On a recent trip to the Consilience tasting room in Los Olivos, I was mesmerized by their Roussanne. Fellow wine blogger Erin McGrath (@vintwined) tweeted me on my favorable comments, mentioning that she had always heard that if it was high in alcohol, it was low on grace. As I responded to her, I am not a fan of wine that is over-amped with alcohol. And certainly, Consilience has a roster of wines that are not shy about their stratospheric alcohol levels. But I always let my palate be my guide. My palate told me to take home some Roussanne.
It is a beautiful, rich, golden color in the glass. The nose is very floral, explosively so, featuring notes of honey and a flower stem component I find exhilarating. The floral aspect hits me with not just the petals but the stalk, too.
The taste is vibrant. I find apricot and honey in there with an almond paste flavor working the sidelines. The wine had me at the color, but I found it delightful all the way to the nice, lengthy finish.
I had it with a simple lettuce salad sprinkled with pecans and feta cheese in oil and vinegar, and I loved the pairing. I may have a new favorite white wine, despite the 15.9% abv number. To be honest, I would not have guessed it to be that high. It simply didn't taste like it.
The Consilience Roussanne contains 90% Camp Four Vineyard Roussanne, 5% Camp Four Vineyard Grenache Blanc and 5% Daniels Vineyard Viognier. The bottle cost $20 in the tasting room.
Appellation: California > Central Coast > Santa Barbara County
Alcohol Level: 15.9% abv
Acquisition disclaimer: Purchased by the author