2019 Scotty Boy 'Blush'
Region: Santa Barbara County < CA
Grapes: Chardonnay, Mourvèdre
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming (uncertified), own-rooted vines; 1/2 of the Chardonnay 214 DAYS on skins!; 1/2 gets no skin contact; Mourvèdre gets 190 DAYS on the skins!; pressed to tank and settled for 3 months; bottled unfined, unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 13% ABV; 230 cases
Winemaker: Scott Sampler
Skin contact rosé that's technically an orange wine, made with barrel fermented AND skin contact Chardonnay & a skin-contact Mourvèdre for a fun, edgy blush!
Another killer wine from Scott Sampler, AKA Scotty Boy! A refresher on his story: Scott grew up in LA during the 1970s and ’80s, with an Italian-American mother and African-American, World War II–vet-turned-commercial/fine-artist father, eating his Italian grandma's red sauce. He migrated north for college, getting his degree in philosophy from UC Berkeley, where he got sucked into the Bay Area farmer's market, Chez Panisse-heydey food scene. After moving back to LA for a job in the film industry, he found himself drawn more and more into wine, eventually getting the winemaking bug and launching his own label. But he relates winemaking to food, inspired by his Berkeley days – cooking low and slow, keeping things pure and simple from farm to table. In his own red sauce and now, in his wines, from vineyard to glass.
His launched The Central Coast Group Project – easier to call it CCGP – in 2012, an inclusive name that reflects how Scott sees the process of farming and harvesting the grapes, to making and then drinking the wine, as true collective involvement. His website states, "Members of our (CCGP) Group include (in no particular order) friends, family, financiers, vineyard owners & managers, field workers, truck drivers, scientists, philosophers, the history of wine & winemakers, artists, chefs, sommeliers, bottle shops, and you." Love this. Scott's winemaking, which blends the anti-establishment ethos of punk rock with old-school techniques from classic regions such as Barolo, is about measured risk, and pushing boundaries without veering into weird territory.
He takes this experimentation to the next level with Scotty-Boy! fine wines & super coolers, the natty offshoot of CCGP whose mantra is "nothing added/nothing taken away”. It's all about transparency – no inoculations, no additions, no added sulfur, native fermentations, always bottled unfined and unfiltered, with the grapes being the focus: they source only from small family owned vineyards, farmed at the very least without chemical spraying, if not organically and/or biodynamically; and are only harvested by hand. Whereas Scott's CCGP wines are bigger, bolder and ageable, Scotty Boy! bottles are fresh and young, meant to be drunk sooner rather than later with a good chill.
Scott's 'Blush' is technically an orange wine, in that it involves some long-ass skin maceration time, with 63% of the grapes getting 190-214 days on the skins, the rest being direct-press Chardonnay that gets blended in. Orange wine, rosé -- call it whatever you please, but this funky, fresh juice sporting the cutest orange blush emoji label is a delicious trip. It smells like watermelon kombucha, nectarines and orange zest, but in the glass it's all tart hibiscus, strawberry and watermelon funk. It's definitely out there, a flavor roller coaster ride, but never weird or mousy -- just pure, happy juice.