Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

June 15, 2016

20160615-064728.jpg Wine Wednesday is a very special bottle of rosé, made by Robert Sinskey Vineyards, in Napa. Demand for his rosé is quite high and production is limited, so if you can get your hands on a bottle/bottles, do. It is really swell stuff. Since we are early in the pink drinking season, it can still be found. I had Pike & Western Wine Shop order up a few bottles for us, which they were able to get their hands on without too much trouble, so buying early in the rosé season is key. The below from the RSV website to give you a little overview of the wine from the man himself.

“Everyone makes a pink wine these days… even Brangelina makes a pretty good rosé. It’s hard to imagine that twenty-five years ago, when RSV first made Vin Gris, the only other American rosés were either sweet White Zin, sweet pink (insert any variety here) or deep red saignée-method rosé… and even that was usually sweet too. I’m thrilled that we have many more choices today. I just wish there were more intentional rosés.

Decades ago, when I was in college, I bicycled through France – from Paris to Lyon, over the Alps to Marseille, up the middle of the country to the headwaters of the Dordogne and out to Bordeaux. All along the way I treated myself to carafes of beautiful light salmon/pink, dry rosés whenever I stopped into a café or bistro. It was the wine you had for lunch or afternoon snack. They were crisp, refreshing, non-cerebral and big on visceral pleasure. When I came back to the US, the two things I missed the most were good coffee (it was the pre-“S-bucks” era and espresso was rare) and a good rosé. Instead of dry and crisp, those stateside rosés were sweet and flabby or artificially tart from acid additions. Most, rather than whetting your appetite, would upset your stomach and leave you feeling ill. These rosés were manufactured to be cheap wines, usually from byproducts of other winemaking endeavors. When we made our first Vin Gris, our desire was to save the reputation of American rosé by making a classically delicate, European inspired pink with a sense of purpose and precision. There was no market for a wine of that type, but we made it anyway and lost money on it for the first fifteen years. Now, it is one of the fastest selling wines in the RSV portfolio. It’s still not profitable every vintage because we use prime Pinot Noir from RSV’s organically farmed Carneros vineyards and some years, like 2015, the yield is too small. A numbers person would suggest we supplement with purchased fruit or saignée (where the juice from fermenting red wine is “bled” off for the rosé) but our Vin Gris is a labor of love and we like doing things the hard way. A few years ago, The Drinks Business Magazine wrote an article titled, “SAIGNÉE ROSÉ ‘NOT TRUE ROSÉ,’” addressing the fact that too many producers are still employing this method for their wines. Unfortunately, there is usually no indication of methodology on the label and the only clue is color. If a rosé is anything but onion skin/salmon to pink and is instead a dark pink, or even red, it is probably a saignée-method rosé. RSV Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is, and always will be, an intentional pink wine because we want to craft wines that we like to drink. No compromise!”

Cheers to that!!!