Clendenen Family Vineyards Mondeuse Rosé 2014
Wine: Clendenen Family Vineyards 'Bien Nacido Estate'
Region: Santa Maria Valley, California
Several weeks ago I met some friends at The Company Burger on the corner of Girod and O'Keefe in the CBD. The signature cheese burger with a side of onion rings and a cool by the glass list has lured me back multiple times; this week it was a welcome hangover lunch on Ash Wednesday. Jim Clendenen established his Au Bon Climat label in 1982. By the end of the decade, ABC had become internationally renowned. Today, Clendenen makes wine under several labels in addition to the ABC cuvées, including Ici La Bas, Barham Mendelsohn and Clendenen Family Vineyards. The mondeuse grape is native to the Savoie region in France, an alpine terrain favored for summer and winter sports near the Swiss and Italian borders. It produces deeply colored wines with big tannins and aging potential. The Clendenen Family mondeuse comes from a plot in the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard in the cool Santa Maria Valley.
The Clendenen Family Vineyards Mondeuse rosé 'Bien Nacido' 2014 is a lovely wine, especially for the price (under $20 retail) with wild strawberry and tangerine flavors, excellent acidity and mellow finish. The winery's tasting notes suggest a "flinty" trait, usually associated with Loire Valley silex and falls under the minerality umbrella I wrote about earlier today. I couldn't find evidence online of silex or siliceous stone in the Bien Nacido Vineyard, unless it's called something different in that part of the world, which is entirely possible. Or it could be a by-product aroma of fermentation - also covered in the minerality post. It's a mere 12% alcohol, easy to drink and friendly, especially to cheese burgers and fried accompaniments.