n.v. Cruse Wine Co, Rosé Tradition, Méthode Champenoise, Sparkling Wine, California.
The richly textured and nicely aromatic Rosé Tradition has an elegant mousse that beads beautifully with small creamy bubbles and has a pretty salmon pink hue in the glass, making it a savvy hand crafted sparkler that delivers tons of personality and old world charm. The palate is expressive with red apples, cherry, strawberry and candied citrus notes, all accented by leesy luxuriousness, brioche, wet stones, rosewater, mineral tones and baking spices. There’s a start of secondary elements beginning to emerge and a sultry earthiness that comes through with air and the Rosé Tradition is a fine food wine with structure and flavors that holds up to many cuisine options, including Asian spicy dishes and or grilled swordfish with relish. This bubbly gets better with every sip and reminds me of some unique grower producer Champagnes, even some of the most geeky Meunier stuff that is very popular with enthusiasts. The grapes for Michael Cruse’s bubblies are pressed using a traditional Champagne cycle and press cut, then goes through a native yeast primary and malolactic fermentation in barrel, which shows in the vinous quality here with this exciting Rosé Tradition California sparkling wine.

The low dosage, Brut level, Rosé Tradition comes from the 2019 vintage, base wine, which was naturally barrel fermented in wooden casks and tirage bottled and Michael Cruse says It was then aged in bottle 24 months on its lees, then at least another six months post disgorging. Cruse explains that the Tradition line of sparkling wines are typically are a base vintage, like this one being 2019, mainly, but with up to 30% perpetual cuvée, or aged reserve wine, added. The blend is Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with this one obviously a Rosé gets a slash of red wine for the color. The primary vineyards used are an eclectic collection of prime site, included are Keefer Ranch, Alder Springs, Linda Vista, and Rorick Vineyard. The Brut cuvée or white bubbly Tradition is a non dosage and is bit more serious in style, while this Rosé version is more palate generous, or as Cruse says, fun and fruity, but still a dry effort with loads of complexity, as this one shows. Michael Cruse has really made a name for himself with these exceptional small production Champagne style wines that are highly coveted offerings. Known also for his cult Ultramarine sparkler, as well as his stylish Pet-Nats, especially the Valdiguie, and now a White Zinfandel Pet-Nat, along with some quality still wines, all of which are worth chasing down!
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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