When Rich Olsen-Harbich arrived at Bedell Cellars, he wanted to make an impact and impression as soon as he could. He wanted to put his fingerprint on Bedell Cellars wines.
After discussions with founding winemaker Kip Bedell and the rest of the staff, Rich was going to use indigenous yeast and move in the direction of natural winemaking, something he was doing over in Raphael, with every single variety and varietal.
Corey Creek Vineyards – the sister vineyard in the Bedell Cellars Family – always produced a rose called “Domaines CC Rosé”. The “CC” for Corey Creek. That changed when Rich arrived. Bedell Cellars was going to have a Rosé.
Bedell has a successful Taste lineup with a white blend called Taste White (a review of the 2009 is due soon) and a Taste Red blend. The Taste lineup is their second tier blends that carry a bit more of a mouth feel. Now the Taste lineup can add a Rosé to the lineup.
Bedell Cellars 2010 Taste Rosé ($18) is a blend of 62% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 7% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot. It is whole cluster pressed — meaning the grapes clusters are not taken off the stem at harvest and pressed right away. The juice that flows from the pressing is fermented naturally using indigenous yeast. That explains the light pink, almost salmon color to the wine.
The Merlot grapes that were used come from a section of the Bedell vineyard, C Block North. Of all the blocks at Bedell Cellars, this block was typically not making the best red wine. When Rich makes Rosé he likes to identify and designate the vineyard block that you want to make rose from. And based on the history of this block, Rich wanted to see what the block was like as harvest approached. When it was time to make the call, it was designated as rose based on the aromatics. Rich felt it would be a great block for rose. So instead of fermenting it in barrel’s, taking up valuable space in the cellar, Rich made the call to turn it into rose. It turns out to be a great call.
On the nose there are aromas of ruby grapefruit, strawberry and rocky minerality. Secondary aromas of rhubarb, grape must and savory herbs, like sage. As the wine warms to room temperature, there are hints of watermelon, raspberry and tropical fruit like star fruit and passion fruit.
On the palate the wine is shows flavors of strawberry and sweet herbs with a rose petal and white pepper twist. Bright acidity and bone dry it is followed by a round lush mouth feel.
The finish is long with hints of mint and fresh picked strawberry.
It’s the unofficial start of Rosé season here on Undertaking Wine!
Sláinte!*I received this bottle as a sample from the vineyard
A quick note about this photo: After I had arrived home from a my visit with Rich at Bedell Cellars, he gave me this bottle of Rosé as a sample. When I got home just before 9pm, my son Gabe was still awake, though very tired. When I walked in the door, he was very happy to see me. I went over and gave him a big kiss. I put this bottle down on the table in front of him and as I turned he reached for it and grabbed it. The way he was holding it and looking at the bottle, it had me in stitches, I had to snap a photo. I thought to my self, either he is going to like Rose or he is going to like blonds.