Grapelive Reviews: New T-Vine Releases
By Kerry Winslow
2009 T-Vine Grenache “Frediani Vineyard” Calistoga, Napa Valley.
This bold expression of Grenache has depth and beauty to go with the vintage’s ripe fruit and thick texture, making T-Vine’s 2009 Grenache one of the best Napa Grenache based wines I’ve ever tried. While Paso and Edna Valley get a lot of attention, not to mention the new hot spot Bennett Valley, for this grape, the old vines of Napa can once in a while produce a stunning Rhone like example, and this wine is one of them. Having just had a lovely Ridge Grenache and a couple of Gigondas and Chateauneuf’s recently, made this wine from the T-Vine team stick out, with out question it held it’s own and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. The nose is full of flowers, spice and a touch of creme de cassis before a rich palate of boysenberry, strawberry, black cherry and grenadine with hints of mocha, licorice and herbs de Provence. Given time to unwind and open up this lush red shows lavender oil and pepper with just the right amount of oak shadings to provide nice framing of the fruit, while a kiss of acidity keeps things fresh for a bigger style, think Chateauneuf, wine.
($36 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
2008 T-Vine Cabernet Sauvignon “Monte Rosso Vineyard” Sonoma County.
T-Vine’s last ever Cabernet from the famed Monte Rosso Vineyard the 2008 vintage is a remarkable and fitting end to this string of Cabernets that T-Vine has made from this site. Sadly, the fruit has since been priced out of this small almost cult like followed winery’s budget, but they have found a few more exciting sources, so all is going strong, and like I mentioned this vintage is a stunner. This 2008 T-Vine Monte Rosso is pure class and while Sonoma doesn’t usually get headlines from Cabernet, this wine will turn a few heads and make believers out of even the most hardened of critics! I, myself, must confess to being one of them, am now telling you this is as good as Cab gets and easily competes with $100 Napa Cabernet, no question. This wine is big and dense with 14.9 % Alcohol, but it feels alive and vibrant with little heat and sublime balance. The nose is lively with red currants, lilacs, minty spice and bitter chocolate leading to a lavish palate of blackberry, cassis, red berries, tobacco leaf, cedar and vanilla scented oak shadings. This Cabernet Sauvignon finishes long and has fine tannins supporting the fruit in smooth fashion.
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive