Crux Winery is by far one of my favorite boutique wineries. They’re certainly setting the pace when it comes to Russian River Rhone wines — big bold flavors that are elegantly refined into some of the most balanced wines one can taste in the Rhone style. They’re the epitome of Old World conceptions meeting New World style. And the 2015 GSM Rosé is a palate-pleaser that proved just that.

For more information about Crux Winery, please read the full Crux Winery Review.

About the Wine: Crux Winery 2015 GSM is made from 50% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 18% Mourvedre all from the Russian River Valley (Crazy Run Ranch (estate vineyard), Force 5 Farms (estate vineyards), Atoosa’s Vineyard, Windsor Oaks Vineyard).

The Crux rosé made in the saignee method utilizing the free run-off from the winery’s GSM red blend. This excess is sometimes discarded (or sometimes turned into vodka…), but for the sustainably-minded winemaker this juice can be put to good use.

 But besides being a sustainable, the saignee method also ensures a softer, smoother texture as well as calmer, less acidic fruit flavors than, say the maceration or blending methods of making this wine — which you’ll see in the tasting notes below. Lastly, it is also worth noting that all Crux wines are unfiltered which also affects the aromatics and palate, but also the visual (don’t be amiss if you see sediment floating in your white or rosé wines).

13.8% ABV

Flavor Profile: My tasting notes for Crux GSM Rosé are three pages long, so let’s get started…

Let’s talk about this color for a second. You know how some rosés are just so pretty and pink? Others you have to describe as “salmon.” And yet there’s that third category that’s not even pink — I guess you’d have to qualify it as “peach” because of the utter yellow-y-ness of it. Well, this GSM rosé is seriously, well, rose colored. It’s as if red had a younger sister — that’s the color of this wine. So even just looking at it in the glass, you can tell, that this rosé has substance, backbone, it’s own innate qualities.

The nose of the wine is a can’t miss. It perfumes out at you the minute you start to pour — fresh herbs, hints of vanilla, pink-petaled roses. Quite honestly, what came to mid was a rosemary and rose petal shortbread cookie (recipe to come) — but minus any sweetness you may be thinking about right now.

At its center the wine is plush like a feather pillow (some kind of smooth, but not without its endearing lumps). Initial flavors will be of just under-ripe dark fruits like plums, figs, maybe even pomegranate. Secondary flavors run parallel to the primary, but are more nuanced — these are elements of fresh greenery such as rosemary, marjoram, maybe even oregano. There’s a good dose of acidity that very subtly bubbles around the fruit flavors.

And then the bubble pops, slowly releasing savory elements of white pepper, a bit of smoke, not unlike walking through the cloud of a fine cigar. There’s something about it that’s both invigorating and sooting.

Food Pairing: This wine has a good weight and body to it. It could stand up to heartier meets like steak or pork for sure. You could easily pair this with whatever protein you’d think of when you think GSM, but just make sure the sides are light and delicate enough so as not to overpower the subtleties in the wine.

I enjoyed Crux Winery GSM Rosé with a cedar plank smoked salmon (marinated in my special sauce) atop an herb salad and fresh-baked bread. And, yes, I think that was the perfect pairing.

More Info: If you haven’t yet read my full Crux Winery Review, please do so. I received this bottle of Crux Winery 2015 GSM Rosé as a gift. (Thanks Brian and Steve!) To find out more about Crux Winery, their available wines, and to purchase wines directly, visit the Crux Winery website.


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