2019 Petit Verdot, Rosé "Love Garden"
This year’s bottling is a beautiful rendering of a grape that has turned out to be perfect for Rosé winemaking. Three years ago, if you would have asked me how Petit Verdot would be in this role, I would have been skeptical. Then, in 2018, I was high enough on the variety for red wine that I signed up for all 3.6 acres of it over at the new Santa Ynez Vineyard. When the grower told me it might produce 17 tons, I started to have second thoughts. While the red wines I had been making were extraordinary, Petit Verdot was still a much less heralded, if not seemingly peculiar, grape. So, in the name of inventory balance, I decided to turn some of that tonnage into Rosé. Boy, am I glad I did. After last year’s wine turned out so well, the idea that Petit Verdot Rosé could become a “thing” in the Babcock portfolio, really started to solidify. Incorporating the things we learned from the first go around, namely, picking the fruit a little earlier than the grapes for red wine, and pressing the fruit gently because PV is loaded with tannins, now I think we really have something special. The nose is a heady display of watermelon, strawberry, and a tinge of green herbs. There’s a bit of delicate, sweet cranberry in there as well. The 33% new French oak and malolactic fermentation shows on the palate, where you sense a beautiful texture along with a slight suggestion of butter with the layers of fruit. Truly a Love Garden in the glass.