Winemaker Matt Smith, founder of Sassoferrato, toiled in vineyards around the world before settling in Sonoma working for Kendall Jackson. He founded the winery in Healdsburg, a suburb of Napa Valley, in 2015, naming it after the small town in the Marches region of Italy known for its beauty and the great food that goes with the great wines of Italy.
Matt's tenure with Kendall Jackson allowed him to appreciate white wines of which there were frightfully little in Ukiah in Mendocino County, a warm, mountainous area dominated by robust red wines, most of which were planted more than half a century ago. So, he decided to make the next best thing, Rose.
Making Rose is a bit tricky until you get the hang of it. The first time is always the scariest. You crush the grapes and leave them on the skins for just enough time to get the color you want. But, how long is that? Is it five hours, eight hours? You want a blush of color, not too much or too little. So, you experiment and give it your best shot. The skin contact also adds mouthfeel and tannins. But, you don't want too much or you'll spoil the wine's delicacy.
Matt has obviously got all this nailed because this selection is a beauty. A blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, here is everything you could ask for. Lovely peach nectar and enveloping cherry blossom take charge over all comers, from lamb sausages to a seafood gumbo or a classic carnitas tamale.