To set the stage correctly a little background information on Acquiesce Winery located in Acampo, California, just north of Lodi. Susan Tipton set out on a mission to do only unique and lesser-known white varietals in a predominately red wine area! You can read more on her journey and the winery at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2018/09/09/acquiesce-winery-vineyards-an-unique-offering/
Just last week Susan Tipton was awarded 2022 Best Woman Winemaker award from the prestigious International Women’s Wine Competition. At the event her 2021 Picpoul Blanc was named Best of Class and won Double Gold, scoring 98 points. This on top of so many other awards for the winery and her wines. At the largest wine competition in the United States, the San Francisco Chronicle Competition, she was awarded Best of Class. Her 2019 Picpoul Blanc won Double Gold Medal at the International Women’s Wine Competition and her 2020 has won Best White Wine & Double Gold Medal at the 2021 American Wine Society Commercial Competition as well as many others.
Susan Tipton’s 2020 Roussanne won at the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Best of Class and her 2019 Roussanne won various Gold and Double Medals at various competitions. All her wines continue to win awards since she opened in 2012.
The Wines: Head to Head Battle
With last week’s announcement, I decided to have “some fun” comparing these two wines with a special meal at Verona18 restaurant at the Golf Club at Copper Valley albeit her 2019 vintages. On of her previous vintages, a 2019 Picpoul Blanc in an article I wrote stated “Visually this varietal is faint in color and almost translucent with a pale yellow hue. On the nose pineapple was the predominate scent coupled with minerality. Picpoul means to “sting the lips” yet this wine was much more embracing and had a disguised light sweetness. The finish produced a full mouthful of wonderment. This wine was made to pair with oysters in Europe. Susan Tipton also believes in the New World, it is excellent with spicy Thai food and dishes with cilantro”.
My previous comments on the 2019 Roussanne and earlier vintages have made my Best Wines of the Year lists year after year. “The 2019 Roussanne on the eye is a light golden straw and medium viscosity. On the eye and palate, it possessed an elegant finesse with floral aromatics, hints of pear, apricots and with a rich and silky smooth mouthful texture almost creamy. The finish had a soft nutty texture of almond and a hint of honey with a distinct minerality with a medium long finish. Roussanne brings more acidity, elegance and floral aromatic complexities to the wine which makes it perfect for chicken, turkey or fish”.
Now the battle lines were drawn tasting both of these exquisite wines with the special meal of calamari steak, called Calamari Livornese. It is sautéed with capers, lemon juice, and a special sauce served with an elegant polenta and topped and speckled with a minced tomato and fresh garden spices. The sauce was amazing, and I have yet to get a hint of what went into it!!
Four of our nine Friday Night Wine & Dine group ordered it. Each tasted both wines with bites of the calamari. Both wines were obviously great, but the unanimous vote was for the 2019 Picpoul Blanc and declared the winner of the contest.
Mike Dunne, wine writer and fellow judge, did an excellent review of each of her wines from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition from a story in SFGate “who calls this Best of Class sweep unprecedented, explains that each Acquiesce label was up against formidable competition. “More than 5,800 wines from throughout North America were entered, broken down into almost 200 classes, evaluated by some 50 judges. And these weren’t small classes. The Acquiesce Picpoul Blanc was up against 41 other white varietal wines. The Acquiesce Roussanne competed with 19 others. The Acquiesce Viognier was up against 52 others.” Dunne notes that the Acquiesce quartet also encountered formidable and varied competition in the sweepstakes, including very familiar fellow competitors.
No matter which Acquiesce wines you choose or vintage you will find a winner! Looking forward to tasting her latest releases of Picpoul Blanc and Roussanne.