2017 Grenache, Sonoma Valley
October 1, 2017
10 months French Oak, 40% new
July 30, 2018
Wonderful aromas of crushed red and blue fruit surrounded by a swirl of molasses and a thread of Provencal herbs. These aromas translate to the wine, which has a very soft entrance, but then builds some structure as the tannins kick in. It’s elegant with a grip! More Southern Rhone in style than many Grenache bottlings from California, this complex wine can be enjoyed with a meal featuring a little sweetness and tang, or appetizers featuring cured meats like Prosciutto or Serrano, sundried tomatoes, and some Fontina or other floral cheese. Expect to improve for another 10 years.
Having been in the industry since 1987 I have had the great fortune of establishing relationships with some wonderful people and the vineyards they tend. For our 2017 Grenache I was given the opportunity to source from the Steel Plow Vineyard in Sonoma Valley, an organically farmed vineyard cared for by the guru, Phil Coturri. Very low yields with exceptional care in the right terroir tends to produce excellent fruit. In 2017 we were not disappointed: this is our finest Grenache to date.
As with our Pinots, we add whole clusters to the destemmed whole berry fruit, in this case 20%. The whole cluster adds verve to a red wine, a general course of spine that winds its way from the first impression to the finish. The fruit then underwent a four-day cold soak, involving a twice daily gentle pump over of the juice. Once native fermentation began, we punched down twice daily until fermentation was complete. After a 7-day extended maceration, we pressed to French oak barrels, 20% new and 80% once used. Before bottling, we racked only two times. After selecting specific barrels we bottled after 10 months with minimal filtration.