Rosés are some of the easiest wines to like for their fresh, fruity flavors and their crisp appeal. They can match well with a wide variety of Mediterranean cuisines, from roasted fish to poultry."
–Kim Marcus, managing editor, Wine Spectator, from the video "Summer Pinks"

People ask why I pour wine and I continue to answer, “It’s fun. Meeting people and talking wine never gets old and it exposes me to wines I might otherwise walk past.  This Malene rose is a good example. Great wine. Nondescript label. And with so many wines displayed on the shelves of larger retail outlets, it’s easy to walk past something unfamiliar. 

Last August at the Medinah Country Club, I poured five wines, this being one of them.  With summer eventually coming again despite current temps, I’m reminded of rose and this one in particular.  And I’m reminded too that walking past this one ‘twould be a pity.  It was one of the best rose wines I’ve ever tasted.  And it’s from California’s cool Central Coast, not Provence or Tavel or other areas that serious wine people justly admire.

Malene Rose is a blend of five grapes. 

59% Grenache
13% Cinsault
13% Vermentino
12% Mourvedre
3% Counoise

The blend is not for show or to grab your attention.  It’s not even printed on the back label.  It is for taste, and taste well this wine it does. This is classically made wine. Grapes are hand-picked and hand sorted in the cool early morning temperatures of harvest day.  80% is whole cluster pressed with the balance having 24 hours of skin contact.  Pressing is very gentle; similar, in fact, to that used in Champagne in order that skin extraction is minimized. Fermentation is at cool temperatures to preserve freshness, fruit and aromatics as well as varietal character. It – and aging – involve tank (74%), oak puncheons (19%) and 1200-gallon French oak Foudre (7%) adding complexity in texture and taste.  Prior to blending, the wines are aged for six months on the lees in their respective vessels which adds to both complexity and mouthfeel.  And there’s more, but you’re more interested in drinking the wine than making it.
I suggest you do.  Light pink in the glass, it is everything
you want in a dry rose: mouth filling, creamy textured yet crisp. Seductive notes of rose petal on the nose. A complex wine. Honeydew and strawberry aromatics contributed from the Grenache. Weight is balanced by the Vermentino and offers lift and notes of white flower and lychee. Mourvedre imparts a savory character and a flinty minerality contributing to the wine’s length on the palate. Cinsault adds additional fruit (strawberry, cherry) and a zesty freshness.  The wine delights with limestone minerality. Its finish is crisp and cleansing.    

The blend was adjusted for 2017.  This is a common practice in winemaking, necessitated by a season’s weather and its impact upon the harvest. Such fine tuning is a testament to both the winemaker’s skill and palate and his/her commitment to producing a quality blend.  Most adjustments are typically within plus or minus 7%.   Having made an effort myself at blending wine, I learned that little changes make big differences.    For 2017, the blend was:

53% Grenache
19% Mourvedre
16% Cinsault
13% Vermentino (Rolle)
5% Syrah

Malene has to be dedicated to making exceptional rose.  It’s the only wine they make.  Its name is inspired by the semi-precious gen tourmaline which exhibits a watermelon-pink hue, like the wine itself.

……………. Jim
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ARP:                      $20.
ALC:                       13.1%
PH:                         3.25
TA:                         6.6g/L
45%                        Santa Ynez Vlly
29%                        Paso Robles
13%                        Rus Rvr Vlly
10%                        Monterey
3%                          Edna Vlly

91 Points             Wine Enthusiast
Malene Wines:

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