happy to be sappy: scenic valley farms

happy to be sappy: scenic valley farms

2015 Scenic Valley Farms Rosé ($15)   |   Willamette Valley, USA

For four years, Gabriel Jagle was assistant winemaker at Illahe. It's a producer I have always admired, so I was curious to try Jagle's rosé from his new gig as head winemaker at Scenic Valley Farms.

Jagle is still finding his footing at his recently acquired post. For example, he never tested the final residual sugar content of this rosé, so your guess is as good as mine. (The wine is dry, anyway.)

But sometimes the learning curve can make for happy accidents in winemaking. His rosé is super smooth because it went through malolactic fermentation. "I definitely didn't put the wine through ML on purpose (maybe I shouldn't admit that?)," Jagle responded when I asked him about this. "But because of the warm vintage, there was very little malic acid in any of the Pinot Noir across the valley; the small amount of malic acid in our rosé was converted during fermentation."

As is increasingly the case in the Willamette Valley, his rosé is not a saignée but was made from fruit specifically set aside for this purpose. It macerated six hours before pressing.

The result is a slick, silky, rich, sophisticated wine. It's spicy, sappy and savory, with notes of sour cherry, rhubarb, maple, lime peel and black pepper. I do hope that Jagle stumbles into malolactic-fermented rosé making in 2016 again. Or perhaps he'll make it happen on purpose.

technical data: 

  • titratable acidity: 6.1 g/L 
  • pH: 3.45
  • alcohol by volume: 13.6% 
  • residual sugar: >8 g/L


  • drinkability: ⬆ savory & sappy
  • presentation: ⬆ straight up
  • geek factor: ⬆ accidental experimentation with ML pays off
update! re: grapage without breakage

update! re: grapage without breakage

abacela is ab-fab

abacela is ab-fab