Rorick Heritage Rosé 2017 — Mondeuse
A Wine That
that takes the "rosé" category and flips it on its head. This is so much more serious than the regular nondescript pale pink rosé that you drink at the beach in summer. Here, there is a savoury element; wild herbs like sage and lavender appear on first sniff. It's also distinctly mineral - a word often overused in wine - but here you really get the essence of rock. It’s not often that you taste a rosé that brings up so many questions; that you keep coming back to in order to try and discover the answers at the bottom of the glass.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Jaimee Motley
Where & How?
In a sense a joint passion project for Mondeuse, Jaimee procured dormant Mondeuse cuttings from Santa Maria Valley, and Matthew Rorick of Forlorn Hope grafted them onto what was initially Graciano planted in 2002. This vineyard sits in Calaveras County, in the Sierra Foothills, at over 600m elevation. The soil is comprised of limestone with a top layer of schist.
The grapes were foot stomped with a long press cycle to maximise flavour and texture. The juice was fermented naturally in stainless steel, then aged on the lees in neutral oak. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered in February 2019, with the tiniest sprinkle of sulphur at bottling (under 20ppm total).
Jaimee grew up in her family's restaurant in Maryland, on the East Coast of USA. She moved to California to pursue her love of painting at university, with the aim of becoming a college professor one day. She was living in San Francisco, and while figuring out her career options, she worked back on the floor in a restaurant. While working as a server at the famed RN74 restaurant under the tutelage of Rajat Parr, she started to bury herself in wine books, meeting winemakers who would visit the restaurant.
She remembers, "I just fell in love with the idea of wine. I'd always loved being outside, and working with my hands, that tactile element. You find that in the winemaking environment too."
She was encountering wines that were pretty "out of the box," especially for the time back then. This is where she came across the rare Savoyard grape variety, Mondeuse.
"The vibrancy and complexity of the Mondeuse wines... I just connected with them immediately. They also weren't expensive, so I could somewhat afford them! It became a pure obsession and I would hunt down every bottle I could find."
She began working harvest in 2011, doing four days of harvest, and three nights at the restaurant. She decided that winemaking was the path for her, and so did the "Southern/Northern Hemispehere Harvest Hopping" to learn as much as she could with various winemakers across the globe. She eventually became assistant winemaker to Pax Mahle in Sebastopol, one of the godfathers of the lighter and gentler style of winemaking in California. When she had the chance to start her own label, and managed to find Mondeuse, and her other love - Chenin Blanc, in California, it was her dream come true.
Here it is; the inaugural vintage. We hope you fall just as much in love with these wines as we did when we first tasted them.
Second photograph of Jaimee by Leigh-Ann Beverley