Elyse Winery started in 1987, with a classic California varietal – Zinfandel. Over the last 25 years, they have grown, but have remained focused on creating vineyard driven wines that pair with food. While you may think that a Napa winery can’t make quality Rhone varietals, but with the help of some great fruit from the Sierra Foothills, Elyse is making it’s mark with two red blends and a white blend.
The 2009 C’est si Bon is a red blend with 5 Rhone reds and a touch of Viognier. The powerful Grenache and Mourvedre bases give it a rich and bold foundation, peppered with black pepper, spice, and blue fruit. I love the addition of the Viognier, since it adds a brightness and aromatic tone that you wouldn’t otherwise get. Chewy leather and meat combine with cloves, gingerbread and earthy notes with plums, cherries and a bright burst of citrus. The C’est si Bon is a great example of the power of Chateaunuef de Pape and how it can be transformed in the Sierra Foothills.
On the white side, the 2011 L’Ingeneue – Naggiar Vineyard would have you believe she is an innocent or unsophisticated young woman (the definition of inginue). However, there is nothing innocent or unsophisticated about this white Rhone blend! Comprised of 52% Roussanne, 32% Marsanne, 11% Viognier, and 5% Grenache Blanc, this elegant white blend evokes grilled pineapple, ruby red grapefruit, nectarines, and sweet cream. The dominant Roussanne gives it a bold body and rich creamy each base, with honey suckle, honey, and juicy pear following. The long, silky finish is a nightclub act in 1932 Paris.
Elyse is a winery to watch!
These wines were provided by the winery for consideration. All options are my own.