that enjoys surfing on the weekends, since he feels that’s where he does his best thinking. His surfboard is actually a place where he’s written some of his complex equations, in fact, which is why it’s covered with material to make it akin to a dry erase board.