Friday, December 26, 2014

Napa Grenache Blanc: Priest Ranch

Priest Ranch wines are made by Somerston Wine Company, who also make Highflyer and Somerston wines.  The Somerston estate is in the eastern hills of Napa Valley, where the vineyard is planted largely to Bordeaux grape varieties.  There are also some Rhône grapes growing there, and even a bit of Zinfandel.

Fruit from the 1,628-acre Somerston Estate - 200 acres of sustainably-farmed vineyard - is generally sold to other producers, but a portion is wisely retained for their own labels.  Director of winemaking Craig Becker is also general manager and a founding partner of Somerston.

Somerston vineyard is a haven for its Rhône grapes, boasting one of the largest plantings of Grenache Blanc in California.

The ‘13 Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc comes bottled under cork with a 14.3% abv alcohol number and a price tag of $22 per bottle.  I was given a taste courtesy of Jarvis Communications.

Taking a whiff, the wine’s nose is quite interesting, with savory and nutty aromas playing against apricot fruit.  The palate is oily, but at the same time very acidic.  It's a great food wine, full and lush in the mouth with no curtailment of the razor blade acidity.  The savory apricot flavor outlasts the wine’s pure fruitiness on the lengthy finish.