2010 Alpha Omega Napa Valley Rose Wine

Mission Codename: Pair with Sunshine

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: send Agent Red back to Alpha Omega Winery to secure an exclusive Alpha Omega Rosé for the summertime enjoyment of our exacting Operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Alpha Omega

Wine Subject: 2010 Napa Valley Rosé

Winemaker: Jean Hoefliger and Michel Rolland


The Wine Spies are always on the hunt for the best wines that we can find. When it comes to Rosé , we are exceedingly difficult to please. Today’s wine comes to us from a Wine Spies favorite, Alpha Omega, whose delicious Rosé offers freshness and beautiful balance – making it an exciting summertime sipper.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautiful cherry jello colored, with evenly concentrated color, from core to the very edges of the glass. The wine shows perfectly clarity, with glinting edges that catch the light when you swirl the wine. On settling, skinny clusters of slow moving tears move slowly down the glass.

Smell – Bright and fragrant, with cherry candy, lychee, pink grapefruit and subtle nectarine in the lead. After the wine warms slightly, additional aromas emerge, including Wrigley’s watermelon-kiwi Juicy Fruit gum (pick up a pack and you’ll smell what I mean!), subtle slate and the unique smell of pink rock candy.

Feel – Lightweight and soft, the wine speeds across the entry. At the mid-palate, the wine becomes more full and round. After a moment, this something unique happens. A slight roundness appears at the roof of the mouth, adding an intriguing dimension to the wine. This effect is especially pronounced once the wine has had time to breath, and even warm up just slightly. A bright acidity and flinty minerality add complexity.

Taste – Young, sugar-sprinkled strawberry, light cherry, soft zest, subtle melon, with dried white rose petals and a hint of sour cherry hard candy.

Finish – Long, fresh and flavorful, with soft red fruit, flinty minerals, berry bramble and cherry candy at the tail end.

Conclusion – Each time I sample this Rosé – and I have had several occasions to do so, of late – I discover something new to love about it. This unique Rosé is made from, intriguingly, Bordeaux varietals. Specifically, the wine is comprised of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot, making it the most complex-sounding Rosés we have featured here. This complexity adds character, to be sure, but this wine is also very approachable. Today’s AO Rosé is refreshing, delicious and just complex enough to make it interesting – without that complexity becoming distracting. We recommend that you pair this wine with hard cheeses, fruit and, of course, plenty of sunshine!

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Jean Hoefliger

WINE EDUCATION: Winemaking and viticulture degree at the Swiss federal school of Changins

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Jean Hoefliger was born and raised in Switzerland. His initial experience took him from Switzerland to Bordeaux, and South Africa, making wine at the esteemed estates of Chateau Lynch-Bages, Chateau Carbonnieux, and Meerlust. Completing a winemaking and viticulture degree at the Swiss federal school of Changins, Jean came to California where he spent five years as winemaker for Newton Vineyard before joining Alpha Omega. Jean’s passion, knowledge, innate ability and scientific training puts him in a unique position to take the best grapes of Napa Valley and transform them into wines worthy of world class standing.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Naturally Fermented, Unfined and Unfiltered Wines

WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”If an art creates an emotion, the artist has touched its public.



AGENT RED: Greetings, Jean. We are thrilled to be showing your wine, today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

JEAN HOEFLIGER: Thank you for choosing to work with Alpha Omega. We are excited to give the Wine Spies access to our wines, once again.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

JEAN: Yes. When milk was replaced by wine in my bottle.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

JEAN: Petrus 1982 because it is the pure expression of the greatness of Merlot and one of its most famous terroir that shows the perfect elegance but strength of this outstanding varietal.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

JEAN: First and foremost, myself because I do not think that you excel at anything that you do not believe in, but of course the consumer is a key factor of the equation.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

JEAN: The priority of any winemaker is always the quality of the wine. Since I believe that 90% of wine is made in the vineyards and I am spending quite some time checking all of our vineyards to ensure the best practices.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

JEAN: Think about wine as an art form that creates emotion. Good or bad, it is taste. When I taste a wine it tells me a story, transports my emotions and therefore, to me it is pure intimacy. This is an intimacy that is strictly personal and cannot be wrong.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Alpha Omega winery, in the Rutherford, in the Napa Valley, can be seen in this satellite photo.

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