Grapelive: International Grenache Day

Grapelive Special Report: Grenache Day Reviews

By Kerry Winslow

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sheldonvino.jpg2005 Sheldon “Vinolocity” Grenache, Vogelzang Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley.
Dylan and Tobe Sheldon were inspired to make this wine by the Grenache based wines of Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and the Vinolocity only done in great vintages and special barrel selections is their flagship wine. Sheldon Wines, a micro-winery, hand-crafts small production cuvees from special vineyard sites throughout the state and for Vinolocity the fruit comes from the much hailed Vogelzang Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. This vineyard has a tiny amount of top Grenache available and the Sheldon’s secured a few tons, enough to make 350 cases. There is a small amount of Syrah added, much like what is done in Gigondas, to give a bit more color and tannin. This vintage is now reaching the peak and I think it is a perfect time to pop the cork and enjoy all it has to offer. The nose is floral and fruity with dried flowers, raspberry and strawberry notes before a medium weight palate of cherry, grenadine, jolly rancher candy, lavender oil, boysenberry and peppery spices. This wine has very subtle French oak, but is has softened and rounded the wine nicely. ($35 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

*Last Tasting 09-24-10

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive International Grenache Day Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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bucklin08g.jpg2008 Bucklin Grenache “Old Hill “ Sonoma Valley.
One of the rarest and historic wines produced, this Grenache is a field blend from the Old Hill Vineyard, most likely the oldest vines in the state, (California) and without much doubt the oldest Grenache vines. This old vine and exotic Grenache is rich in flavor with complex layers of red fruits and spicy pepper. There is black cherry, plum, grenadine, raspberry and brambleberry fruit with touches of game, gravel, lavender and briar. Everything unfolds in vibrant fashion and is fleshy and intense, this is serious wine for those seeking the holly grail of California Grenache, and right up there in must have with Alban or maybe even Sine Qua Non. Only a few barrels made, and hard to find! ($40-45 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: September 23

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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ferraragreco.jpg2009 Benito Ferrara Greco di Tufo  Vigna Cicogna, DOCG, Itaian White.
This is one of the best Greco’s I’ve ever tried, though it is very unique as it shows intense smoky and liquid mineral character, with chalky citrus fruit. Without question this is serious wine with nice depth and complexity. The nose is steely, smoky with hints of white peach before a tangy palate of citrus, stone fruit and a rocky essence. The volcanic soils and tiny yields help in this wonderful white giving terroir and soul to the wine. You can taste the passion and handcrafted art in the wine making it all that much more joyful to drink.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: September 18

Grapelive Wine Value of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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redshed.jpg2009 Red Shed Syrah-Grenache, Sonoma County.
This is a great American Cotes-du-Rhone, which compares well in price and character, a wine that could not be found here in the past! Even in the last few years it has been hard to find a good California Rhone style wine under $20, let alone around $15, but now this little red comes along and shows it can and has been done and done well. The Red Shed is made by some top Rhone style wine producers and comes from the new Rhone region in California, the Bennett Valley in Sonoma, home to some of the most interesting Syrah and Grenache plantings in the state. The 2009 Red Shed has ripe and savory fruit, with blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, plum and currant fruits on the palate with touches of grenadine, pepper and lavender. While not a full-blown Chateauneuf style red, it is juicy and fun, giving lots of pleasure, especially for the price.
($16 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: September 15

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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mica07.jpg2007 Mica Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (by Buccella)
This very serious and seductive Cabernet is from the team at Buccella, and is crafted by Celia Welch, who also does Scarecrow and many other top wines. The 2007 Mica is lush, thickly textured and smoothly tannined with layers of dark fruits and smoky sweet oak shadings. The plush palate has blackberry, currant, plum, cherry, cassis, graphite, tobacco leaf, cedar and vanilla all in waves of flavors. Celia is really putting out some amazing Cabernets and this is one to look for as the price is right for the quality and it is still under the radar!
($65 Est.) 94-95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: September 12

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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whansel.jpg2008 Walter Hansel Pinot Noir “The South Slope” Russian River.
This is a rich and smoky Pinot that shows lots of fruit layers and complexity. The nose is sweet and earthy with violets, game and char before loads of plum and red berry fruit. The palate is silky with a huge black cherry core, plum, dried flowers, cola and truffle notes. Sort of Nuit-St.-Georges meets Rochioli, and very interesting, again this producer makes one of the best values in Russian River Pinot. ($36-45 Est.)

93 Points, grapelive

Available at San Francisco Wine Trading Company

www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest: September 6

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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roarsyrah.jpg2008 Roar Syrah “Rosella’s Vineyard” Santa Lucia Highlands.
Most people only go for the Roar Pinot, but it is a shame that more people don’t get a chance to try their Syrah, because for the last two vintages the Syrah has impressed me almost as much as the Pinot, and the Pinot is great. This vintage of Rosella’s Syrah has more classic Northern Rhone notes with black olive, hints of game, truffle and acidity, all of which adds to the whole in this young wine. The nose has pretty violets, blueberry and raw earth essences, with a touch of herb and lavender. The palate has soft tannins and ripe flavors, with boysenberry, plum and black cherry all playing a part, while a round blueberry compote layer floats in the background along with some pepper spice. I think this wine needs some time to show all of its best qualities, but everything is there and the finish is very lengthy and dreamy all ready. Of all the Roar wines this one has the most subtle use of the high quality French oak, and though you get the pretty vanilla and creamy texture, it doesn’t come across as in your face and goes perfectly with the force of the wine, very well done. The rating most certainly will go up after I retry it with a bit more age, but don’t wait only tiny amounts were made! ($40 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Spotlight: Roar

Grapelive Spotlight New Releases from Roar

By Kerry Winslow

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roarpn08.jpg2008 Roar Pinot Noir “Pisoni Vineyard” Santa Lucia Highlands.
A major success, and maybe the best wine made by Roar to date, almost enough said! This is pure Pisoni, no question and scary as it sounds, it should only get better over the next 3 years! Robert Parker’s 96 Points make it a classic, but in all honesty it is better than that! I have had every vintage of this wine and even have a few bottles in my cellar, so I know what I speak when it comes to Pisoni and Roar, so don’t wait or think about it, if you can get this wine grab it! There is not much, as the crop was tiny, and regardless of Parker or myself it will sell out within hours. The 2008 Roar Pisoni is vivid, rich and wild with stunning depth and intensity. The nose is smoky sweet with wild flowers, violets, blue fruits and bramble berry with a touch of truffle. The mouth is lively, full and powerful, flowing with lush black/red fruits, briar, lavender, fennel and pencil lead. The core of wild plum and black cherry fruit holds on throughout and lingers for almost a minute, while vibrant acidity and fine tannins hold everything together perfectly. This wine is of Grand Cru class and drinks as well as anything in double its price grade! Fantastic effort from the Roar gang, I only wish there was more available! ($65 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: September 1

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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masdelperie.jpg2008 Mas del Perie “Les Escures” Cahors, Malbec, France.
This new talented producer, Fabien Jouves, is a man to watch and this Cahors is a wine to adore! The 2008 Mas del Perie is lush and rich in fruit while being true to its terroir and is a super value. This is a wine that takes the fight to the Argentines! This Malbec had dark color, racy perfume and brambly fruit with a palate full of plum, cherry, briar and currants, with touches of smoke, licorice and earth. This wine easily bridges the gap between a fine Bordeaux and a fresh grapey country wine so don’t miss it! ($18 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

*at San Francisco Wine Trading Company $16.95

www.sfwtc.com

LINK TO PRODUCT

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Grapelive Spotlight

Grapelive Spotlight on Oregon

By Kerry Winslow

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stinnocent08.jpg2008 St. Innocent Pinot Noir “ Freedom Hill Vineyard” Willamette Valley.
Here is an amazing new release from Oregon, I just tasted this Pinot and was blown away! I thought 2006 was the year to end all years for Oregon, but wow these 2008’s are knocking my socks off, they are stunning and this one is just sublime. The nose is pure, almost Grand Cru like in rich detail and smokiness with fruit, mineral and perfume. The palate is lush, full and sexy with near perfect structure and balance, starting with more flowers and fruit, violets, dried roses, wild flowers and lots of plum, black cherry and blueberry all playing parts in silky layers. The vivid and vibrant flavors hold on and linger a lifetime it seems, with great toasty oak shadings that leave vanilla, spice and creamy sweet smoke. This wine will only get better and should age well, as it has stuffing and acidity to hold it together. Getting a case just might not be enough with this wine! ($45 Est.) 94-95 Points, grapelive

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