I don’t know about you, but as a wine lover I am always thrilled to discover a new grape variety or winery. Sure, I have my old favorites, but finding new and exciting wines keeps wine interesting to me. We recently received tasting samples from Sosie Wines, a producer that is new to us, and we are happy to share their story and two of their wines with you.
What happens when two New World (California) wine lovers fall in love with Old World (French) wines? Their palates are forever changed and this change informs their wine preference. If said couple decides to make wine for themselves (and the rest of us) in Northern California, their palates set the style of wine they will make.
Sosie (so-zee) is a French word that translates to twin or spitting image. The name perfectly describes Regina Bustamante and Scott MacFiggen’s vision of making Northern California wines in a French style. That California/French thing is reflected on the Sosie wine bottle labels as well — the bear represents California and the rooster represents France.
Because great wine is made in the vineyard, great vineyard sites are, well, essential. Sosie Wines sources grapes from several vineyard sites that are farmed to perfection and produce physiologically ripe grapes.
Perfectly ripe fruit is essential for the kind of hands-off winemaking Regina and Scott prefer: native yeast fermentations, the use of at least partial whole cluster fermentation when possible, no additions and no subtractions (only minimal sulfur is added) and the judicious use of oak. In short, the vineyards speak for themselves in these wines.
2015 Sosie Vivio Vineyard Roussanne, Bennett Valley, Sonoma County — light golden in the glass with aromas of dusty minerals and fleshy melon and pumpkin. Delicate flavors of white flowers, melon, juicy citrus and dusty minerality are backed by hints of cedar spice. The wine is round and mouth filling with a long finish. 12.9% abv. 4 barrels produced. SRP $38
The complex flavor profile of this Roussanne leaves me feeling as though I’ve inadequately described it. It will keep you thinking about what you are tasting. With its complex flavors, weight and texture this wine is meant to accompany a meal. Consider pairing it with chicken, pasta or pork.
The 12-acre Vivio Vineyard in Bennet Valley enjoys a cooling marine influence with a significant diurnal difference in temperature that allows for a long, slow ripening process. Harvest time can approach November.
This Roussanne was barrel fermented and went through malolactic fermentation. The wine aged for 12 months in neutral barrels.
2015 Sosie Spring Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County — translucent ruby in the glass with generous aromas of dark cherries, berry bramble and forest floor. Flavors of tart cherries and raspberry jam blend seamlessly with hints of berry bramble and dried dill. Tannins are drying, but will integrated with the flavors in this medium-bodied Pinot Noir. 13.1% abv. 5 barrels produced. SRP $43
The flavor profile of this Pinot Noir tends toward tart, not lush. If you are expecting a Pinot Noir laced with other varieties to darken the color and sweeten the flavor profile this is not the Pinot Noir for you. You can taste the cool-climate site in this wine. It is lively, fresh and juicy just as Pinot Noir should be. This is a wine that really begins to shine on day 2. I always love it when this happens. I think of these kinds of wines as butterflies emerging from their chrysalis and spreading their wings.
This lively Pinot Noir is perfect for a warm afternoon and I think it would be delicious just slightly chilled. Pair it with pasta, spring veggie tart, chicken or fish.
Spring Hill Vineyard sits at an elevation of 500 feet above sea level on a windy ridge only seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. West-facing slopes are planted to a variety of Pinot Noir clones: Calera, Swan, Pommard 5, Wadenswill and Dijon 777, 667 and 115.
10% whole cluster fermentation using native yeast was followed by aging for 16 months in 25% new French oak.
As you can see Sosie Wines includes a lot of detail on their wine bottle labels. I find this information very helpful in making purchasing decisions if I am unfamiliar with the vintner. In general, I find wines made using native yeast fermentation to be interesting and complex. That combined with relatively modest alcohol levels gives me a hint as to the style of wine I’m likely to find in the bottle. In the case of Sosie Wines it’s a style I appreciate.
Also currently available from Sosie Wines: Syrah and Rosé of Syrah from the Vivio Vineyard in Bennett Valley, Pinot Noir from Roberts Road Vineyard in Sonoma Coast and Cabernet Franc from Stagecoach Vineyard in Atlas Peak.
Thanks to the ladies at Calhoun & Company Communications for sending these interesting wines our way.