I recently had the opportunity to join the good folks at Cellar Pass for an interactive tasting that featured Yannick Rousseau of Y Rousseau Wines and his delicious 2012 Russian River Valley Tannat. Tannat, a grape indigenous to Southwest France, is a variety I do not typically see coming out of Sonoma – on its own or in blends. Yannick’s love of Tannat goes back to his homeland of Gascony, France. There, the variety thrives in the village of Madiran and is capable of producing long-lived wines of high quality that are crafted for the patient and built to age.
Yannick’s grandfather, Pepé, who made his own wine and was an artisan butcher, introduced Yannick to homemade wine at a very early age. Through Pepé’s influence; wine, food, and family, which Yannick calls “the simple life,” have been a driving force behind his passion for crafting wines to share with loved ones over a good meal. With his wine-making experience in Madiran, Yannick headed to Napa in 1999 and had successful stints at both Newton Vineyards and Chateau Potelle Winery. In 2007, he founded his own label to highlight wines from his homeland (e.g., Colombard, Tannat) that perform well in Sonoma's Russian River Valley. I highly recommend seeking out some of his Tannat. For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.
|Y Rousseau Wines Russian River Valley 2012 Tannat|
Review: Y Rousseau Wines Russian River Valley 2012 Tannat (SRP $35): Deep in color, nearly opaque, this wine is firm and focused, opening with an impressive concentration of dark berry fruit flavors followed by anise seed, spice, and subtle earthy tones. It is fairly full in body, with well-balanced acidity and ﬁrm structure, backed by generous tannins that melt into the lasting finish. This wine opens up nicely with 45 minutes+ decanting and should develop additional complexity with bottle aging. A well marbled rib-eye would be an ideal partner. Yannick’s experience in Madiran coupled with the grape’s adaptability to the valley’s climate and soil shines through in the finished product. Region: Sonoma County, California. (Other info: ABV 13.9%, 5% Merlot 5% Cabernet Sauvignon 1% Syrah added, matured 13 months in 33% new French oak barrels, natural cork enclosure.) 90 Points. Click here to find this wine.
About CellarPass: CellarPassTV is an informative weekly wine broadcast in which some of California’s top winemakers, winery owners, and people in the food and wine industry are interviewed by host Sarah Elliman. Their website, CellarPass.com, is a leading destination for online winery reservations that’s well worth checking out if you’re thinking about visiting California wine country. To view this episode of CellarPassTV, click here.
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