Monkey Jacket Red
Michael Cruse, a native of North California, launched Cruse Wine Co in 2013, after success with his cult sparkling wine Ultramarine.
This blend is 53% Valdiguié with the remainder being old-vine Carignan, Petite Sirah, and Tannat. Valdiguié used to be known, wrongly, as Napa Gamay, but it does show many of the crunchy, red berry, floral, graphitey characters as good fresh Beaujolais.
It is a wine of impressive vibrancy and brightness on the nose, but with a palate of late summer in California: sunny, dry, and serious.
(Fun fact: A monkey jacket was the historic jacket worn by sailors and organ grinders with their pet monkeys. The more you know!)