Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Etxea Wines 2018 Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Contra Costa County

In a line-up of rosé wines, the Etxea Wines 2018 Rosé of Cabernet Franc from Contra Costa County looks like a white wine. But look closely and it is a pale, pale pink with a golden twinkle. And, after a sip, you will understand why it is the Please The Palate wine of the week.

Etxea (eh-chay-a) is the Basque word for “house” and Etxea Wines (“house” wines), is a small label owned by friends Ryan Pass, a winemaker, and Luisa Bonachea, a trademark attorney. The name Etxea pays homage to Luisa’s Basque roots. Etxea produces Albariño and Cabernet Franc from three distinct vineyards in Northern California.

The Etxea Wines Rosé of Cabernet Franc comes from a 36-acre sustainable-farmed vineyard in Southeastern Contra Costa County, a primarily suburban area that includes the northern part of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Campos Family Vineyard is located near the town of Byron and the vineyard is at sea level and has clay loam soils. Summers are warm but winds from the Sacramento Delta keep the grapes cool.

To make the Etxea Wines 2018 Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Contra Costa County, the grapes are whole-cluster pressed, fermented by wild yeast and aged for six months in neutral oak barrels (formerly used for red wine). The wine is crisp and clean with fruit notes of strawberry and blackberry, floral cherry blossom aromas and savory notes of white pepper and celery salt. This is a wine that can be enjoyed every day and with every meal. The Etxea Wines 2018 Rosé of Cabernet Franc sells for $22 and only 80 cases were made.