Recently, on an assignment for Edible Marin & Wine Country, I had the opportunity to interview Melinda Kearney and Michele Oullet, the mother-daughter team behind a rosé called Lorenza that had been featured in the magazine early on. My job was to briefly catch up on their lives over the past ten years, and I quickly became enamored with the pair, their story, their combination of candor and free-spirited vigor for life, and, of course, their wine.
Lorenza Rosé has already received several high honors, from being listed as the Wall Street Journal’s top take on the style to being featured on exclusive lists ranging from The French Laundry to the American Airlines Flagship Lounge. But to me what made the wine most impressive was the story of a mother, Melinda Kearney, and her daughter, Michele Oullet, really just setting out to have a little fun making wine, and winding up with a full-time venture and a successful business. We clearly need more women in business, not just the wine industry but everywhere, and perhaps the success of this terrific wine is yet another example as to why.
The other night, we had a few good friends over for dinner, and I paired my tacos — buffalo shrimp, cilantro lime shrimp, and salsa chicken, with this dynamite little rosé. We had the 2016 vintage; the wine is designed to be able to age some, and ages well in my estimation. Crisp and acidic yet nicely in balance, this is a true rosé, reminiscent of Provence in its delicate floral nature, and the low ABV of around 11% made it an ideal food pairing wine. A meticulous blend, the 2016 vintage is 36% Grenache, 28% Carignan, 28% Mourvèdre, and 8% Cinsault, though scanning back over other vintages tech sheets, those figures change substantially from vintage to vintage. Whole cluster pressing and rapid transfer into stainless gives it a combination of character and vibrancy that is often hard to come by. Our guests were quickly as enamored with the wine as I was with the people who made it.
A somm-friend who presently works in the distribution industry recently mentioned to me that rosé pre-sales are down. When I asked why, his response was one word: Whiteclaw. I nearly choked on my Cabernet. Who in their right mind would think that Whiteclaw was a substitute for rosé? He went on to tell me that most rosé drinkers are often not particularly discerning, so long as the wine is pink. I found this cringy. I thought back on a conversation I’d had with the women responsible for Lorenza about the uphill battle of marketing this style of wine, and I thought, Man, if people know what was out there, they’d never drink Sutter Home White Zinfandel or Whiteclaw again. There is a hell of a difference between good rosé and spiked seltzer, I assure you.
So, dear readers — and I know your palates are far more discerning than most — I urge you to try this wine. You can purchase it on LorenzaWine.com or in your favorite wine shop. The quality-price ratio is through the roof on this one, and it pairs beautifully with food, though I’m personally hoping that this winter will soon be over and I can pair it with my patio. I hope you’ll stop by and join me for a glass.