Cruse Wine Company - Red Blend "Monkey Jacket" North Coast 2019 (12.5% ABV) 750ml
51% Valdiguié, 18% Mixed Reds, 13% Carignan, 10% Syrah, 8% St. Laurent, and Pinot Noir
Fermented in concrete with 25% whole cluster. matured in mixture of concrete with a few old French barrels
The wine is above all drinkable, nearly thirst quenching with exotic floral aromas, captivating fruit leaning towards berries and bramble with a striking verve and concrete minerality moving to subtle tannins and a refreshing finish.
Winemaker Mike Cruse sources his fruit from various vineyards and is turning out stunning wines with his minimal interventionist style.
More info from SommSelect:
"Like many legacy grapes in California, Valdiguié has practically disappeared: only about 250 acres remain. Until 1980, when it was correctly identified as Valdiguié (a.k.a. Gros Auxerrois), it was called “Napa Gamay,” and often still is. Thought to be from southwest France, it had its “Hearty Burgundy” moment in the 1970s, in wines labeled “Gamay Beaujolais.”
Valdiguié wines often resemble Beaujolais, with lots of brambly berry fruit, peppery spice, light/medium body, and crunchy acidity. In a market full of richly extracted, heavily oaked reds, they’re a dramatic departure, so the variety has some devoted fans. “It’s kind of perfect,” says Michael Cruse of Cruse Wine Co. “It keeps its acid, it’s nearly impossible to get overripe, and it tastes like California sunshine.”
Like many “indie” labels, Cruse Wine Co. isn’t dependent on just one vineyard source. Fruit for “Monkey Jacket” comes from multiple sites across five Northern California counties, though more than half—including most of the Valdiguié—is from Mendocino. One key source is Eaglepoint Ranch, which sits at 1,800 feet above Mendocino’s Ukiah Valley in soils of loam and sandstone...
Bright ruby in color and leading with scents of violets and black pepper, this is a medium-bodied red loaded with energy and intrigue. Brambly wild berries, strawberry-rhubarb, and black plum collide with notes of leather and black olive. A Californian mashup of Cru Beaujolais and lighter-bodied Northern Rhône Syrah. Pair with steak au poivre or some mushroom-sauced burgers."
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