2020 Leo Steen Dry Creek Valley Rose of Grenache

New
2020 Leo Steen Dry Creek Valley Rose of Grenache

¥4,290 (incl. tax)

A key attribute of Grenache is its versatility. The main player in the plush and spicy reds of Southern France and Spain, Grenache also produces excellent rosé, typically in a style that’s aromatic, light in color, dry, and refreshing. Leo Steen’s Grenache is from the organically- farmed Provisor Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley’s Lytton District, which has a Mediterranean climate that Grenache loves. Because the rocky vineyard yields only a meagre two tons per acre, Steen typically makes Grenache as a full-bodied red wine, but with wildfires on the horizon, he decided to pick the fruit early and send it straight to press. Fermented on native yeast and made with low sulphur, the wine is bright and full of energy with aromas and flavors of bright strawberry, orange blossom, grapefruit, and crushed rock.

Winery


Winery Description

Located in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, Leo Steen Wines is a 1,000 case winery owned by Leo Steen Hansen, a Danish-born winemaker who is passionate about single vineyard, dry Chenin Blanc – though he does produce a few barrels of Syrah, Grenache and Chardonnay as well. 

Founded in 2004, Leo Steen Wines is a point on Leo Hansen’s journey in food and wine that began in the kitchen of his father’s restaurant in Denmark, led him to explore the wine regions of Europe, and saw him become a sommelier, wine director and, finally, a maker of California wine. From the start, Hansen has eschewed making the expected Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Cab. Instead, he has been a key player in the nascent comeback of California Chenin Blanc, the elegant and versatile grape of the Loire Valley that once was more popular than Chardonnay in Napa and Sonoma but is now grown on less than 50 acres across the two counties.

Steen is the term used in South Africa for wines made of Chenin Blanc. It also happens to be Leo Hansen’s middle name. While charmed by the coincidence, his interest in the grape began while working as a sommelier in Healdsburg. He wished he could offer a food-friendly California wine that wouldn’t cost much but offered structure, elegance and acidity. As luck would have it, right around the time he began making his own wines, he was offered fruit from one of Sonoma County’s last Chenin Blanc vineyards, whose owners were ready to rip out the last remaining acres and plant Chardonnay. While not an overnight success, Hansen has continued to pursue making dry Chenin Blanc from forgotten or overlooked vineyards. In recent years, he’s been joined by a number of like-minded, often younger vintners, and sourcing fruit from good vineyards is getting harder.

Leo Steen Wines continues to make food-friendly wines that are fresh, elegant and affordable. Chenin Blanc is key to the mission, with three vineyard-designated wines: Saini in Dry Creek, Jurassic in Santa Barbara and Peabody in Mendocino. All three vineyards were planted in the early eighties and are dry-farmed, so yields are low. As for winemaking, Leo Hansen works with natural yeasts and limits oak aging and alcohol levels. Syrah, Grenache and Chardonnay round out the portfolio. About vineyards, Leo Hansen has said, “What thrills and inspires me as a winemaker are vineyards that are rich in character, sites that translate into expressive and enthralling wines that give pleasure, but also make you think. Ultimately, making wines that let the vineyards speak is not enough—a vineyard needs to have something worthwhile to say.”

About this Wine


Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma)
Winery Leo Steen
Vintage 2020
Color Rose
Varietal(s) Grenache
Closure Screw Cap
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 29.5
Case Size 34.5 x 26.0 x 30.5
Alcohol 13.5%
Product Code LS20ROS
UPC NONE

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

Aromas of bright strawberry, orange blossom, grapefruit, and crushed rock. Fresh acidity keeps the palate light but well-structured with flavors of strawberry and grapefruit. 

Production


Vinification

Grapes were hand-picked and pressed immediately. After fermentation was completed in stainless steel, the wine was racked to neutral oak barrels for four months of aging before bottling in March of 2021. 

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