Lorenza and 10 Years of Rosé
Lorenza Rose was founded with the first vintage in 2008 by Melinda Kearney, a wine industry veteran from Napa Valley and her daughter Michele Lorenza Ouellet, an international fashion model. Sharing a love of the beautiful Provençal Rose, they set out to create in California a wine that was pale, delicate, dry, low alcohol and full of light.In 2008 they hit the road, destination Lodi with a phone number of someone they had never met. Looking for the old vines they believed would lend the wine complexity, authenticity and would feed their desire to create a wine of substance–something real. Strangers became friends and doors generously opened to the outstanding vineyards that have been the source of Lorenza Rosé.
Growing in sandy soil, two of the core vineyards were planted in 1847 (The Bechthold Cinsault) and 1906 (Spenker Ranch). Head trained, own rooted vines, weathered and with stories to tell, these vines became central to the blend inspired by the Bandol icon, Domaine Tempier. Along with a 50 year old Grenache vineyard just outside of Lodi and with two rows of younger Mourvedre, the vineyards were secured.
In the first few years the growers in Lodi were perplexed by the two girls from Napa who wanted to pick their fruit long before common perception of ripeness. The pale, low alcohol, dry wine that resulted was also a curiosity. After showing up for several more harvests asking for more fruit, Lorenza was here to stay.
Fermentation in separate stainless steel tanks allow the individual lots to develop and express their beauty. The four varietals add diversity to the final blend. Grenache is the anchor of the blend with its citrus components and high aromatics. Carignan adds pure cranberry, raspberry. Mourvèdre brings texture, rhubarb and depth. Cinsault with its pear and honey richness rounds out the mouth feel. The vintage is closed with the bottling of the beautiful wine before an early release in the New Year.
The first vintages caught the attention of sommeliers who were looking for an American-made, Provence-style Rosé. The wine continues to deliver a consistent flavor profile with a sun-kissed mineral driven palate, 11.5% alcohol and pale hue. On many top restaurant lists in the United States and beyond, Lorenza has been also featured in lifestyle and fashion publications such as Vogue, Glamour and Playboy as well as by the wine press in Wall Street Journal, Cru Podcast and The Wine Enthusiast. “Its been a joy to watch the world of Rosé explode into the force it is today and we are grateful to play a part in this evolution. We couldn’t be more thrilled that Lorenza is received so positively by so many people,” Michele exudes. What started as a 250 case project is now a well oiled Rosé machine and a respected frontrunner of a larger movement. Melinda and Michele look forward to spreading a message of love, one glass of Rosé at a time.
Photos by Matt Morris