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{2015 Grenache – Estate}

This is our 17th vintage of estate Grenache.  A glorious middle-weight wine which is highly food friendly, expressive of site, and ideally suited to our location and decomposed granite soil.  In 2015 our south and east-facing vineyard blocks provided us with lovely wine with which to build our final blend.  Deep ripe cherry, orange peel and cinnamon aromatics fill the nose, with lingering flavors of toasty oak, creamy brown sugar, and nutmeg in the mouth. Balanced acidity, subtly fine tannins, and a silky feel in the finish remind us of a ripe Chateauneuf du Pape. Organically farmed, bottled without filtration.   

Blend:  86% Grenache, 14% Syrah

Price:  $26

Cases Produced:  169

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Read about Previous Vintages:

We're among the earlier California makers of Grenache as a varietally labeled red wine - this is our 16th vintage.  Our style has evolved over the years, as vine age and management have intensified aromatics and winemaking has emphasized freshness and depth.  Our 2014 version has beautiful ruby color, intense cherry and strawberry aromatics  which open into classic orange peel and candle wax.  Dark cherry flavors join cinnamon spice and subtle toasty oak, and give way to a rich, silky feel on the palate, with integrated tannins and refreshing acidity.  It's delicious!  Grapes farmed organically, and bottled without filtration. 

Blend:  88% Grenache, 12% Syrah

Price:  $25

Cases Produced:  196

We've been in a long term love affair with Grenache, even before we planted it in 1996.   From the day our tiny plants arrived from Tablas Creek Nursery in the back of their neighbor's minivan, we've devoted ourselves to tending our Grenache vineyard.  It's a fussy and demanding grape to grow, showing any lack of attention in the vineyard, but we love it still.  The 2013 vintage is spectacular, a deep and complex wine, with aromatics leaning towards darker fruits with a hint of strawberry and candle wax, cinnamon, orange peel, roasted grain, and lots of decomposed granite character.  Very expressive.  Co-fermented and blended with 14% Syrah. Grapes farmed organically, and bottled without filtration. 

Blend:  86% Grenache, 14% Syrah

Price:  $25

Cases Produced:  159

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Many people think Grenache is our signature wine. Of course, that’s debatable, but we certainly agree that it’s an ideal fit for our decomposed granite soil, which contributes significantly to our Grenache’s unique character. The 2012 version is a joy to drink. Fresh raspberry, orange peel, hints of rose petals, and honey enliven the aromatics. The flavors shout “Grenache!” with loads of juicy red fruits, Provencal herbs, dark cherry, and firm tannins. Organically farmed grapes. Bottled without filtration. 

Blend:  86% Grenache, 14% Syrah

Price:  $25

Cases Produced:  187

Grenache seems to be an ideal fit for our estate vineyard.  Warm or cool growing season, the resulting wines never lack pretty aromatics nor the almost ethereal character that makes this grape such a favorite.  In this cool 2011 vintage, the red fruit flavors are amplified.  The wine's complex aromatics are a mix of strawberry, cherry, orange peel, and spice box, along with fresh cherries and dark chocolate flavors, lovely elegance, nice structure and of course, minerality.  This Grenache is not about size, rather, it's about the pure elegance and freshness of this wonderful grape variety.   

Blend:  82% Grenache, 18% Syrah

Price:  $25

Cases Produced:  169

Our 2010 Grenache is cut from the same cloth as our 2009.  It's fully ripe, yet shows the pure fruit of a cooler vintage, with aromatics of plums, cherry, and cumin, along with hints of orange peel, tea leaf and candle wax.  Flavors are complex and mouthfilling, with lots of granitic minerality and juicy red fruits, lively acidity, subtle tannin, and a long dark cherry finish.  It is co-fermented and blended with 14% syrah. It's still very limited in production, and always the first of our wines to sell out.  

Blend:  84% Grenache, 16% Syrah

Price:  $25

Cases Produced:  208

The 2009 Grenache is blended with 16% syrah, half of which was co-fermented with the Grenache, the rest blended before bottling. For the first time, we've included Grenache from our block of grafted vines, which contributes a lovely red-fruited component. Enticing aromas of strawberry liqueur, orange peels, and spice-box mingle with juicy, dark fruit flavors, soft integrated tannins and a deliciously long finish. It's quite concentrated, almost like the essence of Grenache. We're crazy about this wine, and we suspect you will be too!

Blend: 84% Grenache, 16% Syrah

Price: $25

Cases Produced: 196

Now in their 15th growing season, the Grenache vines' roots are deep into the soil and the grapes offer up a fascinating expression of this great varietal from our unique vineyard. The legendary spring frost of 2008 reduced the crop and concentrated the wine's pure Grenache flavors.  We blended in about 15% syrah, a little less than usual in order to highlight the intense Grenache aromatics.  The wine has bright cherry aromas and strawberry liqueur-like flavors leading to a long, rich and spicy finish.  And its decomposed granite underpinnings are present, as always.  We can safely say this wine rocks!

Blend:  85% Grenache, 15% Syrah

Price:  $25

Cases Produced:  165

The splendor of the 2007 vintage really shows in this wine.  This was obvious at harvest, when we decided to co-ferment the Grenache with about 5% Syrah.  Prior to bottling we blended in about 15% more Syrah to balance and flesh out the wine.  It's the highest percentage of Syrah we've ever used in our Grenache, yet it only seems to complement the essential "Grenache-ness" of the wine. The wine leads off with enticing aromas of ripe plums, Asian spices, and a hint of wood smoke, followed by flavors of raspberry liqueur and minerals, a juicy and opulent mouth feel, and a long, pure finish.    Similar in many ways to our prior vintages of Grenache, yet, in this abundantly fruit-filled vintage, we think it's quite special. 

Blend:  80% Grenache, 20% Syrah

Price:  $25

Cases Produced:  177

Grenache continues to be a source of fascination and a true passion for us. Grenache is a grape variety that expresses the individual soil and climate in which it grows, and our 2006 vintage clearly demonstrates that unique sense of “place”. The wine from our Grenache vines seems to get more intense and complex with each successive vintage, and we think that’s linked to the vines rooting deeper into the granite soil and becoming more mature each passing year. Blending seems to be beneficial with Grenache, and the 2006 version is no exception. This year we added a dash of Mourvedre to the blend, along with our usual healthy dollop of Syrah. This wine offers up complex aromas of plums, orange peels, lavender, and candle wax, with intense strawberry flavors, a hint of spice-box, silky texture, snappy acidity, and a long mineral-laden finish.

Estate Vineyard Block: Estate Vineyard, south facing slope near top of vineyard at 2,500 feet elevation

Blend: 80% Grenache, 17% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre

Price: $25

Cases Produced: 184

Lately, Grenache has become our "go to" wine. We enjoy the way the wine's mid-weight body and lovely red fruit flavors complement a meal. Grenache rarely overpowers a dish, yet we are always surprised by its lingering deliciousness. Grenache benefits from the company of another grape variety or two in the final blend. We undertook many blending scenarios for the 2005 Grenache, including trying some Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, and even Cabernet Sauvignon (think Priorat in Spain). But we kept coming back to our usual, a dab of Syrah (15%). This vintage has the most intense Grenache fruit to date. The wine has beautiful strawberry and cherry aromatics and persistent, pure, red fruit flavors in the mouth.

Estate Vineyard Block: Estate Vineyard, south facing slope near top of vineyard at 2,500 feet elevation

Blend: 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah

Price: $25

Cases Produced: 149


As our Grenache vines mature, we see increasing complexity in each successive vintage, including the 2004. To us, this vintage most resembles wine from Chateauneuf du Pape in a ripe year. The 2004 Grenache has deeper color and greater density than previous vintages, and its flavors veer towards darker fruits such as plums and black cherry, rather than the more usual strawberry flavors. The esteemed wine writer, Robert Parker, twice used the word "seductive" to describe our 2003 Grenache. The use of words like this to describe wine tends to make us laugh, but in truth, seductive is an excellent way to describe good Grenache, which can quietly win you over with its attractive color, enticing aromas, and alluring flavors. We think the 2004 Grenache is, indeed, seductive.

Estate Vineyard Block: Estate Vineyard, south facing slope near top of vineyard at 2,500 feet elevation

Blend: 86% Grenache, 14% Syrah

15.3% alcohol

Price: $25

Cases Produced: 217

This is the ripest and most decadent Grenache we have made. Thanks to a lot of hard work in the vineyard fine- tuning this finicky grape variety (didn't the well-known wine writer Robert Parker say Grenache is even more difficult to harness than Pinot Noir?), the vines were in balance and the fruit was in great shape at harvest. And speaking of Robert Parker, he described our 2002 Grenache as a "fairly priced red" as well as being both "attractive" and "seductive". Wow! We think the 2003 Grenache shares similar personality traits, plus terrific ripeness, exotic spiciness, plums and strawberries, along with a rich texture and fine, soft tannins.

Estate Vineyard Block: Grenache South and Syrah North and East Slopes

Blend: 86% Grenache, 14% Syrah

15.3% alcohol

Price: $24

Cases Produced: 162

Tasting Note: Terrific ripeness, exotic spiciness, plums and strawberries, along with a rich texture and fine tannins, and a finish that goes on and on and on

What a treat it is to make a varietal Grenache every year! Actually, we never feel that way during the growing season, when we're out in the vineyard thinning shoots and dropping crop in an effort to keep up with all that needs to be done to control Grenache's vigor and ensure the flavors we want. It's always exciting at harvest, though! This is our fourth vintage of this wine, and we took a very minimalist approach in the cellar in 2002, including never racking the wine until bottling to preserve as much of that pure Grenache deliciousness as possible. As our vines get older, we're noticing the influence of plum and black cherry aromas and flavors in the wine, in addition to the usual bright strawberry character. There is a terrific juiciness, and a Chinese 5-spice and wet stone note in the flavors of this wine. We blended in 5% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah to round out the wine's finish. Production is still small and the demand is high for this wine, so there is a 6 bottle limit on the 2002 Grenache.

Estate Vineyard Block: Grenache South, Syrah North and East Slopes, Mourvedre

Blend: 90% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah

14.3% alcohol

Price: $22

Cases Produced: 129

Tasting Note: Aromas of strawberry, black cherry, and Chinese 5-spice mingle with flavors showing terrific juiciness, wet stone notes, cocoa, soft tannin, and rich acidity on the long finish.

This is the third vintage of Grenache from our small patch of vines adjacent to our house, planted to the Chateau de Beaucastel budwood selection.  We think this is the most intense Grenache of the three. As in the past, keeping a small crop load was required to get this result. Those of you who had the chance to taste the Grenache from barrel commented on the pure strawberry fruit, the grip, and presence this wine had on the finish. In the 2001, we blended 7% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre to add structure and complement Grenache's remarkable strawberry jam and black cherry character.

Estate Vineyard Block: Grenache South, Syrah North and East Slopes, Mourvedre

15.2% alcohol

Price: $22

Cases Produced: 130

Tasting Note: Aromas of strawberry and black cherry mingle with flavors of strawberry jam, cocoa, and soft tannin on the long finish