California: Oakville (Napa)
Worth the wait
- Final Assessment (formerly our Conclusion)
- We have now had the great fortune to sample several of the last vintages of today’s extraordinary wine. Today’s brilliant 2011 Swanson Rosato is a delicious, balanced, flavorful wine that is the best Swanson Roasto that we have ever tasted. If you love a delicious, perfect for summertime Rose that has plenty of character, then we really encourage you to sample today’s very special wine. Sip it all on its own, or enjoy with a pepperoni pizza, hard cheeses or a wide variety of foods. This wine is as flexible as it is delicious. Don’t miss out!
Beautiful dark pink, with dark salmon-colored edges that glint when they catch the light. After swirling, tall, thick legs form high up on the glass wall, before sauntering slowly downward.
Sweet and savory and lush, with strawberry, raspberry and watermelon rind, up front. As the wine warms, even slightly, additional notes are released, including dried pink flower petals, white peach and soft mineral notes.
Bright and focused, with young strawberry, underripe raspberry, white peach and red flower petals providing the predominant notes. Allow the wine to warm and additional subtle flavors are released, including Rainier cherry, soft white spice, bramble, white pear and slate.
Ultra clean and very refreshing, this wine starts with sweet and tart flavors that fade very slowly. As fruit dwindles, faint white spice and a crisp minerality are left behind.
What the Winery Says
Arguably our best Rosato in recent memory, the 2011 Swanson Rosato of Sangiovese has a bright, pink salmon color. Very fruity – strawberry, raspberry and watermelon on the nose, with an ethereal rose petal note. The acidity is nicely attuned to the fruity/floral aspects of the flavors. Dry on the palate, and surprisingly full-bodied. Bright bing cherry on the finish. Our Rosato works well as an aperitif, and pairs very nicely with lighter fowl, especially turkey, chicken and Cornish game hen.
The season began with heavy March rains and a cool spring, followed by enough warm weather in May to ensure a good fruit set. July and August were cool, temperatures did not exceed 100 degrees. The season remained quite cool in September resulting in a relatively late harvest at full flavor development on September 28th. We hand-harvested quickly in the cool early morning hours, and then cold-pressed the fruit immediately upon arrival at the winery.
We sourced the Sangiovese component for this dry rosé from the Antica Vineyard, farmed by the Antinori family, in the Atlas Peak appellation, where rocky, alluvial soils keep the vines small and the fruit concentrated in flavor. The Syrah was grown at La Herradura Vineyard in Conn Valley, near St. Helena, on a well-drained hillside with sandy-loam soils. The magic in the 2011 Rosato is due largely to the synergy between the fruit from these two diverse sources.
About the Winery
Swanson Vineyards owns 100 acres along the Oakville Cross Road in Oakville, located next to Opus One and Silver Oak Cellars. Swanson soils are part of geological history dating back to the formation of Napa Valley. The soils on the valley floor are clay loam, alluvial in nature, laid down as sediment from the frequent flooding over the millenia. It is here that our 100 acres produce wines of great elegance and finesse.
It is to these soils that Swanson Vineyards’ wines owe their wonderful aromas, flavors and complexities. The vines are further nurtured by the use of a variety of rootstock, clones, spacing and trellis systems, all selected to enhance the capabilities of the soil. The winemaker’s challenge is to ensure that all the potential of our vineyards is captured and reflected in our wines.
Winemaker Robin Akhurst
Robin Akhurst’s road to Napa took him around the globe through eight consecutive and exhausting harvests, picking up an impressive list of mentors along the way. Robin came to Napa Valley in 2009, working with winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown of Outpost and Schrader Cellars. He joined Envy Cellars as winemaker in 2010 where he has made the highly regarded Envy and Carter wines. A native of Scotland, Robin brings vast international experience from the cellars of New Zealand (where he received a graduate degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch), France** and Australia including Two Hands Winery in the Barossa Valley and Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy.
Robin deftly leads the winemaking team, including Assistant Winemaker Tony Herrera, who has been with us for 11 years, and Chris Phelps with his new, honorable “Winemaker Emeritus” title. Not only do we have the continuity of our seasoned team, we have a fresh and talented new palate to help guide the Swanson wines to the next level. Marco Capelli continues to make the Swanson Vineyards dessert wines including Angelica, Crepescule and Tardif.
Swanson Vineyards’ alluvial soils are part of geologic history dating back to the formation of Napa Valley where frequent flooding of the Napa River over the millennia laid down clay loam sediment. It is here in the heart of Oakville that our 100 acres produce wines of great elegance and finesse.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Certified as sustainably farmed by Fish Friendly Farming, Swanson Vineyards’ wines owe their wonderful aromas, flavors and complexities to the soil and vineyard management. The vines are nurtured by the use of spacing, and trellis systems all selected to parallel the capabilities of the soil. Our mission is to ensure that the potential of our vineyards is captured and reflected in our wines.