“Rasa” means terroir or “essence” in Sanskrit, and is used as slang to mean “juice.” Given the importance of place to Billo and Pinto in crafting their wines, it is a perfect name for their winery.
Rasa’s Vox Populi Mourvedre is a creation of popular demand. It was intended to be part of the blend in Rasa’s QED red. Vox Populi translates as “voice of the people,” and the many customers who loved and requested it resulted in Billo bottling it as a separate wine. Only 95 cases were made.
This rare 100% Mourvedre shows a rich, voluptuous raspberry core, accented by cracked pepper and raw steak notes. The texture and balance are marvelous – this is the sophisticated side of Rasa, and of Washington reds. – Marcus
The Vox has a rich vibrant mouthfeel with crisp acidity that lingers beautifully into the finish. The bouquet has wild game, white pepper, black cherry, vanilla, and nutmeg, with slight hints of mixed flowers. The silky tannins intermingle nicely with smoked meat, truffle, earth, mineral, and white pepper on the palate. The long, silky finish resonates with notes of white pepper. This wine will hit maturity in 6-8 years and will hold for another 10 years after that. If consuming young please decant for a couple hours. This wine will pair beautifully with venison or lamb. – Billo
The 2010 Vox Populi Mourvedre is 75% Monette’s Vineyard (Walla Walla AVA) and 25% Alder Ridge Vineyard (Horse Heaven Hills AVA.)
The Winemaker, Billo Naravane
This is the smartest winemaker on earth. OK, maybe a bit of hyperbole, but not much. Mathematician Billo Naravane knows complexity. He’s a computer industry guru turned winemaker, and his wines are as perfect a proof as a mathematical formula that something special is going on at Rasa Vineyards.
At right, Pinto and Billo Naravane
A mathematical proof is an elegant work of structure, logic, and intuition. You can describe Billo’s wines the same way. He is clearly inspired by the wines of the Rhone, and he brings considerable scientific skills to the process of winemaking.
The mysterious, essential core of the Rasa wines defies a simple solution. Billo brings buckets of heart and soul to his winemaking. All the rational elements of a superb wine are present, but their essence is indefinable.
Billo has worked in various technical and managerial positions in the Computer Industry for over a decade and a half. He received his BS in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from MIT and his MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Billo finished his MS in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis in June 2008 and currently runs the Viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College.