Roussanne •Westerly (McGinley) Vineyard
California: Santa Barbara County: Santa Ynez Valley
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!:
Today’s wine is rather incredible and we were totally blown away at how marvelous and how tender and how delicious and how… Well, taste for yourself – its great!
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Mission Codename: Operation Whitewash
Operative: Agent Red and Agent White
Objective: Rescue Agent White, who became hooked on today’s featured wine, and get to the bottom of his enormous fervor for today’s wine.
Mission Status: Accomplished (whew!)
Current Winery: Cult Vines
Wine Subject: 2007 Roussanne – McGinley Vineyard, Santa Ynez, California
Winemaker: Kian Tavakoli
Harkening from the Rhone region of France, the Roussanne grape is a rare varietal that is often called the more mellow younger sister of Marssanne – which it is usually blended with. In America, Roussanne wines are typically 100% Roussanne. Somewhat unusual for a white wine, Roussanne can age for 5 to 10 years. Today’s wine is delicious and ready to drink – now! Read our Agents’ mission report and tasting notes below:
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Golden yellow with glistening edges, this wine settles quickly when swirled, leaving behind some of the thickest legs I have seen on a white wine
Smell – A deep and fragrant rush of tropical fruits, with apricot, pineapple, honey, fig, star fruit and soft oaky vanilla
Feel – Wet, ultra-round, velvety and soft, this wine is so smooth and so delicate
Taste – Flavors are big and balanced, despite the soft feel of the wine. Present here are deep flavors that almost perfectly mirror the smell of the wine, with added minerality and a crisp acidity
Finish – Soft and deeply flavorful, with all over mouth with flavors that linger and then tail off very slowly
Conclusion – A delightful surprise, this wine delivers on so many levels! With great aromatics, an incredibly tender feel and delicious flavors, this wine has a nearly-perfect balance. Roussanne is known for its ability to age. Released this year, this great 2007 will only continune to improve. If you love great white wines, this is a certain winner that is a beautiful solo-sipper and a wine that will pair perfectly with many foods.
Agent Red Reporting:
Thank goodness that I am related to a famous religious cult deprogrammer!
Recently, Agent White simply stopped seeking out new white wines. Usually the model spy for our agency, and arguably the hardest-working of the bunch of us, we were all shocked when his work ethic seemed to be waning.
When he failed to show up for a meeting one day, I called his communicator:
“This is White…”
Hmmm. He had a somewhat dreamy tone to his voice. Not his usual crisp self.
“Buddy,” I said. “Are you okay?”
“Hey, never better. Never better…”
“Listen, you’ve failed to complete two of your last three missions and we’re all getting worried. What’s going on?”
“No need to hunt for new white’s, Red, I found the one.”
Quickly glancing at his mission log, I saw that the last wine he sluethed was a 2007 Roussanne, from Cult Vines. He gave it one of his best ratings ever for a white wine.
“White, you have to come in. We need you back on the job.”
“Oh, that’s nice of you. I have to go now. I’m expecting a few cases of wine to arrive.”
“A 2007 Roussanne, perhaps?”
“Yeah, man, like, wow… How did you know? Well, see you later.”
With that, he hung up. My next move was clear: Intervention and deprogramming!
I called my relative – famous for his role in the extraction and deprogramming in several high-profile cases in the 70’s and 80’s – and together we planned out operation “White Wash”.
The details of the operation are still classified, but after nearly 60 hours of intensive ‘therapy’, we were able to bring our beloved Agent White out of his Cult Vines induced haze.
To celebrate, we decided to taste a few wines that were in our backlog. Agent White brought out a bottle wrapped in a paper bag and poured us each a glass. I love blind tasting wines, and this wine was amazing. I have to say that other white wines paled in comparison to…
Agent White reporting:
…Agent White here.
..Please disregard the previous transmission.
…..All is well here at Wine Spies HQ.
..Please purchase LOT’s of today’s 2007 Roussanne. It could just be the last white wine you’ll ever need……
Top Secret Vineyard Surveillance Photo:
The vineyard where today’s incredible wine came from can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Color – Pale, golden/straw color with a slight honeyed tinge.
Aroma – Sweet aromas of stone fruits, integrated with white pepper and oak vanillin.
Flavor/Palate – Vibrant entry, with a round texture to the midpalate. The sturdy acidity livens the finish and leaves a refreshing aftertaste.
About The Vineyard:
Westerly Vineyard (now known as McGinley) in located in Santa Ynez’s Happy Canyon area. Its warm days are tempered by a cooling maritime influence at night that ensures a long growing season that is perfect for Rhone varietals such as Syrah and Roussanne. The syrah shows a lot of pepper and warmer climate dark fruits while the Roussanne’s depth shows why it’s the white wine for red wine lovers!
The 2007 Vintage:
Mirroring conditions in Napa, Santa Barbara also experienced extremely low levels of rain to produce tiny clusters of extremely concentrated and complex fruit. Record cold temperatures in January had the added benefit of delaying budbreak. The later start had fruit maturing in a more uniform manner over the growing season.
In September, a cooling pattern helped extend the consistent growing season allowing us to pick at ideal levels for flavor and acidity.
About The Winery:
Cult Vines’ relentless pursuit of perfection is embodied in our world-class wine.
Our passion is to provide the finest wine to discreet connoisseurs and collectors . Our wine is crafted from the finest vineyards that produce premium fruit. Our fermentation and aging processes follow the most exacting quality assurance guidelines. Cult Vines embraces old world grand cru tradition by choosing the single vineyards with the highest potential to create world class wine. These vineyards are located primarily in the Napa Valley region and include To Kalon, a new world grand cru vineyard that has produced some of the highest rated wines ever bottled. Our 2007 To Kalon Cabernet promises to be a world-class exceptional wine.
About The Winemakers:
Kian Tavakoli – Master Winemaker – The Master Winemaker for Cult Vines is Kian Tavakoli. Kian most recently was the winemaker at Clos Du Val where he ran their red wine program – including their highly-acclaimed reserve bottling. Before joining Clos Du Val in 1996, Kian spent four years learning cabernet winemaking at Opus One . With over 10 years of winemaking, operations and viticulture experience, Kian brings a stellar combination of sensory and production skills to Cult Vines.
Michael Zitzlaff – General Manager & Chief Winemaker -Michael is the new General Manager and Chief Winemaker for Cult Vines, overseeing all aspects of the production of our Roussanne and Napa Valley Cabernet. Michael brings a stellar background and expertise to the team and we look forward to bringing you the highest quality wines. Michael has had full winemaking responsibility for his family’s winery; Oakridge Estate located in the Yarra Valley, one hour East of Melbourne, Australia. After successfully building the Oakridge wine brand nationally and internationally, Michael initiated and managed an IPO in Oakridge Vineyards Limited where he was Chairman and CEO.
His wines have been recognized internationally receiving awards such as, “Warren Winiarski – Stag’s Leap Trophy” for “Best Cabernet Sauvignon of Show” and “The Wolf Blass Trophy” for “Best Australian Red Wine of Show” at the International Wine and Spirit Competition, London in 2000 and receiving the award for “Best New World Pinot Noir” at the International Wine Challenge in London, 2002.
Jonathan Borreson – Winemaker – Since his days of chasing down the ice cream truck, Jonathan has spent time in his parents’ backyard helping Dad with punchdowns and hand-filling bottles of Salute per Tutti, his family’s home wine. Bitten very early by the wine bug, he hasn’t strayed far from a vine since. He was part of the winemaking team at boutique Sonoma producer, Three Sticks Wines. Jonathan also worked at Artesa Winery in Napa before going overseas. He got an early taste of urban winemaking in Auckland, New Zealand, then made his way to the steep vineyard terraces of the Mosel in Germany to work for outstanding family producer, Weingut Reinhardt und Beate Knebel.