2013 Grenache

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2013 Grenache

This Southern Rhône-style wine is 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah. The primary component of this blend comes from a 2.9 acre block, planted in 1998 to three selections of Grenache Noir, using budwood originally obtained from Tablas Creek and Alban Vineyards. These selections, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape give darker color and better structure than the majority of Grenache planted in California. Our Grenache and Mourvedre are planted at our creekside vineyard block. The Syrah in this blend comes from Northern Rhône clones 174 and 877, located beside the winery. Our vines are planted on low-vigor rootstock to 4’x 6’ spacing.

VINTAGE:  2013 was the first of three drought years. A moderately warm, dry summer was followed by a dry harvest resulting in a very early harvest date. We always reduce our Grenache crop by a minimum of 40-50% in mid-to-late June. Crop thinning helps create better flavors and structure, which is very obvious with this 2013 wine. We harvested Grenache in mid-October, which is normal for us. The Mourvedre was harvested October 2nd. The Syrah portion of the blend from our winery block was harvested September 13th.

WINEMAKING: 65% of the grapes were de-stemmed and lightly crushed into small open-top tanks. The remaining 35% were whole-cluster fermented for added structure and aromatic complexity. All of our fermentations start without inoculation after approximately one week of cold soak. The open-top tanks allow us to work the must by punching down each tank twice daily until dry. As is done in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, we blend Mourvedre and Syrah for color, body, and complexity. Most of this wine was aged in 620 gallon foudres, commonly used in the Rhône. These large barrels preserve the vineyard character by minimizing both oak extraction and oxidation. A small portion of the wine was aged in 60 gallon French oak barrels.

STYLE/DESCRIPTION: This 2013 Grenache is a great example of the pretty side of Grenache-based reds. It is very aromatic—reminiscent of old school Burgundy. Though not as dark as 2012, this 2013 has plenty of body and texture, with an undeniable tension between fruit and spice. This full- bodied wine should age nicely over the next 4-6 years. —MJU

HARVESTED: September 18/19, 2013
BRIX AVG: 27 (G), 24(M), 24.5 (SY)
BLEND: 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah
AGING: 13 Months, 620 GAL Foudres, Concrete Tanks, Old Barrels BOTTLED: 12/1/14 CASES PRODUCED: 980
ACIDITY: 5.4 g/L pH: 3.75 ALCOHOL: 14.8 %