This is a lovely Roussanne from California’s Santa Maria Valley.
It’s made by Peter Hunken and Amy Christine, the duo behind Black Sheep Finds, based in Lompoc’s famous wine ghetto. Peter was previously with Stolpman Vineyards, working with winemaker Sashi Moorman. Along with Sashi, he started Piedrasassi and Holus Bolus, in 2003. In 2008 Sashi and Peter parted company, and Peter took Holus Bolus and Sashi Piedrasassi. In the meantime, Peter had started Black Sheep Finds with Amy in 2005, and so Holus Bolus was incorporated into that winery project.
The couple now have a 30 year lease on five acres of the Hayes Ranch in the Santa Rita Hills, so soon they will be part estate/part negociant. Peter is now full time on this project, while Amy, who in 2013 became and MW, still works for Kermit Lynch, and also does a bit of sommelier work.
This is their fourth vintage of the Roussanne, and this time the grapes were sourced from the Bien Nacido vineyard. The wine is made from a small block, just under an acre, that’s biodynamically farmed, and it’s fermented and matured in seasoned 300 litre barrels, with partial malolactic.
Black Sheep Finds Holus Bolus Blanc Roussanne 2014 Santa Maria Valley, California
13.5% alcohol. Lively and bright but with some richness. Slightly pithy and lemony with white peach fruit and some fine almond and spice notes. This has some white Rhône-like richness and texture but it is beautifully balanced with a spicy, lively, citrussy finish. Depth allied to freshness, this is a restrained, detailed New World take on Roussanne. 92/100
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