Arnot-Roberts North Coast Rose 2016 is a California rose made from grapes you may not associate with the state. To be sure they grow lots of different grapes in Cali but North Coast roses usually aren't made from touriga nacional, tempranillo and grenache.
The nose gave me a bit of the herbal but there is citrus too but not orange, lemon or lime. It is more like a ripe tangerine. Now when I say ripe? This isn't an indication this flavor is overly obvious. It floats around subtly teasing you;"I'm here!..." "No...Im over here!" There are even red fruits here, an almost dark cherry taste. It is, to use one of my fave and oft repeated words, a zippy wine. It is lively and has an acidity I would call fresh. You drink a bit and don't think; "this needs food." You drink a bit and think; "I am going to take another drink."
There is some flowery tastes lurking too and a hint of spiciness that finishes with a little bitterness. This wine has some weight. It is not a Provence rose. When I say the fruit isn't obvious I am not saying it isn't there. Fruit, herbal notes, fragrant flowers all subtly combine here. It is a subtle and complicated wine but it is also fun. I am not going to make a guess at what flower taste is here. I do not wish to eat any flowers. As this wine warms? It still drinks well. If you want to know if a rose or a white wine is really good? Try some at room temperature. Cold can hide flaws (it can also hide good stuff). There don't appear to be any flaws in this wine. Try and find a flaw (you won't).
Touriga nacional is a Portuguese grape that is used in some of the country's most highly regarded red wines. It is also used in the production of port. It is often a tannic and dark wine. It is also a wine that produces only small amounts of fruit (even though the vines themselves can be prolific apparently). Less fruit is good for winemaking but too much foliage isn't. You also find the wine used in Portuguese blends, particularly with touriga francesa, tempranillo and others. As a varietal touriga nacional makes big wines that you can age. Fans of California cabs and Italian nebbiolos might want to take note. This wine, of course, is a different creature being a rose. It would be interesting to see if a red touriga nacional from these Napa vineyards is available.
Arnot-Roberts are a winery well worth knowing. They are a sixteen year old company started by Napa natives Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts. You may have seen their high-end cabernets, sizzling, almost French-styled chardonnays as well as powerful Syrahs. If you looked for too long they probably disappeared as this isn't a gigantic producer. The wine's I've had by them are a perfect example of winemaking being an art form. Roberts first became a cooper and Meyers studied winemaking in the area.