2016 I. Brand & Family Winery, Grenache, Brosseau Vineyard, Chalone AVA, Monterey County.
Ian Brand’s newest wine, his Brosseau Vineyard Grenache from the white tuff chalky dirt of Chalone, is a pale garnet and ruby hued wine that looks like and easy in the glass, but with surprising grip and a forceful personalty has layers of racy red fruits, spice and mineral notes. This wine is more like the finessed and authentic Garnachas of Spain’s Sierra de Gredos than of the wines of the southern Rhone with Dani Landi and the guys at Comando G coming to mind. So don’t let the color and the seductive nose with pretty floral tones and delicate earthiness fool you, there is a real sense of power and depth here too and a kick in the pants hit of stems too, it is a savory and complex wine that just happens to have a generous Grenache(y) fruit filled and playful palate, and it is highly drinkable and joyous.
The red lipstick wax capsuled 2016 Brosseau Grenache starts with wilted roses, minty herb, earth and vine pick red berries, but opens up on the palate to reveal pomegranate, tangy plum, herbal balsamic dipped strawberry, light wood notes, mocha, anise and peppery spices. It really is a nice play between ripe fruit sweetness and a savory bite with a medium body that feels almost creamy with heady glycerin, but with a nice streak of mineral and stony elements, it’s a wine that can be drunk like a Pinot, but has a touch more of an exotic nature, which is super fun.
The organically farmed Brosseau Vineyard is located on the famed Chalone Bench in Monterey County, where the granite of the Gabilan Mountains mixed with the remnants of an old volcano and a large limestone deposit. Planted around 2009 to clone 362 and an Alban selection, this small block will be one of our most exciting sources to watch. Chalone is one of the trademark terroirs of California, and we look forward to a time when it is better known for varieties more suited to its climate, like Grenache. Fermented with 50% whole cluster and native yeasts. Aged 22 months on lees in used puncheons and one once-used barrique. This is a winery to follow and this wine is one of many new releases to check out, and I think this Brosseau Grenache will shine for many years to come.
($42 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive