Caraccioli Cellars Brut Rose 2009MADE BY CARACCIOLI CELLARS IN GONZALES, CALIFORNIA
Caraccioli Cellars, a family run winery, makes sparkling wines using the traditional Champagne method. They use hand-harvested Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from the Santa Lucia Highlands that are fermented first in stainless steel (with 40 percent then aged in neutral French oak) before being racked and bottled for four years sur lies (over the expired yeast cells) to extract more flavor. It’s then riddled (wine speak for removing that sediment) disgorged and then aged for 16 more months!
Caraccioli's Brut Rosé undergoes the same production methods as their Brut Cuvée (a must try) and employs the same varietal blend of sixty percent Chardonnay, forty percent Pinot Noir. But for the rosé, their winemaker hand selects each barrel of Pinot Noir to blend, resulting in an elegant, salmon-colored rosé with soft, complex notes of strawberry, apple, melon and baked bread. It's a balanced, yet explosive ride that ends with a long, crisp finish.
TIP OF THE TONGUE
Caraccioli Cellars takes their sparkling wines very seriously. According to French law, Champagne houses must use the first 150 gallons of juice pressed from each ton of grapes. Caraccioli goes a step further and uses only the first 120 gallons to provide the best "heart juice."