2016 Cruse Wine Co. Monkey Jacket
Region: Willamette Valley < Oregon
Grapes: Valdiguie, Tannat, Syrah + Gros Auxerrois
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming (85% of fruit is certified), fermented and aged in concrete; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal SO2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Michael Cruse
NEW VINTAGE ALERT! Bringing back Monkey Jacket from Michael Cruse, another young Cali producer who doesn’t own vineyards, and is constantly on the hunt for organic grape sources all over the Bay Area. So, it’s no wonder that he’s innovating and making wine with all kinds of random grapes. Which totally works with his philosophy of making wine for daily drinking, not wine for cellaring. Like this insanely delicious blend, which is 50% Valdiguie from an organic, dry-farmed vineyard in Calistoga, 30% red field blend from the Eaglepoint Ranch Vineyard, 15% Tannat from the infamous Alder Springs vineyard in Mendocino and 5% press wine from his Syrah. His Monkey Jacket (named after a type of jacket worn by sailors, hence the sailboat art) is so easy and drinkable, you will want to chug this whole bottle yourself, without sharing a drop, even if you aren’t normally a greedy pig. It’s bright, lifted, and buoyant, with aromatic red fruit, cranberry and violets, yet fleshy enough to go up against meat or a burger.