2018 Cruse Wine Co. "Monkey Jacket" North Coast Valdiguié Blend
ORIGIN: California, USA
GRAPE: Valdiguié, blended with Carignan and Syrah
Special Notes: No added sulphites. Natural Wine, organic and biodynamic. Fresh, Alive and Bright. Serve chilled 12-14c. Unfined and unfiltered.
Cruse Wine Co. is a small winery in Petaluma dedicated to making uniquely Californian wine for your table.
Michael Cruse was born and raised in Northern California and prides himself on producing wines that are unabashedly Californian and inherently delicious. Michael came to the wine business through his love of science. His moment of enlightenment was attending a lecture at Cal Berkeley by none other than Terry Leighton of Kalin Cellars! Michael was able to envision a path where his deep knowledge and appreciation for science could take him into the world of wine.
This path led Michael to several positions in order to really learn the basics, including stints in the cellars of Sutter Home winery before to eventually moving on to Merryvale in Carneros where he would work his way up to becoming the assistant winemaker. After several years of working for others, Michael felt the pull to strike out on his own and to create wines that reflected his vision and admiration for California. Michael set forth with a few partners to set up shop in an industrial warehouse in Petaluma where he built a custom crush facility and launched his Champagne inspired sparkling wine project, Ultramarine, in 2008.
Michael followed-up Ultramarine with the creation of Cruse Wine Co. in 2013. Cruse Wine Co. was an opportunity for Michael to showcase fruit driven and satisfying wines that were fresh and pleasurable, but still remained serious at the same time. Again, being unabashedly Californian. The roots of the North Coast run deep with Michael, so he chose to focus on sites within Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Contra Costa Counties to create these 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 is the epitome of what Cruse Wine Co. is meant to be, as it’s a blend of Validiguie, Carignan, Tanant, 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.
Monkey Jacket is aromatic, light on its feet and refreshing, all of which make it an absolute joy to drink now. Perfumed floral notes and sweet crushed red berry fruit add to a feeling of freshness. In 2018, yields were a bit higher for the Valdiguié, so it is more prominent in the blend than in years past.
Tasting Notes: Raspberry tart, sweet summer flowers, bramble, and the slightest hint of grilled meats and cherry pie. Bright, crunchy acidity, refreshing finish with just a bit of simple tannins that cleanse. If a red wine can be thirst quenching then this is it.
Food Recommendation: Wild Sri-Lankan Tiger Prawns, Octopus Risotto, Wonton Noodles, Pork Pasta