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Big Basin Homestead Block Roussanne 2014

Roussanne from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • RP91
13% ABV
  • V91
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2014 is quickly gaining notoriety as an exceptional vintage. While it was one of the earliest harvest in history, the wines show beautiful finesse and complexity and relatively low alcohol levels and this Roussanne is no exception. The cool Santa Cruz Mountains are ideal for producing a Roussanne that is aromatically complex with finesse and body, but without becoming ponderous and heavy. This is a Roussanne with energy, freshness and a fantastic mid palate density.

The best pairing for this wine is with scallops. Crab, lobster or white fish will also not disappoint!

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Roussanne Homestead Block is terrific. Offering up beautiful purity and focus in its buttered citrus, toast bread, honeysuckle and white flower-laced bouquet, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, vibrant acidity and a lively, layered, lengthy texture. This is an impressive Roussanne that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 2-4 years, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it evolve for longer.
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Big Basin

Big Basin

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Big Basin, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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Big Basin Vineyards was founded in 1998 on an historic site in the Santa Cruz Mountains next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The old ranch property was first settled in the late 1800s. Wine grape cultivation had been started by French immigrants by the early 1900s and continued until 1965 when the property was sold by Justin Lacau, who had named the property "Frenchy's Ranch", to a timber company. By the 1990s, all that remained of the vineyards were redwood stakes and scattered vines hidden by brush and poison oak bushes.

We believe in a style of winemaking that allows the fullest expression of the site and the particular vintage. To this end, we spend long hours in our vineyard to insure that the grapes we grow are of the best quality possible. We believe in and employ sustainable and organic farming practices. The steep hillsides, cooling ocean breezes and fog, and fractured mudstone soils promote the development of color and complex flavors. By keeping the yields very low and harvesting small sections of the vineyard at perfect ripeness, we strive to achieve the most important part of winemaking - great fruit. The winemaking then becomes the art of gently extracting what the fruit has to offer. We carefully destem the fruit into small (one ton) open top fermenters where we cold soak the whole berries. We rely primarily on indigenous yeast fermentations which helps promote greater complexity and depth in the finished wine.

Big Basin Vineyards specializes in Syrah while also making a Pinot Noir and Rose of Syrah.

Santa Cruz Mountains

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

Roussanne

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Full and silky in body but also charmingly crisp, Roussanne makes a stellar blending grape. Thought to be native to the Rhone River Valley of France, and still predominantly grown there, it is responsible for some of the finest Northern Rhône white wines. Roussanne adds richness and acidity to Marsanne’s soft, fruitiness, making the age worthy and highly respected whites from the appellations of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and St. Joseph. It has earned approval as one of the white varieties for Châteauneuf-du-Pape

In the Glass

Persistent aromas of exotic herbal tea, a full body nearly as complex as a red wine, and distinct apricot and honey flavors make Roussanne unique. With age, the wines gain a more oily and glycerin texture.

Perfect Pairings

Richer fish dishes such as salmon, lobster, crab or grilled shrimp work well with Roussanne and its blends. A meal of roast chicken with herbs and winter vegetables is also delicious. Stuffed Butternut Squash, vegetarian curry and baked brie with apricots are other ideas to pair with Roussanne based wines.

Sommelier Secret

Roussanne takes its name from the French word “roux,” meaning rouge or red because of the grapes’ pink glow. In California, virtually all of the 339 acres of Roussanne come from true clones brought over by Tablas Creek and John Alban.

ALWBGROUSSC14_2014 Item# 166356