To be great at something you are passionate about is truly one of the greatest gifts in the world. It allows athletes to perform at the top of their physical ability; orators to bring crowds to their feet; litigators to deliver justice; scientists the tenacity to find a cure even in the face of adversity. In winemaking, it ensures constant innovation, following new paths to create something new, while honoring traditions.
Aging wine in barrels is a practice that dates back for centuries. Barrel aging, red wines in particular, allows a fermented wine the ability to slowly soften, thanks to a tiny amount of oxygen being introduced to the wine from the porous texture of the oak, while also introducing flavors like spice, vanilla, chocolate, and espresso. Though common for producing quality red wines, it is not the only process. Throughout various areas of France concrete tank fermentation has been utilized, as in Bordeaux and throughout the Rhone, with some opting to age their wines in concrete tanks as well.
Winemaker Adam Lee found this when he visited the prestigious Chateauneuf-du-Pape region of the Rhone Valley. He found producers aging Grenache wine in concrete, allowing the ultimate character of the fruit to shine, without the influences the barrel delivers. Lee proved his adventurous passionate spirit in the Siduri Wines he and wife, Dianna Novy Lee, created over 20 years ago, embracing utilization of a stelvin closure (screwcap) in all of his bottlings, eliminating the growing issue throughout the industry of THC (cork taint) due to faulty corks.
Though the concrete aging isn’t the common practice for Pinot Noir, Lee’s chosen beloved variety, he knew the light-bodied character of the fruit could work well with the practice, and with this philosophy launched Root & Rubble.
Root & Rubble Pinot Noir ($40) is a luscious, fruit-focused wine with texture, body, and an overall inviting approachability. Without the influence of oak, the Russian River grown Pinot Noir shines with floral aromas of lilac and rose petal on the open, followed by ripe cranberry, raspberry, wild strawberry, with a soft earthy, cola note on the finish. #cheers