The Varietal: Rubired
Although you may be familiar with the delicious Ruby Red grapefruits from Texas, it’s unlikely you have encountered Rubired, the wine grape. It’s rare to find it used on its own, as a single varietal wine. In general, Rubired is a grape used to produce grape concentrate, but can also be used as a blender in red wines. Rubired is a hybrid grape developed at UC-Davis in the 1950’s. It is a cross between Alicante Ganzin and Tinta Cao. Due to its relationship to Alicante Bouschet, it produces a dark red/purple juice which is used to add color in many jug wines. When used on its own, it produces full-bodied inky-dark wines with ripe berry fruit, and big soft tannins.
The Wine: MonteRio Cellars
"Monte Rio Cellars started as a passionate discussion, quickly became an intriguing idea, and grew into a dream project." Now truly breaking the mold, they have produced a wine made entirely from Rubired grapes, 100% whole cluster and carbonic maceration! Unusual in style but packing a powerful and exquisite taste, its seriously bright color and rich flavor makes it the perfect wine for your next barbecue or social gathering.
The Process: Carbonic Maceration
The process of Carbonic maceration affects the style of red wine produced. It enhances fruity aromatics and adds soft, smooth texture to the wine. Carbonic maceration is a way of fermenting red wine that differs from the standard, yeast-fueled fermentation. Unlike standard fermentation, in which yeast is manually or naturally added to grape must to convert sugar into alcohol, carbonic maceration does not use yeast to start fermentation. By placing whole bunches of grapes in a sealed vat filled with carbon dioxide, the oxygen-starved fruit will release naturally present enzymes. These enzymes perform a similar function to yeast, breaking sugars down into alcohol. Essentially, during carbonic maceration, alcoholic fermentation begins inside the grape itself.