Friday, May 30, 2014
California Grenache: McCay Cellars
Grenache does have plenty of what the wine-buying public likes - fruit, tannins, acidity - and it is often available at great price points, Even though it is sometimes deemed not elegant enough without cohorts Syrah and Mourvèdre, Grenache is poised to make some noise on its own.
In this Now And Zin series, we will sample some California Grenache wines from different parts of the state. Most of the wines featured will be varietal wines, all or mostly Grenache. After starting in Santa Barbara County, we go today for some Lodi Grenache from McCay Cellars.
Michael McCay - a Lodi grape grower since the '80s - has made his own wines for a handful of vintages now. He loves and lives Lodi, gushing on the McCay website, “Lodi has California’s best climate for producing wine grapes. The Mokelumne Rivers’s sandy loam soil along with the Delta’s cool breezes provide the perfect and unique environment for growing the best wine grapes in the world.”
McCay calls his latest Grenache his new favorite. It is produced with 100% Grenache grapes grown by the meticulous Abba family, who have been at the grape-growing game since the forties. The wine spent 18 months in neutral French oak barrels and lists an alcohol level of 14.1% abv - fairly reasonable in a region known for big and bold. The wine is bottled under natural cork, sells for $35 and was kindly provided for review.
Medium red in color, the McCay Grenache is a great sensory experience. The nose of strawberry and cherry lifts quickly from the glass and lots of spices join the parade in short order. Flavors of cherry and spice adorn the palate, with a beautiful note of bramble and sage. A smoky aspect becomes prominent on the second night the bottle is open. The strawberry finish lingers a long time.
Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter