2020 Salengo Rosé of Pinot Noir

This Rosé of Pinot Noir is the second wine released under the Salengo Wine Collection. I really enjoy working with this grower. The cool-climate vineyard site is a unique location and I love the flavors in the grapes grown there. Antonio Mountain Vineyard is a small Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard located on a bowl-shaped terrain just a couple of miles from the Tomales Bay on the beautiful Sonoma Coast. The vineyard has volcanic soil that contributes to the unique flavor profile in the wines made from the grapes grown there. Almost at sea level, the morning fog sits in the vineyard for longer than many neighboring sites, which is ideal for producing lean and fresh flavors due to less sun exposure. The fog and cooler temperature also allow for longer hang time on the vine which helps in development of subtle flavors resulting in more complex fruit, particularly for Burgundian varieties. 

The Salengo Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir marks a challenging year and tells the tale of a wine that was produced in my most difficult year of winemaking in 16 harvests. I am happy with how it turned out and hope those who try it enjoy it, too.  I have made many rosés, but this one is very special as it was my first time working with Pinot Noir. My inspiration in working with this variety came during the year before COVID-19, when I visited two fascinating wine regions; Willamette, Oregon and Burgundy, France where Pinot Noir grapes are almost exclusively the only red grapes grown. I hope you find the variety and this wine as special as I do.

The Salengo Rosé of Pinot Noir is fun and refreshing.  Pale pink in color to match this wine’s delicate fruit flavors, it’s dry with a full mid-palate and finishes with slate-like minerality. This wine is very aromatic and perfect for spring and summer dining. The nose opens with honeysuckle and maraschino cherry and develops into fresh orange blossom and juicy ruby red grapefruit with subtle notes of watermelon rind and candied peaches. Soft upon entry, bright notes of tart cherry and fresh citrus build to a full mid-palate with alluring flavors of wild strawberry and lingering hints of lemongrass. A clean finish with layers of rhubarb, mandarin peel and nuanced red fruit balance the acid of this wine well and make it a perfect food wine.

Pairing recommendations: rich shellfish like lobster and crab, seared salmon, grilled chicken, pasta with alfredo, salads, fruit, white-rind cheeses like brie

Ideal serving temperature: 45°-55° Fahrenheit

Once received at the winery, the grapes had minimum skin contact for approximately 3 hours to give the juice just a hint of color. The juice was removed from the skins and cold settled. The juice was then removed from any solids and fermented at a cold temperature in stainless steel to enhance the crisp acid profile of the wine. The fermentation took about three weeks and during that time, the fermentation temperature was carefully maintained between 45° and 52° Fahrenheit. The cold fermentation enhances and helps maintain the aromatic complexity of the wine. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was removed off the primary lees to age in neutral oak barrels. The neutral oak allows for a small amount of oxygen exchange which contributes to a fuller body and rounds out some of the natural acidity. After five months of aging, the wine was developed and ready to bottle. We crossflow filtered this wine before bottling it in early March 2021.

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Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast
Harvest Date
Brix at Harvest: 22.6
Bottling Date
Residual Sugar
<0.1 g/L
Alcohol %
Wine Profile
Other Notes
Susana Leonardi, Wineaux - Davis Enterprise, April 19, 2021 "Closer to home (very close) is an even more expensive ($27) but really sophisticated and lovely wine made by Berryessa Gap’s Nicole Salengo. This one, though, is a special wine she bottles under her own label. The production is very small, just 81 cases, as opposed to the 350 cases (also quite small, of course) of her Gold Medal winning Berryessa Gap Sauv Blanc. The Salengo Rosé is only her second Salengo release (the first is a grenache); this rosé of pinot noir comes from the Antonio Mountain Vineyard, a small vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. Nicole says she loves the flavors of grapes — only chard and pinot noir — grown there, influenced as they are by the cool coastal climate and the volcanic soil. While Salengo Grenache is available only by the bottle, the just-last-week- released rosé is available by the glass at the winery and the Winters tasting room. (Nicole: “I like rosé best when young and fresh so I didn’t want to make it bottle only purchase.”) Which means you don’t have to take my word for it — make one of those short, sweet drives west and try it for yourself. We drank it with a Roman broccoli sauce over rigatoni, one of our very favorite brassica dishes, and it worked wonderfully. I poured our first glasses just five minutes out of the refrigerator, and we immediately appreciated the crisp tartness of the wine, but as it warmed a bit, complex but fresh layers of flavors emerged — like bright cherry and strawberry with a firm spine of minerals. Though Nicole has made (and continues to make) many rosés for Berryessa Gap, this is her first rosé of pinot noir — inspired by her recent trips to the pinot growing regions of Willamette, Ore., and Burgundy, and she is justifiably proud of it. I’m much looking forward to a second bottle."
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SKU: 2018 Salengo Grenache