2013 Juicy Rebound
Juicy Villages Cuvée Unique No. 34
Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Marsanne: ingredients for making the perfect white Rhône only this one doesn’t come from Côtes du Rhône, not even the Côstières de Nîmes or the Languedoc for that matter. This charming wine comes from the climats de Northern California. When Mary Danielak, partner and wife of winemaker Douglas Danielak, sent an email asking to see if she could pour us something new from Juicy Rebound, we were intrigued. First of all, Douglas makes some of the best Chardonnay from anywhere on the planet under the label Pont Neuf. Second, previous vintages of Juicy Rebound wines have been positively received (and drunk) by our customers. The Syrah and Grenache-based Juicy Villages reds from Juicy Rebound offer top quality fruit from exclusive vineyard sites offered at incredible value. All of Douglas’ wines are made in minuscule amounts, so his wines are not made nor meant for the masses. Douglas makes wines that clearly show off his unabashed love of French wines all the while being deeply rooted in northern California.
Mary came by the store not too long ago to pour us a sample of the 2014 Juicy Rebound Juicy Villages Cuvée No. 34. It is a long trek from Angwin, where they live in northern Napa, but like most country folk, other than the traffic and parking, visiting the big city can be a treat. Mary was a wine buyer for nearly two decades at an influential Napa Valley store before leaving to work full time with Douglas on their own wine projects, so she knows to pour the wine and wait before jumping in and giving her thoughts on the wine. Truthfully, nothing Mary could have said or added in terms of a wine story or technical notes would have changed my mind on the wine…I loved it! The thing with Douglas’ wines is that they weave varietal character with richness but never venture over the top – in a word, balanced.
Russian River Valley Sunset
Rhône white varietals, in particular Viognier, can be very tricky to vinify in California. Or at least that is my perception given my opinion that most Viogniers from California suffer from being flabby and redolent of canned fruit cocktail flavors – not necessarily my cup of tea. On the other hand, the Juicy Villages Cuvée No. 34 takes that exotic note of Viognier and places it in check with some perky acidity and crunch – that’s where the Roussanne and Marsanne come into play. The texture is pretty luxe and the fruit flavors go the way of apricot and apriums with light touches of jasmine on the nose. It is a very pretty wine that I can’t help but think is perfect for late summer sippin’. It has all of the fruit but none of the oak/butter qualities of Chardonnay, so it is super refreshing yet super versatile food-wise.
Walking on Water
This is my first day back at the store in over a week. After hosting a wedding shower for my nephew’s fiancé last weekend, I headed north with the husband, the girl and the dog in tow to spend a week at my happy place, the Russian River. Mornings were spent lazily with some time devoted to clean up around the dacha before heading down to the beach. Normally, I can’t seem to pull myself away from beach time, but I did get motivated one afternoon to visit one of my favorite wineries to taste some new releases and wine out of barrel – I’ll be sharing highlights of that visit soon. As for now, a bottle of 2014 Juicy Rebound Juicy Villages Cuvée No. 34 is going home with me. Tomorrow will be dinner with friends and I just know the Cuvée No. 34 will dazzle my guests. – Anya Balistreri