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Wine of the Day

2009 JC Cellars “The First Date” Roussanne Marsanne

The 2009 JC Cellars “The First Date” is a gorgeous wine. A blend of Roussanne and Marsanne, it has not just the sensual flavors and aromas of California Rhone whites, but also structure they rarely offer. This is likely due, in part, to an aspect of the aging regime.

In past years, the wine fermented wines were aged in a combination of new and neutral oak. For this vintage, 30% of the wine — all of it Roussanne — was aged in an unlined concrete egg. With this wine and one other from JC Cellars that was “egged,” my impression is that the fruit is less exuberant, allowing for more perceived minerality and structure. The First Date has always been a seriously pretty wine. Now it’s also pretty serious.

JC Cellars’ 2009 “The First Date” is lemon-colored with a pale rim. The nose romances you with honeysuckle, delicately sweet, gingery baking spice and peach. The palate is full-bodied with a slightly oily feeling that gives way to fine-grained texture that persists through the very long finish. There are flavors of stone fruit (peach and apricot), lemon chiffon, spice, toast and honey. Minerality is very present too and it becomes dominant at the end, setting up your palate for a bite of food or another sip. The First Date evolves very nicely as it warms and breathes in your glass. Don't miss that. Drink now through 2014. Very Highly Recommended.

2009 JC Cellars "The First Date"
wines-09_First_Date-0.0.250Rating: Very Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2014
Closure: Cork
Production: 220 cases
Retail Price: $28.00

Winemaker: Jeff Cohn
Blend: 75% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne

Origin: Santa Barbara County
Aging: 18 months in a combination of unlined concrete egg and French oak (new and used)
Alcohol: 15.3%

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Not required
Temperature: 52º - 58º F
Food Pairings: Poultry, butter poached lobster or, if you’re feeling ambitious, the Rabbit and Bacon Pressé with Slow-Poached Blenheim Apricots, Rabbit Liver Mousse and Green Pistahcios from Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide.

The wine above was provided by the winery for review.

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This article is original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.