Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Matthiasson 2018 Rosé, California

The sun is shining, the weather is hot and all I want in my glass is a crisp, fresh glass of rosé. While drinking with friends over a virtual gathering, I selected a wine out of my wine fridge. By the end of our chat, I realized I had finished the entire bottle and that is why the Matthiasson 2018 Rosé, California is the Please The Palate wine of the week.

Steve Matthiasson, one of Napa’s top viticultural consultants, and his wife Jill, have always focused on sustainable agriculture. Focused on balance, restraint and respect, they started their family label Matthiasson in the early 2000s. With Matthiasson wines, they source grape varietals from up and down Napa Valley. They have transformed the idea of single varietal wines and are known for unique and extraordinary blends, such as their white blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Ribolla Gialla and Tocai Friulano, considered one of California’s best white blends. Steve tends to pick the grapes 3-4 weeks earlier than many of his neighbors and his approach to winemaking is hands-on, simple and careful.

The Matthiasson 2018 Rosé is a blend of Syrah (44%), Grenache (26%), Mouvedre (25%), and Counoise (5%). Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Counoise are sourced from the Windmill Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills AVA of Yolo County. These grapes ripen fast due to the hot climate and the grapes are harvested at low sugar levels with balanced acidity. Syrah is also sourced from the Hurley Vineyard, a small vineyard at the base of the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley. Here the fruit ripens slowly, retaining acidity and freshness.

The grapes are whole-cluster pressed, fermented and then aged sur lees in stainless steel barrels. There is no malo-lactic fermentation, no stirring, no racking and no fining. The wine is filtered.

The Matthiasson 2018 Rosé is a pale peach color. It has a lovely nose of peaches, nectarines, strawberries and orange peel. On the palate, the wine is light bodied and fresh with a lovely mouthfeel and a slightly tart finish. This is a food friendly rosé and I enjoyed it with some fresh basil pesto sauce over trofie pasta that I had made. The wine is only 11.5% alcohol, which made it all the easier to drink an entire bottle.

The Matthiasson 2018 Rosé retails for $24 (and Matthiasson is selling a Magnum for $48) While it is still available for purchase in some outlets, the 2019 is now out. I cannot wait to try that one!