The grapes for this Grenache are grown on a flat, rugged, rocky vineyard located in an old dry riverbed near the town of Healdsburg, in Sonoma County. The fog that flows down the valley at night cools down the vines, keeping the grapes cool and resulting in a wine that offers bright, vibrant fruit.
Because of the way we make this wine—fermented with the native yeasts on the grapes; aged in large French oak barrels; unfined; and bottled with low SO2 levels—we felt that it deserved to be labeled with our other wines in the Les Enfants Terribles (the “Wild Children”) series made in a more Old World style. The resulting purity of flavor, velvety texture, and lush midpalette is a break from the brash, fruit-forward style of many Californian wines. From the start we always wanted to make this Grenache almost in a Grand Cru Beaujolais style: a serious wine that offers bright, lively fruit but with a great structure and balance.
You couldn’t have asked for better ripening conditions in Sonoma county than those in 2012. The days were warm but not too hot, and the vines ripened slowly and evenly all throughout the harvest. The grapes were picked early in the AM to keep the grapes very cold, and then trucked 1 ½ hours to the winery. As with all of our wines, the fermentation is conducted using the native yeasts found naturally growing on the grapes. We waited 12 hours and “bled off” some of the slightly colored juice to make our Vin Gris (rose), which helps concentrate the wine.
Since we loved the character of the fruit, we aged the wine in 500 Liter older French oak puncheons (about twice the size of a “normal” barrel). By using older barrels we intentionally kept this wine away from heavy oak influences, and the short aging process enhanced the lovely fruit character of the wine.
|Appellation:||Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County|
|Alcohol:||13.9% by vol.|
|Time in oak:||5 months in 500 Liter French oak barrels|
|Oak:||100% older French|
|Release date:||May 1st, 2013|
|Sugg. retail price:||$24.00 bottle, 750mL|
|Optimum time for consumption:||2013-2017|
|Aromas:||Black raspberry, wild strawberry, white pepper, spice, minerals|
|Taste:||Luscious and velvety mouthfeel, sweet red fruit of strawberry and raspberry with hints of black currents, floral, slightly grainy tannins, long, mineral and earthy finish|