2018 Cruse Wine Company, Valdiguie Nouveau, Suisun Valley, California.
Michael Cruse is one of the most admired new California winemakers, his Cruse Wine Company is an under the radar anti-mainstream success story who has a cult like following for his sparkling wines, both his Pet-Nats and his rare Champagne style version, but he also does some wildly fun still wines. in particular delicate and lighter framed Carignan and Valdiguie based red wines, especially Valdiguie, a grape of obscure origins in the southwest of France that was long thought to be Gamay in California, where it is still sometimes called “Napa Gamay” and is championed by a diverse group of winemakers and producers from J. Lohr and Rochioli Vineyards to recent stars Broc Cellars, Field Recordings, who make a Valdiguie Rosé and Cruse. One of his most fun jottings is this Valdiguie Nouveau, which is a stylish and more refined version with a lovely pale electric magenta/ruby color, just a shade darker than a Rosé, it’s floral and carbonic fruitiness make it almost impossible to resist, and this 2018 is outrageously good with pretty wild flowers, tart cherry as well as with classic Beaujolais Nouveau like hint of soft bubble gum and county fair cotton candy essences. Fresh and playful this Valdiguie Nouveau has a easy light weight form and with air gets more complex adding strawberry, herbs, watermelon/pomegranate and candied citrus. Served chilled it refreshes and stays focused with a crisp detail and is lively dry making for a cozy quaffer. Michael Cruse’s Ultramarine Brut Sparkler might be the most sought after new world bubbly and his mailing list is fast becoming a craze, I recommend getting on it, but I love the whole selection of stuff available, I must thank Stevie and Josiah at Bay Grape in Oakland for introducing me to Michael a few years ago at one of the Pet-Nat Zoo nights, as I have really enjoyed his wines over the last couple of years, and this Nouveau is a happy place to forget the seriousness of life, it’s much needed in this current age.
($22 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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