2012SansLiegeEnGedi2012 Sans Liege, En Gedi, Grenache, Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, Santa Barbara County.
Curt Schalchlin’s 100% Grenache En Gedi is a richly flavored and decedently stylish Rhone red that gives loads of hedonistic California pleasure on the palate, but still retains en echo of Chateauneuf du Pape in the background, and this 2012 is still developing and adding layers. This Sans Liege offering is one of the best for this label and is well worth searching out, Schalchlin is making some handcrafted wines that are seemingly inspired by Sine Qua Non and he has a gifted touch with Grenache, plus his whites are are also intriguing, in particular his Roussanne and Grenache Blanc Call to Arms blend stands out as well as his northern Rhone inspired Marsanne Sancha, one of the best wines made from this tricky varietal. The impressive En Gedi starts with a sweet fruit and spicy kick with mixed floral notes leading the way with juicy boysenberry, plum and racy strawberry giving a dense mouth feel with a background of wild flowers, black licorice, pepper, warm chalk rock, a hint of vanilla and cedar as well as a touch of earth and a long finish of cherry liqueur, lavender and exotic clove. This is an opulent Grenache, with ripe tannins that while firm are silken and even though it comes in at 15+% it still is overall very refined and balanced and in line with many of the modern Chateauneufs. The Sans Liege wines are all small production offerings that are exceptional values in their class, drink this En Gedi between 2016 and 2022.
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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