Russian River Valley Uncorked: Balletto 2011 RRV Rose' of Pinot Noir

A matter of perspective; “Sometimes I can't tell if you're teaching someone how to dance or just really inefficiently learning how to count” ~ Elan Gale 

After a long day on the wine-trail, my wife and one of her close friends decided it was time to grab a bite. We agreed on a long-time favorite in Santa Rosa, known as Syrah. Whenever I dine out, I typically bring a bottle of my own wine from home or something I've just scored on a jaunt through wine country, like my last trip to Napa and Sonoma. Most restaurants have a policy of waiving "corkage" if you order a bottle from the menu. In those situations; I typically go for rosé, a bottle of wine which usually goes fantastically well with appetizers.

When looking over the wine-list in search of rosé, typically I gravitate to those produced from Tavel, California Pinot Noir, or a Côtes de Provence style. In this case, ordering the Balletto 2011 Rose, I was able to get the latter two in one bottle (twofer). The wine we ordered was not chilled, we were then offered an opportunity to taste an alternative (Saintsbury) they serve by the glass, wow Jolly Rancher watermelon flavor, more reminiscent of a cheap Sutter Home white-zin. So we opted for a bucket to put a chill on the Balletto Rose' of Pinot Noir.

From the moment I saw this wine in the bottle to the very first slurp, this wine gave a nice tip of the cap to Provence. I was pumped for the experience, and this wine delivered it in spades. When I commented via Twitter about the style of the wine and suave sophistication of this delicious Rose', Balletto's winemaker hit me back with a quick reply,
“Provence is certainly the inspiration and; goal every year.” ~ Anthony Beckman Winemaker 
I encountered this wine while dining-out in Santa Rosa, at a delightful place called Petite Syrah, just a few exits down the road from Windsor. I thought to myself, "wow what a great name for a restaurant." It was known merely as Syrah to the locals, but it's now sadly closed, with the chef/owner moving onto other opportunities.

Ordering an appetizer before dinner is a great idea, as some restaurants no longer offer even a simple baguette before dinner, especially so, when prepared and wonderfully executed entrees are a bit on the "petite" side of the equation. The entrees we feasted on that evening at Syrah, were delicious, and the service was fantastic, but c'mon I would have given up to half of my kingdom for a baguette, sadly sweet potato chips would have to suffice.

This may sound a bit over-stated, but that has never stopped me before, so here it goes. It would seem that the RRV, in general, has become a mecca of sorts for delicious and delicate styles of rosé drawing inspiration from Provence. Looking back at the statement I made earlier, seeing this is an older post, producers in the area were way ahead of the game, knowing that in just a few short years, rosé was going to explode unto the wine scene in a big way. This style from Balletto, with the salmon pink color, by and large, dominates the overall sales of rosé today. 

In the glass, this brilliant orange-hued with shades of salmon pink color glowed softly in the glass.
This lively wine comes from a careful touch of skin contact from Pinot Noir; small quantities of free run juice, with no press in sight. On the nose, plenty of vibrant rose petals dried strawberry and a kiss of a meaty summer peach. The palate bites at ripe strawberries kiss your mouth with tangy-citrus, wet-stone and lemongrass. I found this wine well balanced, piped with bright acidity. If you’re looking for pairing suggestions, this rich enough to pair up with salmon or even duck, yet light enough to handle a plate of fresh mussels.

At the time of writing, this wine is listed as one of "current" releases. It sells for $18 and is available for purchase for the moment. I gave this wine a solid 92 points and highly recommend it to you. I'm sure their current release of their 2016 is quite good as well. But I wouldn't hesitate too long, as this solid summer sipper will disappear faster than a cool summer breeze.

I was taking a look through their website and was 'wowed' by their other selections, Syrah, Zinfandel, ugh, so sad I missed out on the opportunity to sample their other wines, it looks like their slaying the point’s monster quite nicely as well. I'll definitely have to stop by on my next visit. Until next time folks, remember life is short, compromise is for relationships, not wine, continue to sip long and prosper cheers!


Anonymous said…
Hey, thanks for quoting me here. Though it's unrelated, I find it quite charming.

Will Eyer said…
Welcome good sir, I hope all is well. Keep the unrelated quote machine going cheers!

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