Michael Cruse is still tinkering with the style of Tradition, his non-vintage sparkler. This sees no sulfur during elevage, and the combination of lees and mild oxidation results in a wine of unusual and dramatic savor. Salty, nutty, bready, with a lees character so pronounced it brings sherry to mind, the wine nevertheless has a tremendous tension to its structure, a lemon curd brightness over the breadth from the lees yielding an umami character in the extreme. It’s hunger-inducing for—well, anything, including, say, pork croquettes and patatas bravas.
Cruse California Tradition (Best Buy)
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.
This story appears in the print issue of August 2021.
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