Napa Valley Red Wine

"Are you seeing red yet?"

94 points

"The 2021 Rougiste (Cabernet Franc) is another hugely promising wine from John Schwartz. Red-toned fruit, herbs and lifted floral top notes all grace this aromatically expressive, bright Franc. A touch of California sunshine adds texture."
Antonio Galloni, Vinous
February 2023

94-95 points

"Aromas of orange peel, currant, flower, and cedar. Full-bodied with velvety texture and chewy tannins. Flavorful and fresh with a thoughtful finish. Hints of mushroom and forest flower. A blend of fruit from Atlas Peak and Calistoga. 65% cabernet franc and 35% merlot."
James Suckling
November 2022

This offering is for the Cabernet Franc lovers and downright fans of kick-ass red wine that is guaranteed to alter your perception of the bold, the seductive, the enigmatic color red.

With Rougiste (referring to a specialist in all things red) we are raising the ordinary to extraordinary. Think 50 shades of red — melding, roiling in this sexy, deep garnet-purple wine. The color red connotes passion, vitality; its varying shades — crimson, scarlet, ruby, vermilion, cherry, coral, claret — all are possible as you explore and enjoy the bold spectrum of Rougiste.

Decades ago, we were inspired to create Amuse Bouche in order to dispel the notion that Napa Valley could not produce a world class Merlot. Similarly, our mission for Rougiste is to showcase the beauty of balanced Cabernet Franc-dominant blends, such as Cheval incredible wine, responsible for one of my true "aha" moments. To express our reverence for miracles that come in red, our label depicts perhaps the very first such marvel, the parting of the Red Sea.

Rougiste 2021 ('roo sheeste') is a blend of 65% Cab Franc and 35% Merlot from our vineyards in the Atlas Peak and Calistoga AVAs. We harvested at 27.4 Brix, cold soaked the juice and skins for 4 days, then followed with 14 days of fermentation with twice daily pump-overs until dry. This latter process, called Delistage, involves draining fermenting wine out of the tank, then gently pumping it back over the top, utilizing gravity to compress the skins and homogenize the temperature of the juice, which allows for ideal compound extraction. The blend is aging for 18 months in 50% new French oak (Taransaud, Sylvain & Montgillard coopers) and 50% neutral French oak.

From the barrels, the mineral-driven mouthfeel offers bold flavors and aromas of black forest cake, kirsch and plum preserves, with nuances of anise, clove sticks and cigar box. The integrated mountain fruit tannins give this wine an aging potential of 20-25 years. Our inaugural production yielded just shy of 250 cases.

We will bottle the wine in June 2023, and ship six-bottle allocations in the Fall, nestled in an elegant Grands Joueurs Vignerons box.

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