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It’s the first sunny day in a while, so I’m going to officially pronounce this the beginning of Rosé season.  At least for now.  It’s also been a while since we’ve hung out with John Scarbrough’s wines at Fire Mountain.  I was originally going to save this wine for an article in The Noise, but when I heard that this wine is almost completely gone from the tasting room, I figured I should review it on the blog instead.  So, without further ado, let’s explore the Cicada Rosé.

(Speaking as a native, I have to say the choice of Cicada as the name for an Arizona rosé is a no-brainer.  Both rosé and the buzzing of cicadas are things that, to me, typify the hot summers of Arizona; there’s been many days where I’ve sat out on my deck drinking a local rosé while listening to the echoing buzz of cicadas, while waiting the summer monsoons to roll down Mingus Mountain.  That trifecta to me *means* Arizona summers. But I digress.)

Cicada rose

It’s rosé season again: here’s the 2015 Cicada cooling down in Bitter Creek

The Wine: The 2015 Cicada rosé is made from 100% Sangiovese, coming from Carlson Creek Vineyards, out on the Willcox bench.  It was cold-soaked for three days, before being pressed, and fermented in steel.  It was further aged in neutral French oak for four months.  It’s such a pale salmon pink color that I would have assumed this rose was a saignée at first! The wine was made by John Scarbrough at the ASV facility.

The Nose: The nose of this wine is quite soft.  Apircot,  ripe strawberries, and grapefruit are the primary openers, intermingling with white tea and the ancient Pedregossa sea. As the wine opens up, I pick up a little bit of mint and raspberry also.

The Palate:   There’s a lovely refreshing acidity here, making this wine quite thirst-quenching.  The palate opens with bright raspberry, grapefruit, bergemot, and Herbs de Provence. The finish is quite long for a rosé, with lingering notes of white tea, muskmelon, and seasalt, lasting for an insane 2 minutes and 23 seconds (and even then it comes back once in a while)

The Pairing:  A warm late spring afternoon with a slight breeze next to a creek, or while sitting on a deck overlooking the Verde Valley, while contemplating the nature of existence and listening to birdsong… but do not porchpound this wine.  In terms of food, I’d pair the 2015 Cicada Rosé with a savory grilled lemon salmon with herbs and some basmati rice with saffron.  For a vegetarian/vegan pairing, go for an asian-style salad with pine nuts, watercress, and water chestnuts.

Impressions: This is a super juicy rosé with a lot of acidity, and it is pretty dang refreshing.  That being said, it is also among the most elegant rosés I’ve seen in Arizona for a while: this is not just a simple porch-pounder wine, and the Cicada demands your full respect and attention.  Do not treat this wine casually, as you will miss a lot of finesse present in this wine otherwise.

Were the 2015 Cicada Rosé a person, this wine, being Sangiovese, is of course your best friend of the opposite sex in the world.  You’re sitting, relaxing, having a treat-yourself day in the spa, talking philosophy and catching up on everything that’s happened in the world since the last time you spoke.