Wine Journal: Coturri 2009 Sonoma Mountain Rosé

Everything I ever knew about summery rosé wine was turned upside down at a recent tasting I attended at Domaine LA. Known for their fantastically curated wine selections and great weekend tasting events (many of which I have recommended on Tasting Table), Domaine LA played host to an even more special event two weeks ago–a wine tasting highlighting natural wines as written about by the ever-so inspiring Alice Feiring.

Alice came to California to promote her new book “Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally,” and she gave a couple dozen nerdy LA wine fans the treat of a lifetime. Not only did we get to swirl and sip wines that even the most picky of palates had approved of, but Alice also took the time to meet everyone and sign books. I won’t even go into detail about how thrilled I was to be able to talk to her one-on-one and share my perspective and receive the most exciting encouragement from her…I’ll spare you the fan-girlness.

Domaine LA’s owner Jill Bernheimer did a wonderful job with Whitney Adams in curating the Alice-approved list which included the reason for this post: Coturri’s 2009 Sonoma Mountain Rosé. Coturri was a name I had heard many times, but unfortunately skipped out on when I was in Sonoma last because of sheer ignorance. Had I known the amount of quality and care I had missed out on, I would have definitely needed to fly a mixed case of their stunning wines home. With that said, this 2009 rosé is the first step in making Coturri a household name (at least in my house.) I’m very excited that I was able to snag one of the last bottles of this vintage, as Coturri is an incredibly small producer (less than 300 cases).

Upon the first sniff, I could already tell that this was going to challenge everything I knew about this wine. A summer staple, many people don’t often reach for rosé in the cooler months because of its characteristically light and fruity flavor profile. However, Coturri’s offering is easily a year-round affair; a delicate, savory aroma unlike its mellow and semi-dry cousins. Bright red fruits are apparent, but sweetness is subdued and an earthy, almost smoky note sweeps over your palate making for a very good wine to pair with virtually any meal. This wine, while sweet, is well-rounded and complex; its subtle savory notes evoke familiar nuances of caramel and fleur de sel. The smell, the deep brownish-pink color, and even the mouth-feel of this wine break through barriers that can make even the most stubborn rosé hater a believer.

To top it all off, the Coturri family run the kind of wine-making operation that every wine-drinker should believe in. From their certified organic grapes that feature absolutely zero pesticides nor fertilizers to their biodynamic, natural wine-making process, to even their hand-bottling, these guys are absolutely legit; creating emotional wines made from the earth–wines that say something without any additives and sulfites. And that, my friends, is truly beautiful thing. Especially for Sonoma!

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