Passion project of two Napa Valley natives, Jake Krausz (Estate Director of Arkenstone Vineyards) and Vincent Traverso, this simply labeled “California Rosé” is anything but simple. To look at it, with it’s darkish color in the bottle, the extremely large font, and the generic label — you may think (like I did) that this is some kind of weird blended saignée-style rosé made from leftovers. It’s actually, quite the opposite.
In fact, Krausz and Traverso started this project to get rid of the “California Rosé” stereotype…
As a vintner, when you find a vineyard site you love, it’s truly something special. You come to know the lay of the land, the quality of the fruit, and can taste — even at bud break — the potential for the wine you want to create. As a vintner, when you find a vineyard site you love, you’ll do everything in your power to keep the relationship with the landowner, ensuring that year after year you can keep on creating. As a vintner, when you find a vineyard site you love and the landowner decides to sell — this can be a tragic change of events. Unless you decide to purchase it. Which is exactly what Andrew Tow did.
“I like rosés with lower alcohol and more freshness,” says Yannick Rousseau, owner and winemaker of Y.Rousseau Wines. “Of course,” he adds, “being made from 100% Tannat, the wine has a lot of structure and backbone, and so can actually be a great alternative to some lighter reds on warm summer days.” Perfect. Personally, I’m always looking for a rosé with some life to it. Something that, at a cooler temp, is perfect as an aperitif, but can last the whole evening with flavors and textures that amplify as it comes to room temp. With Y. Rousseau’s Rosé of Tannat you can actually rosé pretty much all day…
About the Wine: As I mentioned in my brief Languedob-Roussillon synopsis, some French wines prefer to stay mysterious. Or, maybe it’s that they decide to maintain and Old World etiquette, not boasting the exact grape varieties, winemaking methods, and percentages of each varietal used. It does seem to be a “New World” fascination, telling a wine’s story on the back of the bottle, swaying drinkers’ opinions by the choice of words used. Why not, instead, taste the wine and figure it out yourself.
Such is the case with this Domaine Sainte Croix Cuvee Montures 2015 Rosé. I can tell you very little except what I saw, smelled, and tasted. I’ve drawn the conclusion that it is a purposeful rosé created in classic Rhône-style. But, read my notes — or better yet taste it for yourself — and tell me what you think.
I love a good rosé and I love a good Rhône wine, so it’s a safe bet that a Rhône-style rosé would be right up my alley. Predominantly familiar with the California take on Rhône varietals, I was excited to receive the Gérard Bertrand 2016 Cote des Roses and taste the Languedoc AOC’s expression of these most familiar varietals.