Folie à Deux is probably best known by consumers for their popular Ménage à Trois line of wines. Both the red and white blends in those wines have been offering consumers’ value driven offerings for many years. There are also some varietal wines in the Ménage à Trois tier which are produced from fruit sourced in a range of places throughout California. I recently tasted some new wines that Folie à Deux has released. These offerings focus on specific areas within Sonoma County. I’ll take a look at the four new releases today. The Folie à Deux 2010 Chardonnay was produced from fruit sourced in the Russian River Valley. This offering is 100% Chardonnay. Fruit was fermented almost exclusively in French oak barrels. Barrel aging occurred over five months in a combination of French and American oak; 22% of the barrels were new. 16,500 cases of this Chardonnay were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $18. Pineapple aromas dominate the nose of this 2010 Chardonnay along with hints of vanilla bean. The palate shows off an explosion of pure fruit with Granny Smith and Yellow Delicious apple characteristics stealing the show. Lemon zest and Anjou pear flavors are present as well. Pie crust, baker’s spices and white pepper all emerge on the finish which has good length. This is an appealing Chardonnay that shows off good varietal character. It’ll work well all by itself or paired with lighter foods.
The Folie à Deux 2010 Merlot was produced from fruit sourced in several Sonoma County appellations. Most of the fruit however came from Alexander Valley. This wine is a blend of Merlot (92%), Syrah (7%), and Petite Sirah (1%). Barrel aging occurred over nine months in a combination of French and American oak; 36% of the barrels were new, 13,000 cases of this Merlot were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $18. Aromas of leather, black cherry and vanilla fill the nose of this Merlot. Raspberry flavors emerge on the palate along with continued cherry characteristics (red and black). Tobacco, kirsch liqueur, minerals and white pepper all show themselves on the finish which has good length. This Merlot has firm structure and is true to its varietal. Those are both excellent qualities in a well priced wine that will be easy to find nationally.
The Folie à Deux 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was produced exclusively from fruit sourced in Alexander Valley. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Barrel aging was accomplished over 18 months in a combination of French and American oak; 17% of the barrels were new. 19,600 cases of this Cabernet Sauvignon were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $24. Aromas of smoke, leather, cherry and bits of green herb fill the appealing nose of this 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Black plum, raspberry, blackberry and cherry flavors fill the palate of this wine which is towards the upper end of medium bodied. Bits of graphite, sour cherry, black pepper and cardamom spice emerge on the finish which has very good length for its category. This Cabernet features firm acidity and soft, yielding tannins; it also shows off the virtues of good Alexander Valley Cabernet while simultaneously being primed for consumption early in its life when it’s appealing fruit flavors are at their best.
The Folie à Deux 2009 Zinfandel was produced from fruit sourced in Dry Creek Valley. This selection is a blend of Zinfandel (90%) and Petite Sirah (10%). Barrel aging was accomplished over roughly 12 months in a combination of French and American oak. 10,300 cases of this Zinfandel were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $18. The jam laden nose of this Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel shows off plum and raspberry aromas. Cherry and blackberry lead a brambly palate which is interspersed with bits of maraschino cherry. The generous dollop of Petite Sirah in this blend really helps the bottom end with deep, dark flavors such as black plum and boysenberry. Black raspberry, pepper spice and nutmeg emerge on the finish which has more than sufficient length. This wine has just enough of a jam component to make it a juicy and very forward, appealing Zin right out of the gate, It also has medium tannins and firm acidity making it a killer food wine perfectly suited to pair with anything off of your grill.
This quartet of wines from Folie à Deux does a fine job of showing off a few of the appellations within the broader scope of Sonoma County. Their friendly price points and wide availability also add to their appeal as go to wines when you’re out shopping for some selections that have crowd appeal for a summer BBQ or other get together.