Rosé est arrivée

Earlier tonight, a hardy crew assembled to lay the rosé to rest and give the port a quick racking. The port tasted very lovely but very young, and was surprisingly different across carboys, but the star of the evening was the luscious rosé.

You may recall that this wine was a seignée of the syrah we picked this year — that is, you “bleed” (seignée) the fermenter of juice just after crush, and then ferment that pink juice as a rosé. Unfortunately, I waited a bit too long before drawing blood, so this rosé is actually quite bloody — good for drinking, but it probably took a little something from the syrah left fermenting.

In any case, the rosé started out with a relatively high pH — which is to say, it was very low on acid. That not only meant it had less ability to fight off deadly contagion (like the bacteria that turn wine to vinegar), it tasted “flabby” and even a bit soapy (though ladies, I’m told, like it too). Luckily, it was otherwise clean, so a few days ago, I added a bit of acid to perk the young scalliwag up.

Sure enough, that brought down the pH to around 3.66, which is still pretty high for a white/rose wine, but much healthier. Those assembled for bottling tonight all soberly tasted it, and admired its ample fruit and generous taste. Nevertheless, I was still nervous about that pH, and we all agreed it could take a little more acid without freaking out and seeing spiders.

After a second addition, the pH had dropped to 3.55, much safer microbially speaking (and isn’t that the only way to speak, these days?). Better, we all noticed the difference instantly in the glass: much more forwardly floral, and much more alive in the mouth.

As the wine equalizes and absorbs that late acid addition, the pH will probably creep back up a hair. Nevertheless, after maybe a month’s worth of solitude to recover from bottling, this should be a lovely summer quaffer to lie down in the tall grass and enjoy.

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