For this week’s letter “G” we are featuring Gruet Rosé and Gen 5 Cabernet Sauvignon.
This nearly garnet Rosé is aged 24 months en tirage. It has a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. On the palate, it is rich and fruity in a dry, Brut style. The flavor of berries continues on the palate, revealing more strawberry, raspberry, cherry. This sparkler is lots of fun and very festive, but production is limited to 5000 cases per year, so don’t miss out!
Gilbert Gruet founder of Gruet Winery was born in Bethon, France in 1931. He grew up in a poor family, and began working at a young age. In 1952, Gilbert Gruet, along with his wife Danielle, dreamed of producing fine quality Champagne. Gilbert followed his heart and in 1967 created the U.V.C.B. (Union Vinicole des Coteaux de Bethon), a co-op in the village of Bethon.
In 1983, the Gruet family was traveling through the Southwestern part of the United States, and while in New Mexico met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards In Engle, near the town of Truth or Consequence, 170 miles south of Albuquerque. The land was inexpensive and the opportunity golden. In 1984, Gilbert Gruet, whose Champagne house, Gruet et Fils had produced fine Champagne in Bethon, France, since 1952, made the decision to plant an experimental vineyard, exclusively planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. His children, winemaker Laurent and daughter Nathalie, and family friend Farid Himeur then relocated to the great state of New Mexico to begin their American wine making adventure.
At 4300 ft. the vineyards are some of the highest in the United States, so regardless of how hot the days might be, the temperature at night can drop as much as thirty degrees, cooling the fruit and slowing down the maturation process on an otherwise short growing season. Sandy and loamy soil, and a lack of humidity that might contribute to rot, give us a consistency of fruit year in and year out, and allow us to produce our award winning wines without the use of pesticides.
The excellent 1987 harvest allowed Laurent to produce his first two wines following the strict guidelines of a true Methode Champenoise. His Gruet Brut N.V., and his Gruet Brut Blanc de Noirs N.V. Production totaled 5000 bottles. All manual machinery had been shipped from France and the wine was produced in a small rented facility in the city of Albuquerque.
In 1989, after the required minimum of two years aging on tirage, our first two sparkling wines were introduced to a very appreciative wine world. Critics and connoisseurs alike were astonished by the quality and the value. New Mexico wine was on the map!
Gen 5 Cabernet Sauvignon
The slightly fruit-forward Cabernet is medium-bodied, with soft tannins and an abundance of blackberry-black currant flavors and an intriguing herbal/smoky finish that would make it a great match with barbecued meats, chili and robust winter stews. This is a great everyday red wine.
Gen 5 Family History
In the 1870’s their great-great-grandparents emigrated from Germany to Lodi, California. They started a small farm growing watermelons. In 1916 their great-grandfather expanded the firm by purchasing a grape-ranch. Their grandfather Harold continued carrying on their family’s agricultural roots and gaining experience on their land. Their parents, the identical twins Randall and Brad Lange and their wives Charlene and Susan, greatly expanded their vineyards. In 2007, with all five members of the fifth generation on board, they built their own winery.
Learn more about the Lange family here .
Terms and Tips
Gamay: Red grape variety; excel in the Beaujolais district of France. It makes grapey wines that can be low in tannin, although the grape itself is fairly tannic.
Garrafeira: A Portuguese term for a reserva wine with specific aging requirements-for red wines, at least three years of aging in oak and bottle before release.
Gran reserva: On Spanish red wines, a term indicating a wine that has aged at least five years before release, at least two of which were in oak.
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