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As I mentioned before when talking about this label’s Roussanne, Laramita Cellars is a new label from Willcox created by Greg Gonnerman, the owner of Chiricahua Ranch Vineyards in Willcox. Mr. Gonnerman’s fruit is highly sought after by many Arizona winemakers such as Kent Callaghan, Rob Hammelman, and Ray Stephens, so I’m excited that this label is being released, and I look forward to seeing Greg’s own work with his grapes. On that note, let’s take a look at the 2016 Laramita Cellars Rosé.
For the record, we’re almost finished with my June special series on Rosé… Which will go into July, apparently, as I have at least two other wines I want to talk about after this one. I suppose I need to drink faster!
Label Notes: Featured on the 2016 Rosé label is Energia by Arizona artist Marina Rynning. The plan is that each year the rosé label will feature new contemporary art by various Arizona artists.
The Wine: The 2016 Laramita Cellars Rosé is a maceration-style rosé; the main difference between this style and the direct press style is that the juice spends a little more time on the grape skins, thereby creating a more vibrant color. (And boy, howdy, is the color of this wine fantastic: a rich, shocking rose pink.) This wine was made from 100% Mourvèdre, sourced from Greg Gonnerman’s Chiricahua Ranch Vineyard, near Willcox. The grapes were harvested at 21.5 Brix. Rhone4600 was the yeast used to make this vintage, which spent over 12 hours on the skins. This vintage was made at the Sand-Reckoner facility by Rob Hammelman and Greg Gonnerman.
The Nose: At serving temperature, the nose of the 2016 Laramita Cellars Rosé opens with Bing cherry and raspberry; as the wine opens, different fruity notes of apricot, passionfruit, and guava emerge, intermingling with orange peel, sagebrush, and limestone.
The Palate: This wine opens with Grapefruit, passionfruit, peach, persimmon, and raspberry. The finish lasts for 43 seconds, with notes of limestone and sage, intermingling with high acidity.
The Pairing: I paired this Rosé with a nice day up along the Mogollon Rim, but cheeses like Manchego would work well with this vintage. You could also serve this wine with a light chicken dinner, or baba ghanoush as a vegetarian pairing.
Impressions: This solid, food-friendly, feminine rose strikes me as being somewhat indifferent, and rather academic: kind of like an Ornithologist who prefers field work, but is stuck teaching summer courses. It’s simple and refreshing, but that’s what makes a good summer Rosé.
I do admit this is probably my favorite Mourvèdre Rosé I’ve tasted outside of France. Drink this vintage now, or save it for Thanksgiving.