Grenache is one of the most widely planted winegrapes on earth. Most experts think it comes from Spain (garnacha), others say it’s from the Italian island of Sardinia (cannonau). Grenache made its way east, was established in southern france by the 19th century, and is now the dominant variety in most southern Rhône wines, like Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The vines are big and beefy, and need a long growing season to get fully ripe. The grape skins are thin so the wines can be light in color. Grenache usually tastes like berry fruit (raspberries and strawberries), and can develop intense notes of black currants, black cherries, gingerbread, honey, leather, black pepper, tar, spices and roasted nuts.
Our grapes were sourced from Rodney’s and Tierra Alta Vineyards in Santa Barbara County. This wine was made by hand-picking the grapes and fermenting about 25% whole cluster (stems and all) for the 30 days it spent on skins. Whole-cluster fermentation is an old method in which the grape stems are not removed. It requires great care and precision because tannins from the stems can be harsh, but when done right, it contributes structure and complexity to the wine. We basket pressed, then matured the wine in neutral and 2 year old French oak barrels. It was never racked. We bottled 120 cases in September of 2012. This wine is approachable upon release and should be rockin’ it over the next 5-7 years.