Cruse Wine Co. Rorick Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
Cruse Wine Co. doesn't add sulfur until right before bottling, then give the wine another 6-8 months in bottle to come together. Ready to drink now, but could age for another 5-10 years.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Cruse Wine Co. was an opportunity for Michael to showcase fruit driven and satisfying wines that are pleasurable, but seriously balanced and unapologetically California. The North Coast is near and dear to Michael, so he chose to focus on sites within the Napa Valley and Sonoma County to create his special wines. The one thing he didn’t want to do was to create another Pinot Noir or Cabernet, instead he found inspiration in varieties such as Valdiguie, Tannant, Carignan and St Laurent.
The flagship wine of Cruse Wine Co. is the red blend Monkey Jacket (the name inspired by an old, British sailor song). This wine embodies all the things Cruse Wine Co. is meant to be, as it’s a blend of Valdiguie, Carignan, Tannat, St Laurent and mixed field blend reds and provides incredible drinkability with brightness and ample structure. In addition to Monkey Jacket, Michael also makes small lots of single vineyard varietal wines from Valdiguie, Tannant, Syrah, Carignan and Chardonnay.
Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.
Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône Blends and Barbera are also important regional specialties.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.