Archive for the ‘rosé’Category

Moshin calculates exceptional biodynamic Pinot Noir

Rick Moshin of Moshin Vineyards
You could say that Rick Moshin (above) is a calculating fellow. Before the proprietor and winemaker at Moshin Vineyards (10295 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-433-5499, got into the business, he was a math instructor at San Jose State. The skills have served him well. He keeps the big picture of winemaking in his head like a blackboard full of calculations while still managing to pay attention to every detail. His wines are like elegant solutions to complex problems. They have a kind of Pythagorean grace.

“Biodynamic is the wave of the future,” he said when we visited him in November. He’s not doctrinaire about it. The most important principles, he believes, are those that treat the soil like a living organism that constantly recycles whatever materials will biodegrade. He makes his own compost to encourage microbial growth and plants cover crops that can be turned into the soil.

Moshin Vineyards tasting roomIn 2005, he built a winery on a hillside. All the operations flow downwhill from the crush pad at the top to fermentation vessels to tanks and barrels for aging to the tasting room (right) at the base. His estate vineyards are almost entirely devoted to Russian River Pinot Noir with just a half-acre of Pinot Blanc from Alsatian clones. Most parcels are planted in Old World clones. Moshin speaks about the vines with reverence and tenderness. And he handles the juice the same way. The gravity feed system pampers the wine, moving it through the various stages without the bruising effects of mechanical pumping.

Tastes like the music of the spheres

Moshin Brut RoséPinot Noir is clearly Moshin’s passion. He makes several versions, based on the special character of each of his estate vineyards and the vineyards with which he contracts. With only time for a brief tasting, we started by sampling the 2013 Brut Rosé Sparkling Pinot Noir. It had the lusciousness of a good Crémant de Borgogne from northern Burgundy. Three years on the lees guarantees a bready nose and a creamy mouthfeel. The pinpoint carbonation combines with the acidity to make the wine a great complement to food—or a good choice for toasting.

Moshin depends entirely on natural yeasts and adapts his winemaking to the growing conditions of each vintage. The 2012 Estate Pinot Noir comes across soft and light, with hints of clove, cherry, and orange peel. The 2014 Estate Pinot Noir Lot 4 Selection, by comparison, bursts with aroma of red fruit and rose petals. We also tasted the 2015 Estate Pinot Noir, which promises to be a truly great vintage. A dry year produced small grapes in sparse clusters, reducing overall yield to about half of normal. But less is clearly more—more intensity, more color, more depth. Just barely in release, Moshin 2015 Estate Pinot Noir is a wine to set aside to mature.


01 2018

M Rosé d’Anjou is perfect with seaside lobster roll

 Rosé d'Anjou with lobster roll at Lobster Pool on Folly Cove in Rockport, Mass.
Wine is subtle, wine is complex, wine can even be a transcendent experience. But sometimes wine is just a pleasant drink that harmonizes with the mood of the day. That’s the way we think of rosés from Anjou.

Located in the Angers region in Beaulieu-sur-Layon, Château de la Mulonnière ( is one of those historic estates that’s been making exceptional wines for more than 150 years. The house produces two levels—the old-vine production labeled under the full name, and the entry-level wines under the “M” label.

TrBottle shot of rosé d'Anjouy level rosé works for us. We took a bottle of the 2015 M Rosé d’Anjou with us to the Lobster Pool in Rockport, Massachusetts, on a recent balmy day. Conveniently, this excellent lobster shack with outdoor tables on Folly Cove has a BYOB license. Equally convenient, the wine comes with a screw-off cap—as should all wines meant to be drunk within a year or two of release.

With a brilliant pink color, this rosé is light and delicately fruity on the nose with faint raspberry aromas. The excellent level of acids and the notes of red fruit and spice make it a nearly perfect pairing with a simple lobster roll. The salinity of the lobster intensifies the floral qualities of the wine. The acidity is a nice counterbalance to the unctuousness of rich lobster and the dab of mayonnaise mixed in to make the pieces cohere in a bun. Château de la Mulonnière also suggests drinking it with tomato salads or barbecued meats. (It would be great with grilled Toulouse sausage.)

A true Loire valley blend, Cabernet Franc dominates with a bit of Cabernet-Sauvignon and Gamay providing their respective fruit notes. The M Rosé d’Anjou lists at $15. The Lobster Pool (978-546-7808, is located at 329 Granite Street, Rockport, Massachusetts.


06 2017