Where does it come from:
The origin of Altesse has been the subject of some debate. It has been suggested that it's identical to Furmint, the noble Hungarian variety used to make the great sweet wine Tokaij. However others suspect that it is indigenous to the hills of Savoie. Today there are fewer than 1,000 acres under cultivation, mostly in France, though there is a small quantity in Switzerland.
What's it like for the farmer:
Altesse needs gentle care, as it is quite to susceptible to the most common forms of grape rot.
Robert Sinskey, Vin Gris of Pinot Noir,
Carneros, California, 2013
Distributor: T. Edward Wines, 66 W. Broadway, Suite 406,
New York, NY, 10007
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
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Blue Ribbon Brooklyn
Well, it’s rosé season for better or worse (I say better!) Everyone loves a glass of something pink and we have the full range of shades this year. I’m looking forward to serving some great stuff this month and all summer. We are going to kickoff the WOTW Rose Month with a Blue Ribbon Standard: the Vin Gris of Pinot Noir from Robert Sinskey.
Rob and Blue Ribbon go hand in hand. Blue Ribbon Brasserie was virtually the first restaurant in NYC to serve his wines. As we have grown, so has the Sinskey estate. Today they own and farm over two hundred acres of vines between Napa and Carneros. Everything is certified organic and biodynamic (not certified). They are committed to maintaining a high level of biodiversity in their vines. This is serious and committed farming and they are justifiably proud.
While they make a pair of Bordeaux-blend wines, several Alsatian-style whites and a pure Cabernet, it was Pinot Noir that put Sinskey on the map. Besides their Carneros AVA wine, they make four single-vineyard Pinots, each with a decidedly singular character. But this week we are putting all those aside to talk about their Pinot Rosé.
Vin Gris is a French term that means Grey Wine and it’s easy to see why: it falls somewhere between Black and White. The Sinskey version remains in many ways the benchmark California rose: while there are many delicious versions today (Red Car, Matthiasson, Edmunds St John, Arnot Roberts) made from all manner of different grapes, the Vin Gris originates from a time when California rosé meant White Zinfandel and nothing else. No other dry California rosé has been around as long and certainly no other has been as consistently delicious!
This year’s Vin Gris is delicate by any standard. The fruit is delicate pink berry fruit, with the herbal green edge that marks the best Loire Pinot Rosés. The acidity could cut glass and The finish is long and crisp. Outstanding wine. Come drink some!
Wine Director, Blue Ribbon Restaurants