If you don’t know Jean-Charles Boisset, start here with an outstanding rose from Sonoma County

JCB 2007 Sonoma Collection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Rose

Judy and I honored a press pass to a special tasting at a striking new “salon” in Healdsburg. It’s Boisset Taste of Terroir on the northeast corner of the Plaza and it’s the next stage in educating Sonoma County people about what the most knowledgeable in the wine world know–this is Burgundy West, second only to the still-unique region in France. Using different language, Jean-Charles Boisset himself told me that when I suggested that there are five or six budding Burgundies in the world. Yes, he said; but Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, the lower, near-the-ocean part, is first amongst the seconds.

 I’d valued the invitation to Boisset Taste of Terroir–and was in turn greatly honored by it. I think something wonderful is happening here. Cecil deLoach had to sell his blue-ribbon property (but not all his vines) and it was a huge French company that, smartly, snapped it up. Boisset has many properties in France and the USA but they are moving strongly to promote the Sonoma County terroir and I am happy. We’ve been saying we’re not second-place to Napa. That’s an old story. We’re second-place only to Burgundy.

I’ll write a good deal more about all this. But for now let me suggest that you go to the Healdsburg tasting room to be treated to the JCB Russian River rose of pinot noir, 2007.

This is not a pink wine. It is not a typical American’s picture of a rose. It has a vibrant eye of the partridge color, where the bird’s eye has been punched, but good, by somebody–a partridge with a red eye, if you will. Beautiful, bringt.

The taste is just as bright. The cherries for an old-fashioned pie had the sour red cherry flavor that this wine offers. It’s not “sour,” as visitors sometimes say dry wines are; it’s tartly acid as pie cherries should be.

Americans need to learn that we, ourselves, are beginning to appreciate, and to produce, rose wines as they’re meant to be. This one is even more so, being American. I mean, the alcohol level is 14.1 percent. The mouthfeel is full and rich. The taste benefits from generous, balanced acidity.

This is a wine for fish, chicken, sauced meats . . . everything, as is a good pinot noir. More later about the larger effects of Boisset in America. –Bob Cramer, The Fearless Taster.