Green Leaves, Blue Sky, Pink Wine

June 22, 2013

lincolnpeakvineyard_heartwoodThe rain has finally abated, and our long, cool, extended springtime has finally leaped into summer.  The First Cuts of hay are already being hauled into hay lofts, hoeing the rows in the gardens produces the first batches of greens, and we a cutting wood like no tomorrow, to stack up for when the seasons turn again.  All that hard work can build up a powerful thirst…

When it comes to refreshment time, not all wines are equally up to the task.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am a fan of dense, tannic, astringent red wines that dry the tongue. I also have been known to enjoy aromatic whites with enough acidity to remove rust.  However, those are the kinds of wines that are best paired with the proper food, and do not do the trick when something fresh, juicy and quaffable is required.

The Lincoln Peak Vineyard folks in New Haven Vermont have recently released their Heartwood rosé, and it’s just the kind of wine that will please the palate, after a hard day’s work.  Made from cold-hardy Marquette grapes, this wine is what is referred to as a “saignee”, which in French, means “to bleed”.  When the wine has just started fermenting on the skins, a portion of the tinted juice is drawn away from the vat to ferment on its own, leaving a higher skin to juice ratio in the vat to help concentrate the red wine.  That bit that was bled away, continues on it’s merry way in a separate container, and ultimately results in a happy little pink wine like the Heartwood.

This rosé is light in weight, with just over 10% alcohol, has some residual sugar, and I would put it in the “semi-sweet” category, just shy of “off-dry”.  As more and more new consumers enter the wine market, a little bit of sweetness is often the edge that allows people’s palates to organize around unfamiliar flavor profiles.  It’s also just generally satisfying for those who are looking for a tasty and refreshing mouthful.  The Heartwood is quite well made, and while just a bit more sweet than my own jaded palate prefers, a splash of seltzer water makes it into something that I could consume, glass upon glass, all summer.

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