Rootdown Cellars 2021 “Es Okay” Red
Owner/Winemaker Mike Lucia honed his craft at Ridge, then became assistant winemaker at Copain. With that pedigree and given that he’s actually a native of Healsburg, he’s practically Californian wine royalty. Rootdown is his project focusing on wines of place over process, and Es Okay acts as his second label and offers an affordable dive into California terroir. Historically this wine has been strictly Portuguese varieties, but continued drought conditions in 2021 led to a smaller than normal crop (again), so the blend is 80% Syrah with the remainder Tinta Caõ, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Tinta Francisca, and Tinta Barroca. Mike says: “Here we go again…..I was supposed to receive 15 tons of these Portuguese varieties but because of the drought, only 5 came in. But Es okay, my friend Matt came through and let me poach some of his Syrah he was making in Hopland. The Syrah was destemmed and fermented in one large vat where the Tinta’s were fermented in one ton bins with half being fully carbonic. Not a very long elevage in barrel so this wine is young but very ready to drink! Grapey, jammy and packed with enough black-pepper aromas to trigger a sneeze, this medium-bodied wine is fresh and gulpable. Light tannins and subtle acidity keep the texture lively.