Our newest release from the vineyard is our 2018 Roussanne, a true Rhȏne grape that originated in the northern Rhȏne valley in France. This is our eighth vintage of the sometimes-temperamental variety, and we are excited about what we’re tasting so far. It’s already earned a gold medal at the 2019 International Women’s Wine Competition, and impresses with aromas of tea rose, white flowers and a hint of spice on the nose, and it unfolds on the palate with notes of pear, apricot and a rich mouthfeel. The finish lingers with flavors of almonds and honeycomb. A backbone of minerality and acidity keeps this wine gorgeously balanced and delicious alone or with pairings from seafood to foie gras. As with all our wines, it is produced in 100% stainless tanks and never goes through malolactic fermentation, allowing the pure fruit flavor of our unique Lodi-Mokelumne River AVA terroir to really shine through.
While Roussanne is perhaps the most ageable of Rhȏne white varieties—and is often referred to as the white wine for red wine drinkers thanks to that ageability and all-around richness--it does have a bit of a reputation.
“Roussanne is a spindly plant, susceptible to wind, to rot, mildew, and oidium. Uneven ripeness, as well as botrytis, is common, and multiple passes are frequently required for a proper harvest. In the vineyard it is so fickle, in fact, that a grower at Novovine, a Sonoma nurseryman, gave it the nickname ‘the Princess.’”
-Patrick Comiskey, American Rhȏne
In the next breath, however, those who bemoan Roussanne’s finickiness will become downright poetic in describing the beautiful wines this grape produces. Is the princess worth all the trouble? The answer is YES.
It can certainly be a bit of a problem child in our vineyard, but we also have a slightly more hospitable environment for Roussanne here in Lodi, where we have a longer growing season and no troublesome winds like southern France’s Mistral.
One of the keys to growing Roussanne with best results is to keep yields low (which in turn keeps Roussanne’s acid levels in check), which we do with all our fruit at Acquiesce. At harvest, all the fruit is hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed.
Our 2018 Roussanne has just been released, and you can purchase it from our website or in our tasting room where we’ve just added it to our tasting flight.
307 cases produced, 100% estate grown
Harvest date – September 21, 2018 (last varietal harvested)
Brix at Harvest – 23 – Absolutely beautiful fruit!
Date of Bottling - January 18, 2019
Cases Produced – 386 cases
Alcohol – 13.5%
In a year notable for its lack of extremes—no heat spikes, no flooding, and no extended drought conditions—the 2018 vintage was a stellar one for the Lodi region, and it really shows in our second-ever bottling of the rare Rhȏne variety Bourboulenc, grown on our estate in the Mokelumne River AVA. Acquiesce was the first U.S. winery to release a single-variety Bourboulenc, and we think our sophomore effort is even better. It’s a high-yielding, hardy grape that thrives on heat and sunshine—something we have plenty of in Lodi!
How did we make this vintage? For starters, all our estate fruit is certified under the Lodi Rules for sustainable winemaking. How we grow the grapes for our wine is as important as how we make the wine itself, because without quality fruit you cannot have great wine.
The fruit was hand-picked in early morning and whole cluster-pressed; as with all our wines, the grapes were cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks to allow maximum expression of the fruit flavors and has no residual sugar, which means this wine is crisp and dry. It does not undergo malolactic fermentation.
While this variety has been prized in Southern Rhône, Provence and Languedoc for centuries for its balanced acidity and citrus flavors, it really shines in our Lodi terroir: aromas of white flowers and spice lead to bright citrus flavors in the glass, with hints of fresh herbs, a supporting minerality, and a lingering honeyed finish. Bourboulenc is a primary component of several blends in southern France (Bandol Blanc, anyone?), and it’s a key variety in our own new Ingénue blend, but it’s a real standout as a varietal bottling. Rarely, if ever can it be found bottled as a single varietal. While this wine is delicious all by itself, it’s also a food-friendly wine that pairs well with seafood, pastas and risottos with a cream sauce, and even with spicy food. As we worked on this writeup we decided to pair it with a leek risotto and seared scallops, and it was a winning (and delicious!) combination.
Like all the wines Acquiesce makes, it is exceptionally well-suited in general for the lighter California (and West Coast) cuisine. Our Bourboulenc recently won a gold medal at the 2019 International Women’s Wine Competition, earning its place alongside all our other gold medal winners.
It’s available to wine club members and in our tasting room beginning August 15, with a $28 retail price. It joins our tasting room lineup on the 15th as well, so stop by and discover this exciting new wine for yourself!