2016 “Cuvée Dorée” Roussanne - Rideau Vineyard
Juicy mango, orchard blossom, orange marmalade. Golden apple, forest floor, ripe persimmons. Fresh lavender and tropical flowers, powdered cinnamon and vanilla bean. A luscious and fragrant bouquet radiates sweet and concentrated fruit, enthralling with apricot, pineapple syrup, and honeydew nectar. While decadently ripe, sweet, and sticky on the nose the palate is anything but, rather it is bound up with dry tartness, tension, and beautiful restraint. Citrus peel, dried honey, and beeswax reveal themselves behind unique structure showing off light powdery tannin and balanced acidity. Interesting, contemplative, and creative. This 2016 "Cuvée Dorée" skin fermented Roussanne by Rideau Vineyard is a well-executed, unique, and just plain awesome orange wine from Santa Barbara.
Skin fermented white wine, known colloquially as orange wine due to its deep color, is growing rapidly in popularity all over the world. The best examples combine the aromatic fruit and floral notes of white wine with the mouthfeel and body of red to form an interesting and delicious hybrid. This bottling, crafted by Rideau Vineyard using Roussanne sourced from the Zaca Mesa Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley, is a fantastic example of the potential of this style. The bouquet here exhibits tremendous aromatic complexity, perhaps even more-so than their traditionally fermented Roussanne, which is likely the result of additional flavor extraction from the skins. The mouthfeel here is also quite unique as it exhibits soft sandy tannic grip along with a level of depth not typically found in white wine. This is a fun and impressive wine that has the stuffing to make a wonderful pairing with heartier dishes.