Impossibly delicious and perfumed, featuring supple structure, bright red fruits and well-integrated floral notes
Producer: Cruse Wine Co.
Region: North Coast, California
Grapes: 25% Carignan, 24% Valdiguié, 19% Mixed Reds, 17% Tannat, 7% Syrah, 6% St. Laurent, 2% Pinot Noir
Medium Body, Complex
Flavors: Crushed red fruits, flowers, clean, vibrant
Pairings: Prosciutto, seared tuna, roast pork
Inarguably one of today’s hottest winemakers in Northern California (San Francisco Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year, 2016), Michael Cruse is at the forefront of a number of highly sought after bottlings often capturing unusual expressions of grapes uncommon to the areas from which they are sourced. Unlike other California cult-producers, Cruse Wine Co. does not make particularly ‘expensive’ wines; they make thoughtfully sourced, environmentally friendly, non-interventionalist wines that express either a concept (as with this wine) or a singular grape from a singular place. Michael’s wines tend to exhibit an unparalleled balance between well-delineated purity of fruit, vibrant acidity, and well-integrated tannins.
His ‘Ultramarine’, as yet available in Massachusetts, is an impossible to find sparkling treasure and his love for Valdiguié (pronounced ‘val-dig-EE’), some dub California ‘Gamay’, is nothing short of inspiring if not compelling and mouth-wateringly delicious. These are wines rife with personality and soul and should always catch ones attention, whether on a wine list or off-the-shelf.
A particularly unique blend of Carignan (25%), Valdiguié (24%), undisclosed reds (19%), Tannat (17%), Syrah (7%), St. Laurent (6%), and Pinot Noir (2%), the Monkey Jacket is unusual to say the least. As much a blend of these particular grapes as it is of specific organically/sustainably farmed vineyard sites throughout the North Coast of California, winemaker Michael Cruse has unapologetically bottled something brilliant! The wine enjoys all of the brightness, red and blue berries and savor of the finest of Cru Beaujolais with the added structure, texture and balance of top-quality Northern Rhône Syrah. There is nothing typical here other than perhaps the fact Cruse Wine Co. consistently puts forth wines that truly make you think and always leave you wanting more.