Sol Rouge is a 70-acre family estate vineyard and winery located in the Mayacamas Mountains of Lake County, California. just north of Napa Valley. It is situated at elevations of 1450 to 1950 feet in the foothills of a dormant volcano in the Red Hills AVA with rich, red volcanic soils. The vineyard is on hillside slopes and has plant densities as high as 6,000 vines per hectare.
The Sol Rouge estate is planted to Syrah, Grenache and other red and white Rhone varieties as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and other Bordeaux varieties. Sol Rouge also sources fruit from other California vineyards, although the wines reviewed here from 2011 and 2012 are virtually all from Lake County. The wines are age-worthy and made in small quantities. Bryan Kane and Jill Brothers are the talented producers behind these wines. Sol Rouge is a member of the Lake County Winery Association.
Sol Rouge 2013 Viognier Lake County ($32) 87+ Pale yellow. Moderately aromatic showing light stone fruit and flowers. Medium weight with good acidity and crispness on the palate. Dry with a persistent finish. Sol Rouge 2013 Gypsy Blanc Lake County ($28) 88 The Gypsy Blanc is yellow lemon in color and offers an attractive Rhone blend of Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier. It is round and full in the mouth with floral aromas and green apple and white peach flavors. The mouth feel is ripe with light citrus and lanolin and it finishes crisply. Sol Rouge 2014 Rosé Lake County ($18) 88 This is a Grenache-based rosé blended with Mourvedre and Syrah. It exhibits a floral and cherry nose with flavors of raspberry on the palate. It is nicely concentrated with good acidity and bold flavors reminiscent of a Spanish rosé. Sol Rouge 2012 Gypsy Rouge Lake County ($28) 88 The Gypsy Rouge is a blend of 76% Grenache and other Rhone varieties. It offers dark red berry fruit and is brambly, spicy and earthy on the palate. More vibrant fruit flavors would improve this wine. Sol Rouge 2011 Cabernet Franc Lake County ($32) 88 The Cabernet Franc offers aromas of black cherry, cranberry and green pepper that are mirrored on the palate. Aged 30 months in French oak, 30% new, the tannins are rather dry at this stage. Sol Rouge 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Lake County ($32) 89 Sourced from northern Mayacamas Mountain fruit, this 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon displays fragrant aromas of spicy, earthy red and black fruit. Aged 30 months in French oak, 25% new, it is dense and tannic on the palate with good balance and overall structure. Sol Rouge 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($75) 89+ This Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from two vineyards on Howell Mountain and Glass Mountain. It is earthy and brambly in character exhibiting ripe black currant fruit flavors with hints of herbs. Aged 30 months in French oak barrels, 25% new, it reveals dry tannins and earthiness rather than fruit. Sol Rouge 2012 Zinfandel Lake County ($28) 89 This Zinfandel is red fruited and highly aromatic. It reveals good density of red and black berries, pepper and spice. It is ripe and earthy in the mouth with a velvet texture, soft round tannins and a long finish. Sol Rouge 2012 Syrah Lake County ($32) 89+ The Syrah exhibits delicious blackberry fruit with hints of red berries, violets, and black pepper on the palate. Aged 16 months in French oak, 20% new, it has rich mouth feel, good concentration and excellent balance. Sol Rouge 2012 Petit Sirah Lake County 91 Our favorite in the line up is the 2012 Petit Sirah. It is highly aromatic and reveals very pleasant blue and black fruit and violets. It is soft and lush on the palate with good acidity and freshness, firm long tannins, and a long persistent finish.