Las Jaras Rosato: Cali Rosé Italian Style
As a rule, celebrity endorsed wines are best to be avoided. They are the contemporary equivalent of all those perfumes we were subjected to a decade or so ago, and usually don’t taste any better.
So when Eric Warheim (irreverent comedian from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job and lurch-like best friend in Assiz Ansarri’s Master of None) first started hinting about his own wine label we were both skeptical and intrigued.
Skeptical because the aforementioned rule. Intrigued because we have been paying some attention to his food/wine journey on social media where he ate and drank a lot of the same things that excite us.
It wasn’t always like this. Less than a decade ago, Eric was more of a Colt 45 kinda of guy.
With the success of Tim and Eric he started to experience the finer things in relation to food and drink, hitting up Beverly Hills wine tastings always dressed in all pink. Along with Assiz Ansari, perhaps Hollywood’s premier foodie, they started haunting some of the most exciting restaurants in the US. P
laces like Night Market in LA, the Four Horsemen in Brooklyn or Rebelle in Manhattan, where they made quick friends with the chefs and sommeliers since it was clear that these guys were kindred spirits.
Along the way, Eric met Joel Burt, a seasoned California winemaker who worked for Domaine Chandon as well as many other smaller labels. He became Eric's wine shepherd and at some point they decided to start their own label, Las Jaras.
It took about three years to get the thing up and running. During that time Eric immersed himself in wine. He visited winemakers in their cellars, participated in harvests and tasted countless samples. He eventually started consulting on the blending of wines for Las Jaras.
Like many of the wines Eric drinks, the wines of Las Jaras are made with little or no additives and sourced from sites that are sustainably farmed. This natural approach suits Joel’s winemaking beautifully.
His years working for large and small producers gives him the insight into making the hundreds of tiny decisions that go into making great wine. The goal is to make wines that are pure and direct, with lower alcohol and electric energy.
Rosé has always been at the heart of this project as it was Eric’s gateway into the world of wine and natural wine specifically (hence the all pink outfits). They make two, the more commonly available “Rosé” which takes its cues from Provence, but what we have below is the much rarer “Rosato”.
The inspiration behind this one comes from the mountain and hill of Northern Italy distilled through the rugged landscape of Mendocino. Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Barbera, Montelpuciano and Negro Amaro from some of Mendo’s best vinayrds are co-fermented into this superlative rosé wine.
Honestly many if not most of our favorite rosé’s come from Italy. And like many of those, this is a rosé that has no problem going from poolside to the dinner table. With a richer body than the typical feather light rosé, this is a lot more satisfying to drink.
With complexity more akin to a “fine wine”, the nose is filled with delicate aromas of wet stones, star anise, tangerine, and nectarine skins. A deep strawberry color, the palate is redolent with flavors of red plum, quince and cherry skin wrapped around a silky textural core. Bright and tart through the end it's hard to put down and will help wash down just about any meal you throw its way.
Las Jaras wines are a pleasure to drink and no bottle they make is more jam-packed with joy.