As we’ve noted before, walking into a wine shop in pursuit of a delectable bottle of rosé can be troublesome. Most consumers haven’t declared allegiance to regions or flavor profiles in the way we have with… let’s say a Pinot Noir from Bourgogne or a Sangiovese from Chianti. When confronted with an ever-expanding array of options, it’s easy to fall upon familiar names, price or branding. Regarding the former, one acclaimed favorite, the Hamptons-based Wölffer Estate happens to craft a series of stunning pink wines (some of which sport bubbles). Most of them hail from their 175-acre vineyard in Sagaponack, but in recent years, they’ve expanded elsewhere—to another nation. Last year, the brand released a Finca Wölffer Rosé produced by Wölffer winemaker Roman Roth in Mendoza, Argentina (where we recently visited for harvest). And while it was quick to sell out, it’s safe to say that this year’s offering is even better. Most importantly, whereas some wineries from the region make rosé from left over grapes, Wölffer’s efforts are directed toward crafting nothing more than a fine Provence-style rosé. And that’s what Finca Wölffer Rosé 2016 happens to be.
The fact of the matter remains, no one has mastery of the Malbec grape quite like the producers in Argentina. Malbec makes up 41% of Finca Wölffer Rosé 2016. A careful selection of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and more round out the wine—which unite for the rosé’s fresh cherry and delicate strawberry notes. While very light in color, there’s lots of vibrancy to the wine and hints of acidity. According to Wölffer Estate co-owner Joey Wölffer, this wasn’t an expansion done by chance. “My dad loved Argentina—the food, the wine, the people,” she explains. “He used to fly his horses there to train before bringing them back to his farm. It was his dream to retire there. When he passed away at the end of 2008, the first thought my brother and I had was to find a way to continue his legacy.”
As for why the 2016 surpasses the 2015, Roth notes that “working now for the second year on this project, with the team from Dominio del Plata, our communication and our understanding of each other has greatly improved and thus resulted in an even better wine. Wine is not only made by numbers. What is ripe to me has a different meaning to another winemaker and in 2016 we closed that gap. The fruit was picked a bit riper than last year but still fresh and vibrant and the finish is classic. The key was to bring our well established, balanced and focused style of rosé to Argentina and to make this wine with purpose and passion.” The result happens to be an elegant, but entirely fun rosé.
The Finca Wölffer Rosé 2016 will be available nationwide on 1 July for $17.
Images courtesy of Wölffer Estate