This wine, by Hilmy Cellars, is called Saignée of Sangiovese, named for its production method. Saignée is a by-product of red winemaking. During the fermentation of a red wine, about ten percent of the juice is bled off. This process leaves a higher ratio of skin contact on the remaining juice, making the resulting red wine richer and bolder. The leftover bled wine or “Saignée” is then fermented into rosé. These wines tend to be bit darker and richer than many of the rosés you see on the shelf, a good option for red wine lovers that feel it’s just too hot to drink a red.
Chill this wine as you would a white, and serve with grilled meats, charcuterie and cheese, or enjoy it on its own.
Who Likes It:
Melissa Lamb, the certified specialist of wine and wine manager at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, in Austin. While touring the Hill Country her junior year of college, Melissa fell in love with the Texas wine industry. “My first real introduction to wine was through the Texas Hill Country Wineries,” Lamb said. “They are the reason I pursued a career in the wine industry.”
Why She Likes It:
“Owners Erik and Neldie Hilmy have worked hard to produce wines that put nature and terroir first. Even their whimsical bird logo is a nod to the organic, pastoral atmosphere they foster at their winery,” Lamb noted. “Recognizing the potential for Sangiovese in Texas, they have created a stunning dry rosé that is a great balance of bright red cherries, dried rose petals, cheese rind, savory herbaceous tones, and dried earth. With soft tannins and bright acidity this wine is dangerously thirst quenching.”
“While this is a wine that you can absolutely drink on its own, the structure and herbaceous quality of this wine would pair excellently with cured meats and hard cheeses,” Lamb said. “To be honest, I instantly thought Fleming’s Tenderloin Carpaccio, served with gruyere croutons and caper creole mustard, would be an excellent match. This wine has the perfect weight and acidity to complement the savory quality of the Carpaccio.”
On Down the Road:
“Due to the sheer size of Texas, and the different terroir that it encapsulates, it’s really interesting to see how winemakers and grape growers are discovering what grape varieties work best and where. There is so much room for diversity here, yet it’s all still Texas wine,” Lamb said. “We can arguably compete with Spanish Tempranillos, French Viogniers, Italian Sangioveses. Hilmy, in particular, produces all three of these varietals in an elegant and refined style that is reminiscent of the Old World but with their own unique Texas flare.”