Wednesday, April 27, 2016

All Grenache, All The Time

Grenache is a tough grape to figure. A darling of the Rhône Valley, it’s used primarily as a blending grape there, abetted by its likely companions Syrah and Mourvèdre. It is a late-ripening grape, one of the most widely-planted red wine varieties in the world. It likes hot, dry climates best, which is why it is a favorite in Spain, where it is known as Garnacha. Many California climes also lend themselves well to this grape, which is just one reason it is a favorite of mine.

Bonny Doon Vineyards winemaker Randall Grahm calls this 100% Grenache the "misunderstood Ugly Duckling" wine. Grenache gets a bad rap for not being "pretty" enough, not standing well on its own, but this one dispels those notions, although through the glass darkly. At 14.5% abv, it’s hefty, but it balances it's weight very well against the aromas, flavors and mouthfeel. The Monterey County fruit comes from the Rancho Solo vineyard planted years ago, as Grahm explains.

The Bonny Doon Cuvée R Grenache 2014 shows a medium ruby color, has a beautiful, yet feisty nose of cherry, allspice and dark berries with a palate displaying dark fruit and earthy spice and minerals. Good tannic structure meets a refreshing acidity and the whole sip finishes long with black cherry notes persisting.


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