2012 Sheldon, Grenache “Ceja Farms” Sonoma Valley.
Without question one of the finest expressions of single varietal Grenache in northern California, the Sheldon Ceja Farms Grenache is a beautiful wine, the 2011 and 2012 versions mark a big shift to only Sonoma grown fruit for their Grenache, and it is a huge success for the talented Sheldon team. Recently tasting the 2011 I was blown away, in such a difficult vintage, it had really filled out and was so polished, but the 2012 is just fantastic, right away, only a week after bottling it is drinking amazingly well. Stylistic wise, the two wines are incredibly similar, though I’m thinking the new 2012 might be a bit more of everything, and certainly has lots of future potential. The 2012 starts with a bouquet of floral and red berry tones with hints of cracked pepper, herbs and framboise which in turn lead to a vibrant palate of raspberry, cassis, pomegranate, loganberry and wild strawberry with chalky mineral essences, warm stones, garrigue and anise. The medium weight, low alcohol (under 14%) and no new wood gives this Grenache a vivid clarity and highlights the charm and artisan craftsmanship, this is a superb effort and lovely wine. Drink 2014-2019, very limited, but just being released this fall, look for it or get up to the Sheldon Wines Sippy Lounge Tasting Room in Santa Rosa.
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive