Rougissant’ is french for ‘blushing’ and the name of a red iris in Europe. We thought the name was appropriate for our deliciously unique pinot gris. This is our first bottling of the perfect 2018 vintage! Crop loads were juicy and plentiful, and temperatures in the ripening season stayed cool and never crept over 80 degrees. All the ash that had fallen everywhere from our devastating wildfires in 2017 filled the soil with potassium, which makes fruiting plants very happy and can lead to overgrowth. The cool temperatures kept sugars in check, however, maintaining fresh acidity and bright flavors in the wines. There was never any out of season rains, no frost to worry about, no crazy winds, no heat spikes… just heavy fruit that was left to hang on the vine for a very long time – a recipe for a perfect vintage!
The grapes come from a south block of the organically farmed Keller Estate of the Sonoma Coast ava- right in our backyard in Petaluma. Many people don’t realize that pinot gris is actually a red grape with thick skin. To extract as much flavor potential as possible, we macerate the juice with the skins for three hours before pressing. This gives the wine more complexity and a very slight golden rose color. The wine was then fermented and aged in stainless steel for 6 months before being bottled unfined. The result is a lush and delicious wine with nectarine and pear flavors and a nose of white flowers and peaches. The intensity of the 2018 vintage shines in the thick layers of floral aromas in this wine – with a long finish of mellow and bright acidity.