90, Reviewed by Michael Rockich, AppellationsTen
I was preparing to roast and glaze a ham for New Year, and I wanted a refreshing wine that would generate contrast to pair with. I decided Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Rosé would be up to the task. For my palate, Gamble wines have always brought quality, focus, purity of fruit, balance, and simply put, high quality wine. So, I opened a bottle.
The Gamble Family has had a presence in Napa County since 1916 when Launcelot Gamble started cattle ranching and farming various crops. They say that current proprietor Tom Gamble’s desire is to carry on the heritage of quality farming established by his ancestors. When you taste his wines, like this one, you will see he has succeeded at doing just that. The winery is located back off the St. Helena Highway a bit south of Oakville.
Gamble Family sourced the grapes for this 2019 rosé from several Napa Valley vineyards with varied climes and soils which they say gives the wine complexity. The grape varietals employed are a Bordeaux blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 2% Merlot. The mix delivers a refreshing light rosé.
The initial grapes for this rosé from the 2019 harvest were picked on October 1st. According to winemaker Jim Close the fresh juice was quickly separated from the red skins and slowly fermented over a long period using white wine practices at low temperature in stainless steel tanks. This 575-case production was cellared for five months in stainless. Alcohol is in a nice low range at 13.4%, with pH of 3.32 and TA at 6.2g/L
As Jim Close says, this wine is fine for sipping or pairing. Pretty pale salmon in color, the aromas of red grapefruit, a wisp of blueberries, and strawberries offer a greeting followed by fresh forest berries on the palate. The excellent balance and refreshing acidity deliver great differentiation of characteristics.
The pair of Gamble’s 2019 rosé with the roast, brown sugar glazed ham, a side of sautéed La Rouge potatoes and another of apple with onions. The rosé pairs in harmony with the glazed ham, while providing a great counterpoint of fruit and crispness.
A sample for review
Photos, credit Gamble Family Vineyards