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Grenache

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Grenache

Grenache is a spicy tasting grape variety with berry tones and high alcohol content. Grenache is one of the most widely planted red wine grapes in the world. Because the Grenache grape ripens late in the year, it is usually planted in hot and dry regions, such as the south of Spain, France, and the San Joaquin Valley in California. In the 19th century, winemakers celebrated the vine’s ability to produce high yields of fruit and to withstand heat and drought. The variety is low in acid, has a light color, and low tannins. Grenache is a popular choice in Rhone wines, and can be used as over 80 percent of the blend. It is also a companion in French and Spanish rose wines, and its high sugar content makes it the perfect match for fortified wines. In the 18th century, Grenache was one of the first grape varieties to be introduced in Australia, and became the most planted variety in Australia until the 1960s. This variety is often used to blend with other varieties to add sweetness and a nice fruit flavor. Using oak can help with keeping the wine’s color, but too much can overpower the fruit aromas of the variety.

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Alain Jaume Chateauneuf Du Pape Rouge Vieux Terron 2017

Alain Jaume Chateauneuf Du Pape Rouge Vieux Terron is made from 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre

An intense purple color is followed by ripe red fruit aromas, such as sweet black cherry.
The palate reveals clearly the aromatic complexity: spices and black fruit are boasted with soft tannins. The finish is long with aromatic hints of liquorice and pepper. Red raspberries, star anise and hints of cinnamon.

It will accompany game, red meat or meat in sauce and strong cheeses.

Soil types
Châteauneuf du Pape vineyards are mostly located on plateaux. Stony-clay soil covered with large rolled stones. Some plots are more sandy.

Winemaking and aging
Harvest is destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 21 days. Matured in vats (80%) and oak casks (20%).

Review:

"The same blend as the traditional cuvée (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre), the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieux Terron spent 16 months in 90% concrete tanks, with 10% in older barrels. Deep purple-colored, it offers more blackcurrants, ground pepper, earthy minerality, and chocolate as well as medium to full body, a ripe, voluptuous texture, and plenty of ripe tannins. It's another deep, rich, powerful 2017 that will drink well for 10-15 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 90 pts



 90 Points
Alain Jaume Cotes du Rhone Rouge Haut de Brun 2017

Closeout!

Alain Jaume Cotes Du Rhone Rouge Haut de Brun is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault

The colour is purple-tinged garnet.The aromatic range of the nose goes from fresh berries (wild raspberry, blackcurrant, blackberry) to spices.The palate is big and full-flavoured, with silky-smooth tannins and aromas of the fruit already mentioned. The finish introduces touches of liquorice and pepper. A Côtes du Rhône with great complexity for an every day drinking.

A classic Rhône to drink between 1 and 4 years. Best poured at 17°C.

Traditional wine making and ageing is performed in vats only. Bottling after 10-12 months.

Ideal throughout the meal, but particularly with poultry and other white meats, as well as mild cheeses.

Review:


"The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Haut de Brun is in the same ballpark as the 2016, with a similar level of concentration, yet it has more dark fruits as well as good minerality. This medium-bodied, concentrated, fresh 2017 will keep for 7-8 years.


There are few better run estates in the world than that of the Jaume Family’s Domaine Grand Veneur. Located in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and run today by brothers Christophe and Sebastien Jaume, the estate produces a quasi-modern style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (their Les Origins and Vieilles Vignes) as well as a growing number of negociant based wines from throughout the Southern Rhône. The 2017s whites are terrific across the board, and this vintage has produced charming, pure wines that are already drinking beautifully. The 2016 reds are some of the finest I’ve tasted from this estate."


- Jeb Dunnuck (August 2018, LE MILLÉSIME… The 2016s from the Southern Rhône - Part 1), 88-90 pts




 90 Points
Alain Jaume Cotes du Rhone Rouge Haut de Brun 2018

Closeout!

Alain Jaume Cotes Du Rhone Rouge Haut de Brun is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault

The colour is purple-tinged garnet.The aromatic range of the nose goes from fresh berries (wild raspberry, blackcurrant, blackberry) to spices.The palate is big and full-flavoured, with silky-smooth tannins and aromas of the fruit already mentioned. The finish introduces touches of liquorice and pepper. A Côtes du Rhône with great complexity for an every day drinking.

A classic Rhône to drink between 1 and 4 years. Best poured at 17°C.

Traditional wine making and ageing is performed in vats only. Bottling after 10-12 months.

Ideal throughout the meal, but particularly with poultry and other white meats, as well as mild cheeses.

Review:


"The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Haut de Brun is in the same ballpark as the 2016, with a similar level of concentration, yet it has more dark fruits as well as good minerality. This medium-bodied, concentrated, fresh 2017 will keep for 7-8 years.


There are few better run estates in the world than that of the Jaume Family’s Domaine Grand Veneur. Located in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and run today by brothers Christophe and Sebastien Jaume, the estate produces a quasi-modern style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (their Les Origins and Vieilles Vignes) as well as a growing number of negociant based wines from throughout the Southern Rhône. The 2017s whites are terrific across the board, and this vintage has produced charming, pure wines that are already drinking beautifully. The 2016 reds are some of the finest I’ve tasted from this estate."


- Jeb Dunnuck (August 2018, LE MILLÉSIME… The 2016s from the Southern Rhône - Part 1), 88-90 pts




Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac 2015

Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac  is made from 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre

An intense red garnet color. On the nose, aromas of red and black ripe fruit (kirsch and wild blackberry). The mouth is full, with aromas of blackcurrant liqueur and spice. Tannins are both harmonious and elegant thanks to the fleshiness of the wine. Hints of licorice and vanilla on the finish, which gives the wine length and complexity.

Soil type LIRAC vineyard is facing Chateauneuf du Pape, opposite side of the Rhône river. As showed by the picture and following geologist George Truc, soils are almost similar in both side. They are marked by the violence wrought by the Rhone river. It consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as "galets" in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. LIRAC is one of the up-coming best area from the southern Rhône valley, as it delivers outstanding wines. Winemaking & ageing Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Hand sorted bunches, crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages.

 


Review:

"The 2015 Lirac Clos de Sixte comes from an appellation that shares a similar terroir with Chateauneuf du Pape, yet is located just across the river, on the western side of the Rhone. It’s a serious, large scaled, voluptuous effort that that has lots of ripe tannin, a bid mid-palate and copious amounts of blackberries, black cherries, scorched earth, licorice and roasted herbs. One of the bigger boned and concentrated reds in the lineup, it will have a decade of longevity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 227, October 28th 2016), 91-93 pts

 Wine Advocate: 93
Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac 2016 (magnum)

Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac  is made from 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre

An intense red garnet color. On the nose, aromas of red and black ripe fruit (kirsch and wild blackberry). The mouth is full, with aromas of blackcurrant liqueur and spice. Tannins are both harmonious and elegant thanks to the fleshiness of the wine. Hints of licorice and vanilla on the finish, which gives the wine length and complexity.

Soil type LIRAC vineyard is facing Chateauneuf du Pape, opposite side of the Rhône river. As showed by the picture and following geologist George Truc, soils are almost similar in both side. They are marked by the violence wrought by the Rhone river. It consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as "galets" in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. LIRAC is one of the up-coming best area from the southern Rhône valley, as it delivers outstanding wines. Winemaking & ageing Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Hand sorted bunches, crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages.

 


Review:

"The 2016 Lirac Domaine du Clos de Sixte is a terrific wine, easily the rival to many Châteauneufs from across the river, starting with its alluring aromas of flowering garrigue and ripe cherries. A blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, this full-bodied wine is lush and concentrated on the palate, then turns velvety on the long finish. I'd treat it like a Châteauneuf du Pape in terms of cellaring: hold it for a few years, then drink it over the next 15. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 233, October 2017), 93+ pts

 Wine Advocate: 93
Alain Jaume Lirac Rouge Roquedon 2016

Alain Jaume Lirac Rouge Roquedon is made from 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan.

Inky color. The nose is dominated by aromas of wild fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry) and spices. Long and balanced mouth.
"Roquedon" deliver more of the "round"- "sweet" body from the Grenache, and cherry-red fruit expression. It is dark in color, almost black.

Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages. Ageing mainly in vats and about 10% in oak barrels. Bottling 15 months after the harvest.

 

Review:

"Based on 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Mourvèdre and Carignan, the 2016 Lirac Roquedon offers more black (and even some blue) fruits to go with complex white pepper, garrigue, and new leather aromas and flavors. Ripe, opulent, and fleshy on the palate, this medium to full-bodied Lirac has loads of character."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 92 pts

 92 Points
Alain Jaume Mazane Vacqueyras 2015

Chateau Mazane Vacqueyras Rouge is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre.

Ages in 30% Aged in oak, 70% concrete vats.

Medium-bodied, pure and elegant. It offers plenty of plum, blueberry, spring flowers and peppery notes. Beautifully textured, enjoy it over the coming 6-7 years.

Pair with with duck (roasted or grilled) as well as any grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini).


Review:

"The 2015 Vacqueyras Chateau Mazane, a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, was matured mostly in vat and boasts layers of elegant yet super ripe fruit and a dusting of ground cinnamon and cracked pepper. It's full-bodied and creamy in texture on the palate, ending with some tough, chewy tannins and a touch of warmth. Drink it over the next 5 years.- Joe Czerwinski"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 233, October 2017), 91 pts


"Leading off the two Vacqueyras releases, the 2015 Vacqueyras Château Mazane is a beautiful blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. Offering classic notes of garrigue, pepper, toasted spices and assorted red fruits, it’s medium-bodied, elegant and polished on the palate, with terrific balance. Drink it through 2025."

- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2017), 91 pts


"The 2015 Vacqueyras Chateau Mazane, a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, was matured mostly in vat and boasts layers of elegant yet super ripe fruit and a dusting of ground cinnamon and cracked pepper. It's full-bodied and creamy in texture on the palate, ending with some tough, chewy tannins and a touch of warmth. Drink it over the next 5 years.- Joe Czerwinski"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 233, October 2017), 91 pts


 Wine Advocate: 92 Wine Enthusiast: 91 91 Points
Alain Jaume Mazane Vacqueyras 2016

Chateau Mazane Vacqueyras Rouge is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre.

Ages in 30% Aged in oak, 70% concrete vats.

Medium-bodied, pure and elegant. It offers plenty of plum, blueberry, spring flowers and peppery notes. Beautifully textured, enjoy it over the coming 6-7 years.

Pair with with duck (roasted or grilled) as well as any grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini).

Soil types
The vineyard stretches over the plateau of scrubland that is ideally located between the terraces of the Ouvèze (tributary of the Rhone) and Dentelles de Montmirail, and constitutes pebbles soil debris of Dentelles de Montmirail and clay.

Winemaking
Traditional winemaking, temperature controlled fermentation.


Review:

"Slightly lighter on its feet, with more red fruits, cassis, garrigue, spice, and subtle minerality, the 2016 Vacqueyras Chateau Mazane stays incredibly light and graceful on the palate and has incredible class. Nuanced, elegant and lightly textured, yet brilliantly concentrated and full-bodied, it's another undeniably delicious, seriously good wine from this estate. The blend is 60% Syrah, 30% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre and it has a decade of terrific drinking ahead of it."

- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2018), 94 pts

 94 Points
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats 2016

Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre planted on clay and stones based soil.

40 Hectoliters / Hectare

Deep red garnet color. Aromas of fresh red berries. On the palate, the richness of the fruit and tannins harmonizes with the roundness of the wine.

The finish is long, with spicy touches and minerals notes. Complete and authentic.

Grapes planted on clay and stones based soil.

Review:


"Notes of wet sandstone, crushed earth and olive lend elegant restraint to crisp black cherry and blackberry here. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, this concentrated wine is marked by savory tones of dried mint and sage. Fine but firm tannins and a mineral freshness accent the finish. It's ready now but should improve through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"

- Wine Enthusiast (March 2019), 91 pts


"Earth, black olive and plummy fruit combine on the nose of the 2016 Rasteau Les Valats. It's a bit rugged, but in a good way, with savory tannins framing the dark flavors and lingering on the finish. Dark and dusty, it calls out for grilled meat. - Joe Czerwinski"

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 90 pts


"The 2016 Rasteau Les Valats is another outstanding wine from this team, offering classic Rasteau earthy black fruits, gravelly minerality, and a touch of spice to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful style on the palate. Based on 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it’s a powerful yet balanced 2016 that will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 90 pts

 Wine Advocate: 90 Wine Enthusiast: 91 90 Points
Alain Jaume Tavel Rose Le Cretace 2018

Alain Jaume Tavel Rose Le Cretace is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre

Rosé de saignée (bleed technique) with a vibrant ruby color, complex and elegant, notes of crushed strawberries and rose petals.

Tavel Le Cretace Rose gives up vibrant wild strawberry, watermelon, crushed flowers and hints of spice to go with a medium-bodied, layered and seamless profile on the palate. A classic rose from this appellation, enjoy this beauty with food over the coming year or two.

 Pair with roasted and/or spicy Turkey, sushi, seafood and grilled fish, asian food.

Review:


"The most interesting rosé from Jaume is the company's 2018 Tavel Le Crétacé, a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% each Cinsault and Mourvèdre, sourced from a single supplier. Berry-scented, floral and fun, it's medium to full-bodied, even a bit creamy on the palate, then fresh, zesty and spicy on the long finish, Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes. - Joe Czerwinski"


- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts



 Wine Advocate: 91
Alain Jaume Tavel Rose Le Cretace 2019

Alain Jaume Tavel Rose Le Cretace is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre

Rosé de saignée (bleed technique) with a vibrant ruby color, complex and elegant, notes of crushed strawberries and rose petals.

Tavel Le Cretace Rose gives up vibrant wild strawberry, watermelon, crushed flowers and hints of spice to go with a medium-bodied, layered and seamless profile on the palate. A classic rose from this appellation, enjoy this beauty with food over the coming year or two.

 Pair with roasted and/or spicy Turkey, sushi, seafood and grilled fish, asian food.




Anne Delaroche Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 2018

Anne Delaroche Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault

Very deep garnet red color. Bouquet of small red berries and hints of spices. Rich, round and full in the mouth with a long finish.

Pairs well with game, duck, guinea fowl, pigeon, osso bucco, eggplant cake and flavorsome cheeses.

Anne Delaroche Cotes du Rhone Rose 2018

Anne Delaroche Cotes du Rhone Rose Bejot is made from 50% Grenache, 50% Syrah.

Very charming pale rosé color. The wine displays lots of fresh fruit aromas such as strawberry and watermelon. The palate is focused and very well balanced with again some strawberry and ripe red fruit notes. The finish is quite pleasing and long with a little spiciness and freshness to it.

Begude Cadet de la Begude Rouge 2017

Begude Cadet de la Begude Rouge  is made from 35% Mourvedre, 35% Grenache and 30% Cinsault.

A selection of young vines, with no oak aging. Full fruit with a fresh and provencal character.

The noble terroir of Provence and the signature of the Tari Family raised at Chateau Giscours in Margaux and at the Domaine de la Begude in Bandol - the 7th generation of vignerons - gave birth to this valiant Cadet.
A selection with a fragrance of freedom, respectful of the environment, carried by the Mistral wind and the light of the Mediterranean Sea.


Average age of the vines: 10 years
Planted on clay and limestone soils. 
Double sorting, total destemming, grapes pressuring and maceration in vats.
Aged 2 months on the lees. 
Gentle filtration before bottling.

Grilled lamb, meat cooked with sauce, southern French cuisine and tasty dishes (tajines, couscous, paellas).

Review:

"This young, deep-purple-colored wine is almost the equivalent of a Bordeaux second wine. A blend across the two appellations of Côtes de Provence and Bandol, it has a rich potential, spicy, herbal while also packed with generous black fruits. The tannins will allow it to age, so save for 2019. -R.V."

- Wine Enthusiast (July 1st 2018), 90 PTS


"Roughly one-third each Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault, the 2017 Cadet de la Begude is a new IGP wine meant to introduce the domaine to new audiences. It's an unoaked, medium to full-bodied wine, bold and berry-scented, loaded with plum and raspberry flavors, soft tannins and a lingering finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Interim end of September, September 2018), 90 pts


As to the reds, the 2017 Cadet de la Begude is close to an even split of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cinsault that’s a selection of younger vines aged in tank. It’s a charming, textured, nicely layered Bandol that has good complexity in its spicy dark fruits and peppery aromatics. It’s already drinking nicely yet will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 90 pts

 Wine Advocate: 90 Wine Enthusiast: 90 90 Points
Betz Family Besoleil 2014

Blending Detail:

  • 49 % Grenache
  • 20% Syrah
  • 16% Cinsault
  • 9% Mourvêdre
  • 6% Counoise

Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.


"Always an enjoyable, outstanding effort, the 2014 Grenache Besoleil offers classic notes of cherries, herbes de Provence, red plums and pepper in a fine, elegant, medium to full-bodied style. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 91 pts

Medium red. Sexy, high-toned red cherry and red berry aromas showcase the wine's Grenache component (but this vintage features the lowest percentage to date of this variety). Bright, ripe raspberry and cherry flavors are complicated by smoky and peppery nuances. A very graceful red blend with sweet tannins and excellent persistence.

-- Stephen Tanzer 91 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Advocate: 91
Betz Family Besoleil 2015

Blending Detail:

  • 49 % Grenache
  • 20% Syrah
  • 16% Cinsault
  • 9% Mourvêdre
  • 6% Counoise

Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.

Review:

The first vintage where they’ve pushed the bottling back to give the cuvee 16-18 months in barrel, the 2015 Besoleil is a dead ringer for a high-quality Chateauneuf du Pape and offers perfumed notes of herbes de Provence, kirsch, licorice and sweet spice. It’s medium to full-bodied, textured and fruit-forward, with a hedonistic yet elegant profile that’s going to evolve gracefully. 
Robert Parker 91-93 Points



 Wine Advocate: 93
Betz Family Besoleil 2016

Betz Family Besoleil is made from 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault,

Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.

Review:

"Attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids." 94 pts - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate 

"Bright raspberry and red-plum fruits with attractive depth and freshness. This has all you want in a Rhône-style blend. Good depth of flavor and focused structure." 93 pts - James Suckling

"Moving more and more from Olsen Vineyard, which is 20 miles northwest of Red Mountain (where they love working with the grower, who is proactive and responsive), the medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Besoleil is 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault, all aged in a mix of neutral barrels. It offers beautiful notes of red plums, blueberries, white and black pepper and herbs de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant style, and integrated acidity. It's another beautiful vintage of this wine that will keep for a decade."  92 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck

 Wine Spectator: 94 93 Points
Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy 2018

Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy is made from 88% Grenache and 12% Mourvedre.

For a long time Randall Grahm went to bed aïoli, clovèd in nothing but the barest essential oils. The Wine Formerly Known as Clos de Gilroy (TWFKaCdG) pays homage to the quaint, rustic town of Gilroy, the spiritual locus of all matters alliaceous. However, note well, the fruit for this wine does not, despite its name, derive from Gilroy, but instead primarily from the vivaciously scented Alta Loma vineyard in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County, accompanied by equally expressive Grenache from Rancho Solo, located just outside the wind-swept, tumble-weeded town of Soledad. (Il faut souffrir.) Grenache is really the star of the show, and it exhibits all the hallmarks of exceptional coolth—bright raspberries, red fruit, esp. black currant, with a strong suggestion of black pepper and mint, a whiff of dark earth, and a supple, lingering finish.

Bonny Doon Vineyard aims for weapons-grade fruit from their sundry Grenache vineyards, with the intent of producing killer Cigare, but sometimes they end up Clos (but no Cigare). A somewhat more elegant Clos de Gilroy than one has typically seen in years past, this wine has the elegance of a Proustian madeleine, and supports the notion that Grenache is the stylistic analogue (writ South) of Burgundian Pinot noir. This wine is exceptionally spicy, peppery and perfumed, and pairs exceptionally well with a range of dishes, not the least being peppered ahi tuna steak. Best served with a slight chill, especially as the weather warms up.

Bonny Doon Vineyard’s winemaking practice is exceptionally light-handed, with minimal intervention and manipulation. The 2017 Clos de Gilroy was created from grapes deriving from three cool climate Monterey County vineyards as well as one warmer (but older and wiser) side in Contra Costa. The fruit was hand-sorted, gently destemmed, and cold soaked to enhance flavor and persistence.

Varietal Blend: 88% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre.
Vineyards: 34% Alta Loma, 39% Rancho Solo, 15% Ventana, 12% Del Barba
Appellation: Monterey County
Alcohol by Volume: 13.6%
TA: 5.5 g/L
pH: 3.72
Production: 2,425 cases
Serving Temperature: 53-55º F
Optimal Drinkability: Drinkable upon release, 5+ years ageability

Pairs exceptionally well with a range of dishes, not the least being peppered ahi tuna steak. Best served with a slight chill, especially as the weather warms up.


Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvee Oumuamua 2018

Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvee Oumuamua  is made from 52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 13% Syrah.

As our story unfolds, we learn that with the 2018 vintage, there has been a fundamental change in the style of Le Cigare Volant. Not that there was anything at all “wrong” with the thirty-four vintages preceding the current one, mind you. For a number of reasons, mostly, alas, drearily fiscal/economical, the older style of Cigare has unfortunately proven to be a not particularly sustainable proposition at least from a financial perspective. The “new” Cigare, with a re-adjustment of the encépagement, by which we have dropped Mourvèdre from the mix and elevated the percentage of the (greatly underappreciated) and quite brilliant variety, Cinsault, creates a style of wine far more approachable and seductive in its youth.


“Cuvée Oumuamua?”
We call this cuvée, “Oumuamua,” (or “scout” in Hawaiian), so named in light of the recent mysterious cigar-shaped object/visitor to our solar system, initially imagined to be some sort of asteroid, but believed by none other than the chairman of the Astronomy Dept. at Harvard University to possibly be a sort of probe, perhaps a solar-powered light-sail, sent on a kind of reconnaissance mission to check us out. (Ok, this last part is a bit of interpolation.) Anyhoo, it has been agreed that this was a very, very strange object that recently came to visit. And it appears that it may have arrived in the very nick of time, to bring a sort of much-needed revitalization to our planet, and by metaphoric extension, to the Cigare brand itself.


TASTING NOTES
 The color is a deep, vivid violet-red, owing in part to the lower pH of the wine. On the nose, the wine has a haunting kirsch nose (I suspect that’s the Cinsault), along with associated small red fruit (red and black currant) and perhaps a suggestion of blackberry. My colleague, Nicole Walsh and I toil away at the Cigare blend every year, and while the blend will change (sometimes radically, as it has this year), we share an idea of the Platonic form of Cigare, and the ‘17 certainly embodies that form. It goes something like this: Juiciness, fruit (but not confected or overripe), brightness, exuberance, joy, and not least, a sense of savoriness. I realize I’m not speaking orthodox wine parlance. We look above all for balance and for liveliness, for vinous qi. This wine is still incredibly young and just wants to jump out of its shoes.


INEYARD | PRODUCTION NOTES
The Alta Loma Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco area of Monterey County, was planted years back to one of the earlier selections of Tablas Creek Grenache clones, typically not a great selection for imparting real backbone or structure to the wine, but capable of making a wine that is enormously pretty and fragrant; in cool years, the fragrance of cassis or black currant is almost overpowering; most surprisingly, the Grenache in cool years from this vineyard is profoundly black in color. The Cinsault was sourced from the Loma del Rio Vineyard, a vineyard, under a previous nom de guerre (San Bernabe), we know quite well. This was the first year of production for the Cinsault and it was thinned multiple times both for enhanced concentration and evenness of ripening. The cooler climate gives the Cinsault a wonderful articulation of flavor, but what is most noteworthy is the fact that we were able to coferment the Cinsault with Syrah from the equally cool Mesa Verde Vyd. in the Santa Ynez Valley. Something magical happens when Syrah and Cinsault marry; the healthy tannin titer from the Syrah seems to give more structure to the Cinsault, helps to stabilize the color, and in general, insures that the blend will not evanesce tout de suite into the aetherial plane. The spicy, licorice component from the Syrah is a perfect foil to the Griotte cherry derived from the Cinsault.


Appellation: Monterey County
Vineyards: 48% Alta Loma, 35% Loma Del Rio, 6% Mesa Verde, 6% Zayante, 4% Rancho Solo 1% Lieff
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
TA: 6.1 g/L
pH: 3.62
Production: 11,500 cases
Cellaring: Drinkable upon release (6/19) with ageability of 7-10 years



Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County 2017

Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier.

For some time now, we have shared a love of Rhone Valley blends and their domestic counterparts. We wanted to experiment with some completely different varietals by putting our California twist on the beautiful interplay between the bright fruit and mineral characteristics of these blends while still maintaining the rich, fruit focused, layered lusciousness we enjoy. We are fortunate to be working with fruit from the exceptional Shake Ridge Vineyard in Amador County. It is a fantastically well-managed site with a diverse soil composition, producing a wine with an incredible flavor profile and depth.

Our Mixed Blacks is an exotic and constantly evolving wine crafted from unique varietals. The palate explodes with luscious flavors of bright boysenberry and blueberry cream followed by Chinese five spice, cinnamon and white pepper. Tantalizing notes of tangy pomegranate and zesty orange peel dance effortlessly on the nose with a beautiful floral essence of sweet lavender and a hint of rose petal. An uplifting presence of natural acidity and alluring minerality adds to the intrigue of this wine. The well-integrated sweet tannins give way to a long intoxicating finish.


Burgo Viejo Rioja Old Vine Garnacha 2016


Importer Sale!

This wine is our tribute to the flagship grape variety of Rioja Baja. Garnacha has been grown in Alfaro for many
centuries in perfect balance with the local soils and climate which result in our intensely fruity wines,
full-bodied and with velvety soft tannins. Deep and brilliant cherry color; red wild berries, violet and subtle
spice on the nose; the taste sensation is rich, long, and very smooth.


Excellent when combined with red meat, pasta dishes and even chocolate desserts.

Review:

"Ripe wild raspberry and cassis fruits that are really brambly and expressive. The palate is all raspberry with smooth tannins and gently tangy appeal. Drink now."
- James Suckling (November 2017), 90 pts

GOLD MEDAL - Vinalies International Competition 2017



 90 Points
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