Charles & Charles Rosé 2019
The color is pale salmon with flashes of a coppery pink. The aromatics lead with notes of bright citrus, wild raspberry and cherry, rose petal and lavender. All this carries through on a broad mid-palate and finally a tangy bright finish. Syrah (71%), Grenache (16%), Mourvedre (8%), Cabernet Sauvignon (4%), Counoise (2%). pH – 3.25, TA 7.1, RS – 2g/L, Alc – 11.4%.
We have an amazing group of growers with exceptionally tended to vineyards that spread all across the Columbia Valley, from the sandy basins to the higher elevation slopes with ancient soils. The qualities we look for to make exciting Rosé are quite distinct and thus there is not one vineyard whose fruit overlaps with our red wine programs.
Just like the previous year, the 2019 growing season started late due to cool spring temperatures delaying bud break. In this northern climate where temperatures drop considerably by midSeptember, late springs always creates a certain amount of anxiety, but like clockwork, the heat came, and the vines started to catch up. By September, the temperatures dropped, as is typical, with a little rain here and there making for an unusually late and drawn out harvest. I said this last year, but it was definitely the most stretched out vintage that I can remember with picking for late varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon going well in to November.
To ensure minimal color or tannin pick up from the moment the fruit is harvested until it arrives at the winery, we now pick exclusively at night. Once in the winery, we treat each tank a little differently to ensure each has its own unique perspective so that when it’s blended, we have the most complex and multi layered Rosé we can. While we use a mix of different yeasts, we have been loving the depth and character that native fermentations are giving so over half are now native. The resulting wine this vintage has both cut and generosity, lift and energy, and we are loving it! As always, the balance between the acidity at the finish and the savory, citrus and tangy cherry are the dominant features. With the particularly cool spring and fall, the color is the palest it’s ever been, and the final alcohol is the lowest it’s ever been, at 11.4%.
A collaboration founded in 2008 between Wine Enthusiast Magazine 2014 Winemaker of the year, Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Three Thieves, Bieler Père et Fils, & Gotham Project). We make just five wines together: the Rosé, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah Blend, a Merlot, a Chardonnay, and a single vineyard Riesling.