Hazelfern Cellars Winter Rosé is Good Any Time of the Year

I got an email from Little Green Pickle, a PR firm in Portland, asking me if I wanted a sample of Hazelfern Cellars Winter Rosé. It’s “a beautiful and unique rosé the transcends the hype associated with pink wine.” I was like, did you see my VinePair article about drinking rosé beyond the pale?!?

I do not want to be the person cleaning this countertop. / Photo via Hazelfern Cellars

Calling a wine a “winter rosé” would be kind of risky if you were sitting on it…after winter. Or perhaps in the dead of summer something with the word “winter” would transport you to a cooling, snowy oasis. A counterpart to soul-crushing heat and humidity. (In all seriousness, most rosés, even the pale/watery ones benefit from some time in the bottle as they are shipped immediately and usually bottle-shocked. I’ve no doubt this rosé would survive, and perhaps thrive in winter 2019.)

I’ve even written (2012!) about drinking rosé in winter, specifically a richer/darker Bordeaux style called Clairet. Which I was apprehensive about.

How the pink wine pendulum swings.

Now I welcome a deeper color and hue. And just like pale rosé shouldn’t be pegged to a season, nor should heartier ones. The point, of course, with the Hazelfern Cellars Winter Rosé is to plant their flag during a dead season for pink wine, making a rosé with extra richness and texture. Since it sold out (they held a few bottles back for privileged scribes like myself), obviously they are having success. From a marketing perspective, I like it, too: “Dangit, we’re so gung-ho about rosé lets stick our necks out and call it ‘Winter Rosé.’ TAKE THAT, SUMMER WATER!”

How do they do it? Let’s look at the wine.

Hazelfern Cellars Winter Rosé 2017 ($24)

A blend of 95% Pinot Noir and 5% Barbera, this rosé spent 10 months in neutral French oak. The alcohol clocks in at 12.9%. The back label accurately touts its versatility with poultry, winter veggies, and roasted meats.

I like what the barrel-aging and extra skin-contact bring to the wine. It’s still refreshing. Most boring rosé is closer to bland white wine, leaving you wondering how it even came from red grapes in the first place (besides the color). The Hazelfern Cellars WR definitely has that savory, fruity Pinot Noir character.

If “winter [rosé] is coming,” bring on the deeper-colored, richer, more savory rosés. Keep the White Walkers, tho.

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Stoller Vineyards

Stoller at Sunset Photo credit Lenny Rede

The Stoller’s established the property in 1943 and the vineyard fifty years later. Using 100% estate fruit, they control every step of the process, from pruning to bottling and everything in between. The result is award-winning wines that are balanced, complex, and consistently exceptional.

These are some of our favorite Oregon wines. What Melissa does is consistently create balanced wines that show off a purity of fruit and finesse too often lacking in today’s wine world.

Stoller Vineyards
Stoller Rose Photo credit Lenny Rede

“I strive to make wine that exemplifies the uniqueness of the vineyard and reflect the vintage with balance and elegance. Our Pinot Noir characteristically expresses a combination of red to darker fruits, spice, and fine-grain tannins. The volcanic soil, elevation, exposure, and weather of our Dundee Hills site all combine to create the perfect conditions for growing cool-climate wine grapes.” – Melissa Burr

Stoller Vineyards

Melissa Burr was raised in the Willamette Valley. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree, Melissa intended to practice naturopathic medicine before discovering her true passion was in wine. She studied winemaking and fermentation science at OSU and interned during harvest for several local wineries before becoming production winemaker for Cooper Mountain. In 2003, Melissa joined Stoller Family Estate as the winery’s first dedicated winemaker.

Stoller Vineyards

In her 14-year tenor with Stoller, Melissa has worked in concert with the vineyard team to oversee the site’s continued refinement. She has helped grow production from 1,000 cases to 60,000 while acting as a steward of Stoller’s legacy.

I recently visited the winery and was as usual blown away by the wines!

Visit them if you get the chance, and tell them Lenny sent you.

if you can’t here is a little video of what you are missing.

#OregonWineMonth

 

 

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Left Coast Cellars is Walking the Talk: A Model of Authenticity.

In an ever crowded wine world, where brands are created by marketing executives in cubicles, it is always exciting to see, and taste, truly authentic wine. In this increasingly virtual world it is refreshing to see/ taste authenticity.

Left Coast Cellars is Walking the Talk: A Model of Authenticity.Left Coast Cellars is not just an estate winery, it is a fully functioning farm. The 150 acres of vineyards are laid out over a 356-acre estate, along with fruit trees, Oregon oaks, vegetable gardens and bee hives. Ducks, chickens along with wilder fowl rove the estate.
From the hilltop tasting room beyond the stretches of vineyards you can see the Eola Hills and to the north the Amity Hills, the Van Duzer gap. It was here in 2003, the founders Susanne and Robert Pfaff laid out a vision for something a little more than a just a winery or family farm, “building a lasting and enduring legacy for generations to come.”

Left Coast Cellars is Walking the Talk: A Model of Authenticity.
Sustainability is a core value at Left Coast. Certified LIVE and Salmon Safe, ensuring only the best viticultural practices are used in both the vineyards and winery. The winery itself is powered by a solar array and the water for the gravity powered irrigation is generated by the estates own watershed. In addition, Left Coast is a founding member of the Oak Accord, which is a voluntary partnership of private landowners seeking to preserve Oak habitat in the Willamette Valley.

Left Coast Cellars is Walking the Talk: A Model of Authenticity.
The location at the head of the Van Duzer Corridor, an east-west valley that creates a break in the coast range of mountains that shields most of the Willamette Valley from the Pacific Ocean. The break allows for cool marine breezes and fog to roll into the valley in the morning, preserving freshness and acidity in the grapes. The grapes planted include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Syrah, Viognier and (my favorite) Pinot Blanc.

Left Coast Cellars is Walking the Talk: A Model of Authenticity.Left Coast Cellars is Walking the Talk: A Model of Authenticity.Viticulturist and GM Luke McCollum has been with winery since 2003 is graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and work includes stints at Harlan Estate and Meridian. Winemaker Joe Wright came on board in 2011, but has been working in the Willamette Valley since 1996, with stints at Tualatin, Belle Vallee and Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Lead by matriarch Suzanne Larson, the family works the land with loving care and kindness.

Left Coast Cellars is Walking the Talk: A Model of Authenticity.
When talking about wine, wineries and terroirs, we often speak in terms of generations. It is not uncommon to meet the fifth generation of and French Chateau or the 8th generation of an Italian Villa. Dame Suzanne and her team are building a winery for the generations.

-Lenny

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