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Roussanne is an intriguing and versatile wine that doesn’t get enough time in the spotlight. Although Roussanne is common as a component in blends, it isn’t often bottled on its own. We were so excited with the quality of the 2014 Roussanne, however, that we had to share it in a limited production bottling of 125 cases. And then we immediately went about finding the perfect recipe to match its light and refreshing character.
We finally settled on this deliciously healthy (and quick!) recipe featuring scallops seared and then placed on a bed of roasted cauliflower with a balsamic glaze. The scallops hold up well to the Roussanne without overpowering the delicate flavors, and the sweetness of the balsamic glaze and currants balance the earthiness of the cauliflower.
1 large cauliflower, separated into florets
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Scheid Vineyards Rousanne
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 jumbo sea scallops
1/4 cup tarragon leaves
Preheat oven to 425° and generously coat a glass baking dish with olive oil. In large bowl, toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast in prepared dish for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, in microwave-safe bowl, combine the currants, balsamic vinegar and water and microwave at high power for 1 minute, then steep while cauliflower roasts. Strain the soaking liquid into a small saucepan, setting currants aside in a small bowl, then simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Whisk in ¼ cup olive oil and chopped shallot; season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add them to skillet in a single layer. Cook over high heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 1½ - 2 minutes. Turn and cook the scallops on the other side for about 1½ - 2 minutes. In a large bowl, gently toss the cauliflower with the pine nuts, currants, tarragon and balsamic reduction. Adjust seasonings and transfer to four plates. Top each plate with two scallops and serve immediately.
2012 PINOT NOIR RESERVE
Terroir is a French word meaning that certain something that exists because of the unique combination of climate, soil, aspect, rainfall, grape variety, clone and other critical factors that exist in a very specific locale. It is, in essence, the taste of place. And no other varietal reflects its sense of place more than the temperamental Pinot Noir grape. It’s a fascinating wine that, as Miles in the movie Sideways rhapsodized, has flavors that are “the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.” The 2012 Reserve is a blend of our best barrels of the 2012 vintage. Comprised of Pinot Noir clones Pommard, 667, and 777, it is an elegant wine with enticing aromas of ripe strawberry, cherry, rose petal and truffle, effortlessly balancing richness and finesse.
VINEYARDS The cool temperatures of Monterey County present ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Our 2012 Reserve was sourced entirely from our Viento and Riverview Vineyards. Both of these estate vineyards are located in the Greenfield area. The morning fogs, cool winds and longer-than-average growing season translate into intense black fruit flavors, full structure and excellent varietal character.
VINTAGE The 2012 growing season was picture-perfect. The spring months were temperate and uneventful, with no significant frost threats and ideal temperatures. Cool nights and overcast mornings followed by breezy afternoons made the summer months perfect for even ripening and good flavor development. Excellent harvest-time conditions allowed us to let the grapes hang until optimal ripeness was achieved.
WINEMAKING We picked our delicate Pinot Noir grapes by hand at optimum ripeness in the cool, very early morning hours. Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermentation bins and allowed to cold soak for three days, (cold soaks are used to help stabilize color and enhance flavor). The juice was then fermented in small lots in open top fermenters and punched down three times a day at the height of fermentation, then held on the skins for two weeks before pressing. The must was drained, pressed to stainless steel tanks and, after settling the heavy solids, the juice was racked clean to barrels for secondary fermentation and aging. Aged for 20 months in 100% French cooperage, the wine was bottled then laid down for an additional 18 months prior to release. Our goal in selecting the very best barrels was to attain an ideal balance of tannin,