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Drink | The Reconnoisseur

A sweetly savoury rosé of distinction

The dramatic landscape of Oregon’s Willamette Valley inspires a blend of tasteful originality

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A sweetly savoury rosé of distinction

February 21 2013
Christina Ohly Evans

This very unusual rosé is named after the solitary, exposed boulders that are found in the dramatic Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Much like the unusual landscape from whence it hails, Antica Terra’s sublime Erratica Rosé is unlike anything I’ve come across before.

Most rosés are either pressed directly like a white wine, or bled from a fermenter like a Pinot Noir, but Antica Terra takes an original approach. Here, the grapes are macerated for a little over a week. At about the seven-day mark, when the aromatics and fermentation are considered to be at their peak, the juice is put into barrels where it “finishes its fermentation and ages on the lees for a year before bottling”, explains winemaker Maggie Harrison. The result is a rosé that is deep in colour and has a rich smoothness distinguished by herbal notes of dried thyme and sage, essences of raspberry and strawberry and hints of spices.

Since mastering her craft at the iconic Sine Qua Non winery, under the tutelage of masters Elaine and Manfred Krankl, Harrison has been making interesting Pinot Noirs (the Botanica is exquisite), Chardonnays and other wonderful wines for the Antica Terra vineyard (first picture), which she joined in 2006.

Numerous accolades and prestigious reviews for the Erratica Rosé – not to mention it being served in elite establishments including Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – have introduced her blend to a wide audience.

Due to its very limited production it can often be difficult to come by, however – but once found, is a true discovery.

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Wines