It’s not unusual for an oenophile to be into French Wine, but Scott MacFiggen and Regina Bustamante who founded Sosie Wines, dove deep into this passion, spending as much time as they could exploring the wines and regions of France.
With time spent in the Loire, the Côte de Nuit, and the Rhône, they soaked up the French style of wine, simple, of the earth.
When they opened their winery in 2015 they focused on restraint, and finesse. They wanted to be truly French in their style and named their winery Sosie (So-Zee), the French word for twin or double.
They searched for organic and sustainable vineyards to source from in Napa and Sonoma, looking for cooler sites to express freshness in the wine. They were not looking for “big, bold & powerful” which is a trend in some American Wines.
On the side label of their bottle, they explain their concept
We live in the bear state of California, but we are inspired by the wines of France. So we employ an old-world approach to winegrowing that favors restraint over ripeness, finesse over flamboyance. Our aim is to craft wines that show a kinship with France’s benchmark regions. Wines that are their sosie.”
These wines were received as media samples. No other compensation was received and all opinion are our own.
Sosie 2019 White Blend from Rossi Ranch
This wine from Rossi Ranch in the Sonoma Valley, is a blend of 52% Roussanne, 27% Grenache Blanc and 21% Marsanne. This wine is co-fermented (all the varieties together) in barrel and they do not allow it to go through malolactic fermentation. It ages 10 months in neutral oak.
Rossi Ranch Vineyard was planted in 1910 by Carlo Rossi. The soil here is clay loam with some volcanic ash. The vineyard is Organically farmed and surrounded by forests of oak and pine.
They made just 4 barrels of this wine.
14.6% abv – SRP $35
This wine poured a deeper yellow and was richer on the nose than I had expected. It reminded me of aged Roussanne (it is 52% Roussanne after all) and also of wines of the Jura.
There were notes of baked apple, ripe pear, subtle white flowers, and a bit of dust. The fruit on the palate is bold and almost made me think at first that the wine was off-dry, but it was not.
In my mouth, the wine had both tart and sweet fruit notes balanced, like lemon curd, with baked apple again, and dried apricot.
Sosie 2017 Spring Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
This Pinot Noir is a blend of the clones Calera, Swan & Pommard 5. Spring Hill Vineyard is on a ridge 7 miles from the coast.
This ridge sits in the Petaluma Gap, where is catches the wind, cold air and fog from the Pacific. This wind and cool condition give you smaller berries and lower yields.
While Spring Hill Vineyard grows 7 different clones of Pinot Noir, Sosie chose just 3 for their blend.
Calera to bring its texture of velvet, high acid and earthy tones, Pommard for dark plum and body and Swan for aromas of red berries (raspberry, strawberry, cranberry).
They practice sustainable agriculture here, using “natural cover crops of Lupine, crimson clover, California poppy and rye” (I imagine it would be a stunning vineyard to visit!). They use owls to keep down rodent pest and the ranch itself has herds of Wagyu and Scottish Highland Cattle.
The grapes were harvested on September 6, 2017 and did a 6 day cold soak, native yeast fermentation, with 50% whole cluster and 16 days on the skins. It ages 21 months in 40% New Oak.
They made just 5 barrels of this wine.
13.1% abv – SRP $45
The Pinot pour dark and the nose had notes of Black cherry, cranberry, cherry cola and anise.
In my mouth I tasted black cherry again and black plum. This is fruit forward with bits of sweet baking spices. A very satisfying wine.
Both of these wines were delicious and, we felt, well worth the price point. These are food wines, but they will make you stop and contemplate them between bites. We found them altogether satisfying.
Pairing the Sosie Wines
These wines are meant to be food-friendly. In France wine and food are meant to go together and provide more than just sustenance, they are meant for pleasure.
We tasted these two wines, pairing them with Salmon & Orecchiette with broccoli, spinach, and roasted red pepper ajvar.
This pairing went well with both of the wines. I do think these wines will pair widely, and I enjoyed the pairing, but … as I sipped the White blend I was picturing a couple of other dishes I thought would go well.
We had a pork and apple dish last year and a Basmati rice with apple and saffron that I thought would pair beautifully with this Sosie White Blend. These dishes would pull out those tart, baked apple notes I was picking up in the wine.
Sosie has opened a tasting room just off of Sonoma Square. Tastings are $30 per person (but you can share). They waive the tasting fee with a 2-bottle purchase. (I’m looking forward to visiting the next time we are in Sonoma).
You can find them online at https://www.sosiewines.com/
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.