Resembling the color of fresh watermelon juice, Forlorn Hope is an unfiltered/unfined blend of Zinfandel, Grenache, and Tempranillo from Calaveras County in eastern California. Don't even concern yourself with the grape proportions, because this wine is nothing like you've ever tasted in the Rosé category. Winemaker Matthew Rorick uses fruit from the cool Sierra Foothills (at the edge of Stanislaus National Park), which is whole-cluster-pressed to old 60-gallon barrels where it awaits spontaneous fermentation and sits on the lees for several weeks through malo and until bottling. Forlorn is all-natural vino with nothing used in winemaking except hand-picked grapes.
The Forlorn Hope estate wines are honest and pure representations of site and variety. They believe deeply in the magic of organic viticulture and the beauty of Calaveras Limestone. Producing wines that embody the uniqueness of the estate requires that the winemakers don't alter what the vineyard bears, and to this end, they do not adjust the chemistry of the grapes with additives, commercial yeast, or bacteria. All of their wines are spontaneously fermented by native yeast that exist naturally on the grapes. In this way, whether the wine in question is complex and nuanced or bright, cheerful, and easy-drinking, it will be a true and unadulterated expression of the Rorick Heritage Vineyard.
Forlorn Hope does not use new oak barrels in the winery for the same reason they do not manipulate the grapes or must– the winemakers would rather showcase what the vineyard gives: a reflection of the soil, sun, and our time spent farming.