07 Jul Please The Palate Wine of the Week: stars & dust Rosé Twins – Grenache and Mourvédre
Summer is here and with the summer heat nothing beats drinking a beautiful rosé wine, or perhaps two. I had the pleasure to try the newly released stars & dust Rosé Twins, a new label from Nikki Pallesen, formerly of Liquid Farm. One rosé is made from 100% Grenache and the other is made from 100% Mourvédre. The grapes come from two different vineyards in two different AVA’s within the Santa Ynez Valley. These rosé twins may be fraternal twins as there are similarities and differences but together they both are the Please The Palate wine(s) of the week.
Inspired by the Joni Mitchell lyrics, “We are stardust. We are golden. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”, Nikki Pallerson is back with stars & dust’s inaugural 2020 vintage. After taking a a few years off after leaving Liquid Farm, Nikki was inspired to return to wine. Last summer, Nikki came up with the name and the back of the label explains it best: “We’re all the same and we’re all intertwined. Stars & dust is within the make up of these wines as well as the distinctive sites from which they’re grown. Nature is not outside us – we are nature.”
The stars & dust portfolio includes two vineyard designate Rosé’s (one of Grenache and one of Mourvédre), two single vineyard Old Vine Chardonnays (one from Hilltop Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and one from the famed Bien Nacido in Santa Maria), and two single vineyard Reds (a Grenache from Tierra Alta in the Ballard Canyon AVA and a cool climate Syrah from Hilltop Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills. There are a total of 500 cases produced.
The first two wines to be released are the 2020 Rosé twins. Both Rhone varieties, the Grenache is sourced from the Tierra Alta Vineyard in the Ballard Canyon AVA and the Mourvédre is sourced from the Kærskov Vineyard in the Los Olivos AVA. Both grapes are 100% handpicked early for freshness and then aged for six months in 100% neutral barrel.
2020 stars & dust Rosé of Grenache, Tierra Alta Vineyard, Ballard Canyon AVA, Santa Ynez Valley (11.8% ABV)
The Tierra Alta Vineyard was planted in 2000 and is one of the steepest and sought after vineyards in the Ballard Canyon AVA. The Grenache comes from a section that is 1,300 feet above sea level with clay and limestone soils. Only 80 cases were made of this delicately pale salmon pink hued wine with aromas of strawberry, cherry, rose petals, and minerality. An elegant wine, it has a lovely texture and weight on the midpalate and tart acidity with a mineral finish.
2020 stars & dust Rosé of Mourvédre, Kærskov Vineyard, Los Olivos District AVA, Santa Ynez Valley (11.8% ABV)
The Kærskov Vineyard was planted by Ryan Carr in 2014. Located in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley in the Los Olivos District AVA, the soils are a mix of clay loam and river stone. Only 100 cases were made of the Mourvédre rosé with a delicate pale copper pink color. The wine has aromas of strawberry, pomegranate, tart cherry, stone fruits, wild herbs, and oyster shells. It is fresh with intense acidity that washes across the palate and has a long finish with beautiful salinity.
It is impossible to pick a favorite between these twins…..so I poured them side by side and enjoyed them both with dinner. Both wines retail for $26 and are available at stars & dust. You can be some of the first to enjoy these rosé twins, as I did.