When I put this wine aside to drink I actually held off a few days. Rhododactlylos, from Scholium Project, is a blanc de noirs made from cinsault grown in the northern end of California's Central Vally from 140 year old vines. It sounded special and weird at the same time. So I waited a few days. The wine met the special and weird expectations.
As we've discussed before over some pinot noir you can make white wine out of any grape. Skin contact is what makes a wine turn red and if you minimize or eliminate that? You get white or in this case sort of copperish white with even a hint of the brownish. Do you like that buttery sensation that comes from malolactic fermentation? BAM! It is here in spades.
Do you want your wine dry? This bone dry but it is far from sweet. Want to know about fruit? I've heard others say but my first thought here isn't really fruit it is sensation; it is artistry. This is wine made with something akin to passion. It is the first wine I've had from Scholium Project but it will not be the last. I couldn't bring myself to analyze as much as just drink.
Let's chat about cinsault a bit. You may have had it and been unaware as it is used in many roses from Provence and is also a common grape in Languedoc. In fact it is one of the top five most grown grapes in France (and it is heavily
grown in North Africa). I read about the Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi, California where there were vines that were planted when Grover Cleveland was president (perhaps the same vines used to make this wine?).
Cinsault can produce a lot of fruit and that is bad. This seems counter-intuitive but with wine grapes? Big yields are bad. Winemakers keeping the yields in control will produce better wines. Also, as vines age? They produce fewer and fewer grapes but these grapes tend to be of higher quality. I imagine these Lodi cinsault vines producing three grapes per vine.
Never be afraid to try something new when it comes to wine; the worst thing that happens is that you don't like it. Scholium may produce wine for the adventurous; so be adventurous. You may not have much luck finding this particular wine? But keep an eye out for Scholium.