Our Wines

Rucksack-Wine-BottlesRucksack features wines that exhibit the depth and diversity of the Sierra Foothill Appellation.  While our sister winery, Madroña Vineyards, produces 100% estate wines, Rucksack will be scouring the Sierra Foothills for unique examples of fruit expression.

2016 Barbera—Mountain-grown Barbera picked at maturity has a plethora of high-tone fruit characters. Black cherry, raspberry and cranberry dominate the aromas and the palate although we at Rucksack embrace the wonderful acidity. The wine is both bold and lively and perfect with great Italian pasta!

2022 Barbera Rosé— The aromas on the 2022 vintage are like an amazing fruit salad. Strawberries, raspberries, papaya, Bing cherries and more intertwine on the nose introducing a rounded entry, fresh and inviting.  Luscious at the start, yet a dry (0.35% residual sugar-below what a human can taste), this is that super versatile rosé that is perfect with food or on its own.  More red fruit (cherry, plum and raspberry) on the mid-palate, leading into a gorgeous finish candied fruit and toasty notes, this is a rosé to embrace for great summertime festivities.

2018 Cabernet Franc— You know in the old movies where you have the character who’s brawny but kind of quiet, sitting back with an enticing complexity, just taking it all in?  Well, that’s the 2018 Rucksack Cellars Cabernet Franc.  The aromas have that dark brooding fruit focusing on candied cherries with pinches of sweet baking spices.  With a beautiful deep color (that’s the cosmetically attractive part of our analogy), the expectation is that the palate will be equally bold.  And on that, this Cabernet Franc delivers.  But thinking that this pretty boy is “superficially” interesting to the eye only, there’s the mistake.  Rounded on the entry, the mid-palate builds with the cherry extract and notes of plum brightness.  And then the earthy aspects develop, drawing in a character that every farmer lives for…that essence of the land! Still a hint clumsy on the finish (as every great 1940’s protagonist is), just wait for the end of the movie, wait, I mean meal, and taste how character development works with great Cab Franc.  It’s a wine looking for a food marriage.

2021 GSM– We’ve always enjoyed GSM’s (blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre) during the summertime, and thought “GSM” would be the perfect name for our first GSM produced for Rucksack Cellars.  Sourced from our Enye and Sumu Kaw Vineyards, the marriage of these three varieties has developed a complex spice nose, with wonderful herbal and spice-cabinet characters.  Mint, oregano, thyme, and lemon verbena all stand out while a home-canned cherry fruit provides for the foundation.

The entry is almost succulent, filling the senses on the first sip.  This softer entry evolves into a smooth and supple mid-palate with complex cherry fruit and hints of plum red-fruit on the edges.  Dive in a little deeper and the tobacco and thyme spice layer into a finish of earthiness and cherries.

2021 Moscato This beautiful low alcohol/high residual sugar playful wines is a favorite for the warm summer days.  Replete with intense tropical fruit, the Moscato has an enticing balance that never makes it seem overly sweet. The aromas of peach, honeydew melon and luscious pineapple waft forth from the glass with subtle hints of ripe apple swirling throughout.  But it’s the palate that is really the fun part.  The wine starts fruity but not overly sweet with loads of honey and mango characters melding into pineapple fruit once again.  The palate is rich, or rather, luscious with a bit of mid-palate sweetness. But with the wonderful acidity and low pH, the 2021 Moscato never deviates into a fat wine and is instead almost elegant and drinks drier than it is.  And then the finish is all ripe apples – lingering long inot the next sip!  (Serving temperature – bone cold!)

2020 Pinot Noir – Description Coming Soon!

2016 Seco—For most of us, we think sweet luscious Port when taste Portuguese varieties. But dry dinner wines are more the norm. The 2016 Seco with 41% Touriga Nacional, 33% Tinta Cão and 26% Alvarelhão is a fruit-forward expression, loaded with blackberry and black cherry fruit. With a rustic feel, this big Portuguese red is destined for bolder dishes with family and friends.

2017 ‘The Cache’—A go-to wine at our house, this blend of Bordeaux varieties (51% Malbec, 27% Merlot, 9% Cab Sauv, 8% Cab Franc, 5% Petit Verdot) brings about the bold and the elegant at the same time. We emphasize the Malbec and Merlot both for their softer tannins and dark cherry, plum fruit. The other varieties bring in the complexity of spice and backbone of tannin. Really, a Bordeaux blend off of 40+ year-old vines for $24? That’s crazy!

2019 Zinfandel—A spicy Zin with great color and a smooth palate, what more could you ask for? Well, naturally farmed (no herbicides), small lot production (96 cases), and a balanced palate make this a Zin to enjoy. Blackberry and dark cherry fruit abound with black pepper and savory spices filling in the edges. Great Zin from a great winery!


2 Responses to Our Wines

  1. Terri Friedl says:

    I had your Cache Blend at Placerville Public House. What a delicious wine. Can’t wait to go to the winery and try your other wines….

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