Wine Last Sold on: December 21, 2012
|Region:||California: Oakville (Napa)|
2012 WINE INTRIGUE AWARDS WINNER:
Agents’ Choice: Top Rosé of 2012
Welcome to day five of the 6th Annual Wine Spies Wine Intrigue Awards. Every year, our Operatives and our Agents choose their favorite wines of the past year. Today, we are very pleased to present our Agents’ favorite Rosé - of any that we showcased in 2012.
Mission Codename: Worth the Wait
- Agent Red
- Return to Swanson Vineyards and secure the latest vintage of a Wine Spies’ Operative favorite, their stunning 2011 Rosato.
- Mission Status
- Chris Phelps
Now more than six years down the road, showcasing one great wine each day, we have had the great fortune to sample several of the last vintages of today’s extraordinary Swanson Rosato.
Today’s brilliant 2011 Swanson Rosato is a delicious, balanced, flavorful wine that is the best Swanson Roasto that we have ever tasted.
If you love a delicious Rose that has plenty of character, then we really encourage you to sample today’s very special wine. Sip it all on its own, or enjoy with a pepperoni pizza, hard cheeses or a wide variety of foods. This wine is as flexible as it is delicious. Don’t miss out!
Beautiful dark pink, with dark salmon-colored edges that glint when they catch the light. After swirling, tall, thick legs form high up on the glass wall, before sauntering slowly downward.
Sweet and savory and lush, with strawberry, raspberry and watermelon rind, up front. As the wine warms, even slightly, additional notes are released, including dried pink flower petals, white peach and soft mineral notes.
Soft on entry, then the wine takes on a medium bodied, crisp and lively feel. The wine gradually takes on a softly dry feel, with a slight slate minerality. The soft dryness spreads from the center of the palate, out to the lips and cheeks.
Bright and focused, with young strawberry, underripe raspberry, white peach and red flower petals providing the predominant notes. Allow the wine to warm and additional subtle flavors are released, including Rainier cherry, soft white spice, bramble, white pear and slate.
Ultra clean and very refreshing, this wine starts with sweet and tart flavors that fade very slowly. As fruit dwindles, faint white spice and a crisp minerality are left behind.
What the Winery Says
Arguably our best Rosato in recent memory, the 2011 Swanson Rosato of Sangiovese has a bright, pink salmon color. Very fruity – strawberry, raspberry and watermelon on the nose, with an ethereal rose petal note. The acidity is nicely attuned to the fruity/floral aspects of the flavors. Dry on the palate, and surprisingly full-bodied. Bright bing cherry on the finish. Our Rosato works well as an aperitif, and pairs very nicely with lighter fowl, especially turkey, chicken and Cornish game hen.
The season began with heavy March rains and a cool spring, followed by enough warm weather in May to ensure a good fruit set. July and August were cool, temperatures did not exceed 100 degrees. The season remained quite cool in September resulting in a relatively late harvest at full flavor development on September 28th. We hand-harvested quickly in the cool early morning hours, and then cold-pressed the fruit immediately upon arrival at the winery.
We sourced the Sangiovese component for this dry rosé from the Antica Vineyard, farmed by the Antinori family, in the Atlas Peak appellation, where rocky, alluvial soils keep the vines small and the fruit concentrated in flavor. The Syrah was grown at La Herradura Vineyard in Conn Valley, near St. Helena, on a well-drained hillside with sandy-loam soils. The magic in the 2011 Rosato is due largely to the synergy between the fruit from these two diverse sources.
About the Winery
We are a family winery founded on a passion for evolving the existing standards of wine and food. In the 1950s, long before founding Swanson Vineyards, the Swanson family introduced the first lifestyle product, Swanson frozen dinners, which helped women get out of the kitchen and enjoy life.
In 1985, at his 25th Stanford University reunion, W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. was inspired by a tip from a fraternity brother and successful vintner to purchase a parcel of vineyard land on the Oakville Cross Road in the heart of Napa Valley.
Clarke immediately hired André Tchelistcheff, one of the century’s most influential winemakers, as a consultant to help determine how to make the best use of the vineyards. For André the answer was to plant the then relatively unknown variety merlot—a move that would shape the future of Swanson Vineyards.
The family continues to expand the simple and sensual pleasures of life through Swanson Vineyards. With an eye toward quality, relevance and innovation, the next generation is enticing a whole new audience with a progressive approach to wine, food and the good life.
About The Winemakers
By the summer of 1987 the vineyards were replanted, and André made another influential suggestion—to hire the young novice talent Marco Cappelli to oversee winemaking. Marco, a first-generation Italian-American, was 26 and hired based on André’s gut instinct. It was a wise decision; Marco’s distinctive wines became the founding flavors of Swanson Vineyards.
For the rest of his life André lent his visionary talents to our winemaking pursuits, meeting with Marco biweekly and consulting on matters of the vine and winery. Marco remained Swanson’s winemaker for seventeen years, after which he purchased his own vineyard in the California Foothills. Marco is currently making four dessert wines for Swanson, which include Angelica, Crepuscule, Arsene, and Les Trois Filles.
In 2003, Swanson Vineyards was fortunate to obtain the talent of Chris Phelps as its new winemaker. Chris has had an illustrious career in the wine industry, first as winemaker at Dominus for twelve years and at Caymus Vineyards for six years. His wines are more refined and sophisticated than ever, yet they remain delightfully accessible and approachable—the perfect embodiment of our trademark decadence with a wink.