Priest Ranch Wines has a tasting room in Yountville, but the vineyards are located on the eastern reaches of the Napa Valley, in the little known Elder Valley, bordering the Chiles Valley AVA. The vineyards are part of the larger Somerston Estate.
We opened this visually beautiful wine on Easter – it seemed fitting not only in name, but in it’s beauty as well. The gorgeous color brought a smile to our sad faces, as we celebrated Easter while under shelter in place orders.
The wine is not not named in honor of clergy, but rather James Joshua Priest, a Gold Rush pioneer, who bought the land in 1869. It was purchased by Somerston Estate in 2004, and Priest Ranch Wine was born.
We visited the Yountville tasting room last November and brought this bottle home with us. The tasting room was under construction, at the time, but the hospitality was wonderful as we tasted through the Wine and Bacon experience. We brought this Rosé and a Somerston Estate Merlot home in our suitcase – we like to live dangerously.
This is a great Rosé – it has all of the fruit you’d expect on the nose, but the palate is a little more complex than most Rosés with a medium body, and notes of baking spice and watermelon – although I admit the watermelon might be completely influenced by my impression that the color matches the watermelon Jolly Rancher perfectly. It is made from Malbec grapes, which were whole cluster pressed, and aged for 8 months in both neutral oak barrels and stainless steel tanks.
Excellent acidity made it a phenomenal pairing with our smoked pork butt, but if I ever have to choose a last meal, it might this wine and goat cheese. I think it pairs well with leopard print shoes too….for all the cool cats and kittens out there.