Since 1933, Louis Martini Winery has played a vital role in establishing Napa Valley as one of the world’s premier wine-growing regions–and it certainly does not disappoint. To celebrate National Rose Month, we caught up with Louis Martini winemaker Michael Eddy, who spent more than a decade under the mentorship of Michael Martini learning the expertise of a master Cabernet-craftsman in the iconic Napa Valley. Keep reading to find out what makes their rose so unique, and what the future holds for rose wine.
Coravin: Michael, with a background in biology, how did you find yourself in winemaking at Louis Martini?
Michael Eddy: The short answer is that I’ve always found wine to be endlessly fascinating. I earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Humboldt State University and later a master’s degree in food science, specializing in oenology, at UC Davis. Early in my career, I was able to work with some great producers, and when I had the opportunity to join Louis M. Martini, I couldn’t resist becoming part of an iconic winemaking legacy. The Martini family’s reverence for Napa Valley and the long list of achievements in advancing the region’s viticulture and winemaking is truly inspiring.
C: Louis Martini’s rosé is made using Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. How does this make LM’s rosé unique? Does it stand out compared to other rosés?
ME: Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t the most typical rosé variety, so right away it stands out. It provides a bit more density and structure than ‘traditional’ rosés. We also use some aromatic varieties to provide lift and amplify the fruit notes of the wine.
C: Louis Martini’s rose is created using the saignée style. Can you elaborate more on your process and how it differs from traditional style?
ME: The wine sees a very limited amount of skin contact before it’s bled off to ferment separately, but since we’re working with a bolder variety to begin with, the profile is immediately richer – it’s Cabernet Sauvignon styled in an unexpected way, yet it still has the refreshing crispness and acidity of a great rosé.
C: Tell us more about the flavor characteristics of LM rosé.
ME: Our rosé possesses some darker fruit notes, like black cherry, with a lifted, perfumed aroma. It’s moderately full-bodied for a rosé, but still with the fresh, bright quality that you expect in a summertime sipper.
C: Rosé has been trending as the wine of summer for a while now. How do you think it made it’s resurgence and has remained so popular?
ME: I think one of the drivers was that it took a long time for the stigma of White Zin to wear off – it just took a while for it to be okay for rosé to be cool again. Even though it never really stopped being cool.
C: How do you use Coravin in your business or how has it changed your view on wine?
ME: I think the technology is very useful, especially when checking in on older vintages. It’s also a great resource for our team in the tasting room – it makes accessing the library less daunting and can allow for a more curated guest experience.
What’s your favorite rose to drink during the end of summer? Share with us on social by tagging us (@Coravin)! To learn more about Louis Martini’s Rose, check out their website, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.