Cruse Wine Co. with Mike Cruse

By May 13, 2016 Tasting No Comments
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Saturday, May 14th, 1-4pm, $15

Like most people who work in wine, I always get a little bit happier when Mike Cruse walks through the door. He’s a seemingly bottomless reservoir of goodwill, quick wit and—how to put this?—thirstiness. And I don’t just mean thirst for wine. I mean thirst for just about everything. Thirst for conversation, for knowledge, for gossip, for recent discoveries, for tales of child rearing, for an opinion on the recent elections in France, for your idea of how a Pet Nat should be made, how duck liver should be cooked, or how a bottle of Beaujolais should be consumed. You tell him, and then, just like that, he starts telling you what he thinks, and he’s got these long, well-reasoned opinions that are so fun to hear. There’s this lovely balance between the idle flow across disparate topics and a certain reflective rigor that gives texture and direction to the conversation. I could talk to Mike all damn afternoon.

 

I can picture Mike reading this paragraph, thinking: this is where Bradford is supposed to draw an analogy between my personality and my wines. Mike’s thinking: are my wines down to earth? gregarious? friendly? Is that a good thing?

 

The truth is that Mike makes a range of wines, from a lightly fruited sparkling Valdiguié to a brooding and structured Syrah. The wines go where they want to go. They bear the mark of a winemaker who is still fascinated by what he can learn from grapes, and who delights in the mysteries of fermentation even as he attempts to discern its rational core. The wines themselves are buoyed by this tension: between a playfulness that moves lateral to analysis and a seriousness that propels one to become involved in the wine’s complex matrix of flavors.

 

Perhaps it is for this reason that Mike is one of the few winemakers able to move easily in almost all wine circles: slamming bottles of Beaujolais at Ordinaire on Wednesday, then sniffing old Burgundy with the somm set on Friday. And always finishing with Champagne.

 

On Saturday, we will pour all of Mike’s new wines. Because he keeps getting mentioned in the New York Times and showing up on celebrity Instagram accounts, many of the wines are only sold direct to consumer. But we are going to pour everything on Saturday, including the stuff that doesn’t get released to retail. So it’s a chance to get the wines if you aren’t on the mailing list. More than that, it’s a chance to chat with Mike. See you then.

 

 

2015 Muscat

2014 Chardonnay

2015 Sparkling St. Laurent

2015 Sparkling Valdiguié

2015 Valdiguié (Magnum)

2015 Monkey Jacket Red Wine Blend