Sosie Wines is a French-inspired boutique winery in Sonoma County. Sosie is the French word for “double” or “twin.” Sosie’s husband-and-wife team of Scott MacFiggen and Regina Bustamante say the name reflects their ambition to produce California wines in an Old World style: food friendly and well balanced between acid and fruit. In the past few months, we’ve tasted three Sosie Reds in their lively portfolio — two different blends and a Pinot Noir. Read on for Sosie’s story and our notes on Sosie Reds.
Owners Regina Bustamante and Scott MacFiggen founded Sosie Wines in 2015, with production of about 600 cases. Today, that amount has grown to about 1,100 cases. Scott, who is also the winemaker, strives for natural acidity in his organically and sustainably farmed wines, as well as measured ripeness. Firstly, they source fruit from several different organic, sustainable vineyards across Sonoma and Napa. Next, they note that “some are at high elevations, some at low, but all share pronounced cooling influences that lend freshness to our wines.”
Certainly, the bear and rooster on the winery’s logo and bottle labels is a tribute to both France and California. The coq is France’s national symbol, and the great Golden Bear represents the state of California. Likewise, the coq sits on the bear’s back as a symbol of the two merged worlds of wine. “Our wines are fruit-forward because of California’s climate,” Scott explained. “But, the Old-World techniques we employ in our winemaking make our wines French-style.”
In May, Sosie announced the opening of its first tasting room on Vine Alley, off the Sonoma Plaza. According to a press release, “the new tasting room is a cheerful welcome after a challenging year for Sosie, which lost its entire 2020 vintage to the fires that devastated the region. Rising from the ashes and looking toward brighter days ahead, the new tasting room is a testament to the resilience of owners Regina Bustamante and Scott MacFiggen and their dedication to Sosie.”
We tasted these three Sosie reds. Above all, Regina and Scott prefer restraint over ripeness, precision over power, and finesse over flamboyance, similar to the great French wines they found in the Rhone, the Loire, Burgundy and Bordeaux. “We aim to be their twin, their sosie.”
Sosie Pinot Noir, Spring Hill Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 2017 ($45)
Spring Hill Vineyard is located on the western side of Petaluma. It’s wet and windy with soils that are almost un-growable, and therefore perfect for Pinot Noir. Sosie’s Pinot consists of three clones: Swan, for its intense aromatics of raspberries, strawberries and cranberries; Calera for its velvety texture, pronounced acid and earthy aromas; and Pommard for its weight and dark plummy flavors. Pair this wine with turkey, salmon and a range of meat dishes.
Sosie Red Blend, Cavedale Vineyard, Moon Mountain 2017 ($45)
This Sosie Red blends 45% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus 10% Cabernet Franc. The fruit is grown on Sonoma’s Moon Mountain, in volcanic basalt soils at 2,000-feet elevation. On the nose, you’ll smell plums, cherries and black pepper. On the palate, flavors of cherries, cranberries and dark chocolate entice. The wine is structured and bottle-aged for more than a year before its release. But the tannins are still young, so decant it for an hour to enjoy the evolving flavors. We paired it with grilled steak, which was perfect.
Sosie Rossi Ranch Sonoma Valley Red Blend 2019 ($43)
We named this knockout Rhône-style blend on our July list of best Barbecue Reds 2021. Certainly, we loved it, and its tasting notes too. “Rhône blends are like boy bands, where each member is cast for their specific qualities. Grenache is the cute, approachable one, with generous fruit and refreshing acidity. Syrah is the complicated, brooding type with spice and violets. And Mouvèdre is the wild one, that’s rough around the edges yet savory and easy to fall for.”
Likewise, this GSM comprises 51% Grenache, 34% Mouvèdre, and 15% Syrah, all sourced from the historic and certified organic Rossi Ranch vineyard. But it’s beyond a blend; it’s co-fermented, which yields deeper color, brighter flavors and better integration. Aromatics of clove and anise lead into flavors of red and dark fruit, along with fig and spices. GSM complements ribeye steaks and other grilled meats, in addition to roasted chicken. For example, we paired this Rhône-style blend with juicy barbecued hamburgers. Delicious!
Summary: Sosie Reds
In conclusion, Sosie Reds are flavorful, lively and a beautiful pairing of France and California. Hence, the name Sosie, which is French for “twin” or “spitting image.” You can try these standout wines in Sosie’s new tasting room in Sonoma during your next visit, or order them online.
Finally, many thanks to Sosie Wines and Calhoun & Company for these stellar wine samples. Of note, we did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are our own.
Margot and Dave