January 26, 2016
March 1, 2016
The 2015 "RouMars" (Rousanne/Marsanne) is gold in color with a touch of orange, slightly cloudy, although perhaps a little clearer than the 2014 version. The nose shows aromas of cherry, orange, lime jelly, and exotic fruit. The palate is minerally, with intense apple, baking spice, lemon oil, and white pepper notes. Bright acidity and a saline quality carry through the finish, which ends very dry, with a hint of almond or walnut on the finish that reflects the oxidative style in which the wine was made.
After a successful 2014 version of RouMars, we decided to bring it back in 2015, and to take the skin-contact to the next level. In contrast to the 2014, which emphasized Rousanne, the 2015 is about 80% Marsanne, with 20% Rousanne, once again fermented together with whole clusters and on the skins. In other words, unlike most white wines, where only the juice is fermented, we fermented this wine more like a red, with not only the skins, but also the grape stems in the fermentation. After 10 days in tank, with about 10% of the sugar left, we pressed the must and allowed the wine to finish fermenting in neutral barrels. The result is a wine that is darker in color, somewhat cloudy, with more tannin, and lots of unusual flavors, but also with incredible complexity. We took the pick date even earlier this year, to capture more acidity, resulting in a finished wine that is just 8.9% alcohol, and that drinks almost like a cider or sour beer, as opposed to a full-bodied California white wine. Because the wine is made in the natural style, some sediment is possible, especially if the wine is left in the fridge for an extended period of time. This is not harmful, and it is fairly easy to let the sediment settle to the bottom and pour off the clean wine from the top.