Is California Grenache on a cusp?
|Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha, lit up like Christmas during veraison|
Letting a grape finally sing
|Harrison Clarke's calcareous hilltop estate in Santa Barbara's Ballard Canyon AVA|
|Grower Phil Abba and winemaker Michael McCay in Abba Vineyards (Lodi's Mokelumne River AVA)|
|One of our tasters, noted Lodi winemaker Chad Joseph|
|Bokisch Vineyards' Markus Bokisch|
|McCay's 2014 Mokelumne River-Lodi Grenache harvest|
Our "top 3" Grenache reds
Between the four of us, we came up with a total of 7 wines singled out as our three “favorites.” We didn't "rate" the wines - all of them were damned good - but we jotted down our personal preferences, mostly for the sake of discussion.
|Winemaker Jordan Fiorentini in Epoch's calcareous Paderewski Vineyard (Paso Robles Willow Creek District)|
|A Tribute to Grace winemaker/owner Angela Osborne in Amador County's Shake Ridge Ranch|
|Bokisch Vineyards' Rioja Baja Garnacha clonal selection|
|Harrison Clarke co-owner/winemaker Hilarie Clarke|
|Baiocchi Vineyards owner/grower/winemaker Greg Baiocchi|
|Shake Ridge Ranch, Amador County|
|Neyers Vineyards winemaker Tadeo Borchardt in Sonoma Valley's Rossi Ranch|
2012 Testa Ranch, Mendocino County Grenache ($30) – Grower/winemaker Maria Martison tends to this hidden treasure of a vineyard that has been in her family since 1912. Employing straightforward, small batch, hand punched macro-bin fermentation, she exacts classically fragrant, flowery red berry/cherry, almost pomegranate-like perfumes and flavors in her Grenache; wrapped in a soft, elongated, easy-going medium body that seem to caress the palate. Everything that we crave in pure (at long last) Grenache!
|Testa Ranch owner/winemaker Maria Martison|
|Skinner Vineyards in El Dorado's Fair Play AVA, on elevations reaching 2,700-ft.|
If you enjoy complexity, Grenache is as much your grape as any other. In the hands of crafty winemakers such as the aforementioned, any wine lover with a penchant for classic qualities like elegance and subtlety is bound to be thrilled. I know I am.
|Shake Ridge Ranch's owner/grower extraordinaire, Ann Kraemer|