2021 Soleil Rouge Rosé de Pinot Noir
We know that spring has finally arrived when we bottle Soleil Rouge, and most importantly it is with great joy that we release our first (and only) wine harvested since the onset of the pandemic. Spring is all about renewal and shading the darkness of winter, it is a joyous season, full of promises. It is time to fill our cellars with wonderful Rosé from Palette (Chateau Simone), Bandol, Tavel, Corsica, and Marsannay in Burgundy. Rosé celebrates the arrival of summer: The brilliant sun-ripened tomatoes, vegetables, fruits, and fragrant herbs that will be part of our many summer feasts with friends at our table.
Rosé Returns from Exile
How did treasures like Chablis or Rosé become slang for cheap jug wine? We call it the California Curse, a modern tragedy. Our story begins with Chablis, the incomparable Grand Cru White Burgundy epitomized by Raveneau, Fevre, and Savary. That’s a nice name, how about putting some undrinkable “Chardonnay juice” in a green jug with a twist cap, and voila! Mission accomplished, Chablis is now mouthwash. A more tragic scene follows for Chablis’ cousin the great Rosé wines of Provence, Tavel, Anjou, and Marsannay in Burgundy, made famous by Domaine Tempier, Ott, et al. Our hero is upstaged by the arrival of the “California blush wine.” Wineries used their spoiled grapes for Rosé and left sweetness in the wine, hoping to cover the rotten flavors. NO Thank You!! Adding insult to injury, our story concludes when a large producer introduces “sweetened” (yeah, right) “Pink Chablis.” For some wines, it is never time…
Fortunately, the reputation of these amazing wines has been rescued by Monsieur Kermit Lynch in Berkeley who had the vision and tenacity to bring us Domaine Tempier and Raveneau. Merci Monsieur Lynch et a votre sante.
Unfortunately, since our first vintage of Soleil Rouge over a decade ago, Rosé has become – dare we say – popular, indeed, trendy. Sacré Bleu! But like so many things that become fashionable, the market responds and we are now drowning in a glut of insipid pink wines with all the character of colored water. There are two methods to make Rosé – the traditional method of harvesting grapes destined for the cuvée, crushing in whole cluster then allowing a few hours of skin contact for color and flavors. The other method is Saignée (to bleed, also called free-run juice), to take some of the juice from the tank intended for a traditional wine. At Soliste, Soleil Rouge is not an afterthought, we use the finest Pinot Noir clusters to make our Rosé. Not because it is the economical way, but because it is the right way to make an exceptional Rosé which is a wine, crafted from 100% Pinot Noir, and not a flimsy beverage. Like the great Rosé from Domaine Tempier, it will age beautifully. If you can resist the temptation, enjoy them towards the end of summer – or if you are exceptionally patient, keep a few bottles in your cellar for a year or two, or more. We enjoyed a bottle together from our 2014 vintage with Thai food the other day.
2021 Soleil Rouge Rosé de Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
We always look forward to this time of year to celebrate the arrival of Soleil Rouge – our crisp, vivacious refreshing Rosé with complexity and balanced acidity that, we will promise you, will not last long in our cellars. The only thing better than a chilled glass of Rosé is another glass of Rosé, followed by a glass of Soliste Pinot Noir. Share the joy.
Soleil Rouge is “Le Vin des Amis” – fresh, lively, served chilled to warm your heart and fill you with joy and conviviality. Enjoy with charcuterie, oysters, or our favorite, fire pit paella. Even fewer cases were made this year (have we not learned anything yet?) – they will be gone far too soon!
Le Regard / The Look
Brilliant soft pink with dancing copper minerality specs, palest peach skin color reminiscent of the Krug Champagne rosé, showing great control on the skin press and the cold soak.
Le Nez / The Nose
Intoxicating aromas of mineral spiked red berries, flint, blood orange, peach, crushed stones, and a hint of cotton candy. As the wine opens up, the bouquet becomes more exotic, with aromas of cardamom, honeysuckle, wild strawberry rhubarb, vividly floral.
Degustation / The Taste
The Soliste pinot noir heritage is unmistakable. The front palate is superb, densely packed and yet lively; Acidulated red currant, fraises des bois/ rhubarb compote (wild strawberries), pomegranate essence, cranberry, stone fruit pits, perfectly interlaced with exotic white flowers and herbal tones. As the wine opens up, the middle palate is exquisitely floral, fine-boned, and creamy, with layers of macerated rose petals, dried raspberries, tart red cherries, Mediterranean dried herbs, and blood orange. The unctuous and fine tannin texture creates a wine of absolute silkiness with tangerine and melon pulp, giving Soleil rouge a sensual mouthfeel. The finish of this Rosé is the embodiment of verve, linear, focus, with a long lingering dried sappy red fruit backbone creating outstanding crescendo…Soliste
This is the Domaine Tempier of Pinot Noir Rosé and our very best Rosé yet.