Photo: Winemaker Sandy Leier
Sandy Leier, the winemaker at Sandhill Wines, has delivered the perfect rosé from the 2019 vintage to lift our spirits at this time.
I always identify rosé wines with the arrival of spring. Most of them are released in the spring and most have the freshness that is unique to the weather in springtime. After a month and a half of self-isolating, nothing brightens the day like a refreshing rosé.
The 2019 vintage has delivered wines with bright acidity and good flavour at relatively low alcohols. That may be especially beneficial if the reports are correct – that alcohol consumption is higher than usual among those who self-isolate. The 2019 wines will not cause inebriation as readily as those of the previous four or five vintages.
The Sandhill Rosé 2019 has 12.7% alcohol, with 6.2 grams of acidity per litre and an imperceptible 6.2 grams of sugar per litre. To my palate, the wine tastes dry.
It is a blend of 81% Gamay Noir, 13% Merlot and 6% Sangiovese. Sandy fermented each variety separately, cool and with a strain of yeast that enhanced the aromas. A portion of the Gamay grapes received just enough skin contact to impart a delicate coral/rose petal hue, but not that pallid hue that has been fashionable in recent years.
The wine is beautiful. It is packaged elegantly in a clear bowling pin-shaped bottle. It also looks great in the wine glass.
Sandhill Rosé 2019 ($20). The wine sells itself on eye appeal alone and backs that up with aromas of cherry and strawberry. On the palate there is a fruity dance of cherry, watermelon and pink grapefruit. 91.