Wine of the Week: Inman Family 2016 OGV Estate, Russian River Valley Brut Rosé
February 11, 2020
by Peg Melnik
This week's blind tasting: Sparkling rosés and a bubbly
2016 OGV Estate, Russian River Valley Brut Rosé, 12% alcohol, $68. ★★★★½
This sparkling rosé is a savvy splurge for Valentine’s Day — elegant bubbles in a pink hue. It’s where high acid meets tangy fruit, delivering a crisp and layered sparkling rosé. Aromas and flavors of tangerine, strawberry and brioche, with a hint of watermelon. Great minerality. Nice mousse. You will be wowed, and so will your date.
With Valentine’s Day in the offing, understanding the romance language of wine is paramount. Sparkling rosé, without a doubt, is a wine to swoon over, an impressive pick to court your date.
As Kathleen Inman puts it, “If I could only drink one wine for the rest of my life, it would be sparkling made from pinot noir.”
The winemaker, smitten with pink bubbles, is behind our wine of the week winner — the Inman Family 2016 OGV Estate, Russian River Valley Brut Rosé at $68.
Other tasty options in our line-up include the Korbel Rouge 2016 Sonoma County Champagne at $16; Olema NV Cremant de Loire Brut Rosé at $25 and Roederer Estate NV Anderson Valley Brut Rosé at $35.
As for the Inman brut rosé, it’s a savvy splurge for Valentine’s Day. It’s where high acid meets tangy fruit, crisp and layered. It has aromas and flavors of tangerine, strawberry and brioche, with a hint of watermelon. The brut rosé has great minerality and a nice mousse. You’ll be wowed, and so will your date.
Inman said the style she’s shooting for is an elegant, structured wine with a backbone of acidity.
“I want it to present a clean, fresh and balanced palate,” she said. “I am always thinking of how these wines will pair with food. Lower sugars and bright acidity ensure they pair perfectly with a wide range of dishes.”
If you’re indecisive, Inman said, it would be next to impossible to make bubbly.
Try oysters and asparagus for a gourmet Valentine’s Day snack
“I think a lot of people don’t know how many decisions go into a bottle of sparkling wine,” she said. “It isn’t just the choice of vineyard, the way it’s farmed or how and when it’s harvested. Once in the cellar, there are dozens of decisions made at each step, and each of those lead to dozens more. Did you know that there are six ways that sparkling can be made and three different ways to make a rosé wine?”
For Inman’s brut rosé, she relies on méthode champenoise, the traditional method in the Champagne region of France where the sparkler is created in the bottle during a second fermentation.
Inman, 57, graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in art history. While in college, she joined a tasting group, which ignited her curiosity in wine.
“I discovered in the blind tastings how different one grape varietal could be when grown in different parts of the world, and at the same time, grapes grown in the same place but made into wine by different people could be equally varied,” she said. “I became obsessed with learning more.”
The winemaker founded Santa Rosa’s Inman Family Wines in 2002.
“My love of rosé wines — still and sparkling — and my passion for pinot noir made making brut rosé an obvious choice,” Inman said. “I think as a winemaker, my attention to detail, perhaps bordering on obsessive compulsive, is helpful with the brut rosé, particularly in the blending.”
You can reach Wine Writer Peg Melnik at email@example.com or 707-521-5310.