Region: Contra Costa
Bottling Date: February 11, 2015
Release: May 1, 2015
Production: 94 cases
Drinking Window: 2015-2017
After our successful experimentation with Cabernet in 2013, in 2014 we decided to get a little crazy, and really expand out into the world of "Natural Wine." The first release from this new line of wines for HD is the 2014 "RouMars" a blend of 69% Rousanne and 31% Marsanne, fermented together whole cluster and on the skins. In other words, unlike most white wines, where only the juice is fermented, we chose to ferment this wine more like a red, with not only the skins, but also the grape stems in the fermentation. After about a week in tank, with about 20% of the sugar left, we pressed the must and allowed the wine to finish fermenting in neutral barrels. The result of these choices is a wine that is darker in color, and somewhat cloudy, with more tannin, and lots of unusual flavors, but also with incredible complexity. Additionally, at just 10.8% alcohol, it drinks almost like a cider or sour beer, as opposed to a full-bodied California white wine. Because the wine is made in the natural style, some sediment is possible, especially if the wine is left in the fridge for an extended period of time. This is not harmful, and it is fairly easy to let the sediment settle to the bottom and pour off the clean wine from the top.
The 2014 "RouMars" is deep straw to gold in color, with noticeable cloudiness. The nose is striking, with typical Rousanne/Marsanne aromas of apple and lemon joined by exotic floral and mineral notes. The palate is bright, but also a little rich, with ripe apple joined by white tea flavors. The mouthfeel is quite unusual for a white wine, with tannin adding a unique component. This wine is not ideal for those who prefer a neutral wine like Pinot Grigio, but we believe it will appeal to those looking to surprise the palate and explore new flavors. We recommend serving it cold, with salty or briny food. It is a particularly lovely match with sushi, or anything with a soy sauce component.