It’s not often that I am wowed by a rosé. In the current craze over pink wine, many are fairly generic, easy-drinking bottles — pretty to look at and attractively priced — but without much dimension. As a whole, they’ve become the macro beer of the wine world: available everywhere but suggesting nowhere in particular.
There are exceptions, of course. And one that rises well above ordinary is from California, Castello di Amorosa’s 2018 Rosato “Cresta d’Oro Vineyard.”
This rosé of Pinot Noir, made from estate-grown grapes from the Green Valley region of the Russian River Valley of Sonoma, takes rosé to a different level, both in complexity and as a serious food wine.
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As I tasted it the other night, I had a hunch that it might pair well with the simple but robust dinner I was making — roasted, just-caught bluefish fillets over sliced potatoes, all of it coated with a mixture of olive oil, finely chopped garlic, and parsley and topped with a little grated Parmesan cheese.
The combination was exquisite, with the wine providing a refreshing counterpoint to the weight of the dish, while not being overpowered by it — in other words, I could still taste the delicious rosé. What accounts for this?
For one thing, it’s slightly bigger than many rosés, with alcohol listed at 13.7 percent. And part of the wine is aged in large, egg-shaped concrete tanks – a modern interpretation of ancient amphorae — that help to give it texture and a rich mouthfeel. Those qualities frame the wine’s citrus and ripe red-berry notes, mainly raspberry and strawberry, and contribute to its impressively long finish.
This is an unusual and sophisticated rosé that is clearly more than an adjunct or afterthought for Castello di Amorosa, which is located in Napa in a Tuscan-style castle and sells all its wines directly to consumers. The $39 price, while high by rosé standards, is more than justified here.
(One small suggestion: Get rid of the faux-wax plastic wrapper at the top of the bottle, which is annoyingly hard to remove.)