2022 Margins Wine, Grenache, Paicines AVA, San Benito County.
The brilliant bight ruby/magenta 2022 Margins Paicines Grenache is beautifully aromatic and juicy fresh with a succulent core of satiny dark berry fruit, along with sweet and sour herbs, peppery spice, a light earthy element and a youthful lift of acidity. This is fun stuff and gets richer and more vinous as it opens with layers of black raspberry, plum, strawberry and candied cherry fruits along with anise, sage and chalky stones, making this Grenache a stand out wine, reminding me of some delicious Corbieres and or Sablet, a Côtes du Rhone Villages, which I love. This Grenache was sourced from organic, regenerative and holistic vines at the Paicines Ranch Vineyard, which was originally planted in the 1960s in San Benito, set on sandy soils that contains a lot of limestone and decomposed granite. For her Grenache, Margins Wine(s)’ Megan Bell, used 100% de-stemmed grapes that were native yeast fermented on their skins for nine days with a gentle maceration. After which the Grenache was aged in neutral oak for just about 4 and a half months, before being bottled quickly with no fining or filtration, with only a small dose of sulfur, all to preserve purity and freshness. Just 120 cases were made of this naturally made of this low alcohol (12%) and medium bodied 100% Paicines Grenache bottling, which means you need to get on it before it sells out, it should be enjoyed in its youth, no patience required.

The Margins Wine is a small lot and mostly organic label of Megan Bell, a winemaker, who is focused on lesser known varietals, sustainable and hidden places, living and working mainly in the Santa Cruz Mountains. These wines are infectious and delightfully quaffable, but are serious too, with a true respect of place and varietal, in the same way Tegan Passalacqua’s Sandlands Vineyards wines are. Bell says, prior to settling on the central coast of California, she received her BS in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis in 2012 and apprenticed in wineries and vineyards in Napa, the Livermore Valley, the Willamette Valley, Central Otago (NZ), and the Loire Valley (France), all of which has given her perspective and helped her find her path to success. She is on a mission, being part of the growing movement in California to make low-intervention wines using grapes from underrepresented regions from vineyards, that she explains, are farmed organically or in organic conversion using minimal additives during the winemaking process, thereby showcasing the vineyards the grapes came from, like this Paicines Grenache. The Paicines Ranch Vineyard, Megan says, is home to a host of unique programs, including holistic planned grazing of cattle and sheep, organic minimum-till vegetable production, academic research studies, and educational workshops, and provides her with top notch grapes, including Grenache, but also Assyrtiko, an awesome Greek white grape, which I cannot wait to try and Verdejo, the Spanish grape most commonly found in Rueda. It is an exciting time to explore these Margins Wine, with many cool offerings available that I highly recommend searching out.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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