2011 Samsara, Grenache “Black Oak Vineyard” Santa Barbara County.
Chad Melville’s Samsara wines are wonderfully crafted artisan offerings that include a handful each of Syrah and Pinot Noir bottlings, plus this Grenache and a Rose, all of which are worth searching out, even if they are pretty rare. The latest Grenache from Black Oak Vineyard is a very unique and stylish wine with lots of character, Melville used whole cluster and total (100%) stem inclusion with the 2011, this can be tricky at times, because the stems can add green flavors an harsh tannin, though when ripe and well judged can really add dimension to the wine, heightened aromatics, better balance and an added layer of flavors. In this wine it certainly works is is rewarded, the 2011 Samsara Black Oak Grenache is simply stunning and flows with intriguing layers from start to finish and should get even more interesting in the following 2 to 3 years. The nose is bright and spicy with dark fruits, sweet herbs, pepper and dried flowers leading to a tangy palate of plum, boysenberry, red cherry and strawberry fruits along with green peppercorn, anise seed, lavender oil, dried currants, shaved cinnamon, salted licorice and cedar notes. The finish is sweet with refined tannins, and the acidity is well matched in this medium bodied red, drink from 2013-2018.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive