2012StormGMR2012 Storm Wines, Grande Marque Rouge, Santa Ynez Valley.
The Storm brother’s are really making a splash these days, one in South Africa making awesome Pinot Noir in the Western Cape and the other Ernst now emerging as a new star on the central coast with his Storm Wines and especially this Chateauneuf-du-Pape inspired blend Grande Marque Rouge. Ernst, being from South Africa goes for cooler sites, like the Cape, that express deep ripe flavors, but at lower alcohol levels, so unlike Chateauneuf or Paso there is not 15-16% in his wines, they show a bit more delicacy coming in at closer to 13.5%, but with big mouth feel, texture and lush layers, I hope to review his highly acclaimed Pinot Noir offering too, particularly after this gorgeous Rhone blend. The 2012 Storm Wines Grande Marque Rouge, a blend of 43% Mourvedre, 29% Grenache, 14% Cinsault and 14% Syrah, starts with violets and fig paste and blackberry, hints of smoke, mineral and exotic spices along with a deep garnet/purple hue before a rich palate of black raspberry, plum, sweet red currant, candied cherry and boysenberry fruits, plus cedar, camphor, pepper, lavender oil, minty herb and fennel. There is a blueberry essence that lingers on the finish and a mid palate burst of cassis/huckleberry on the second sip, this wine gathers density and character with every taste, it has vitality, charm and is loaded with pleasure, I highly recommend checking these wines out, they are already in their 6th vintage, I can’t believe I’ve not had them before, this is really tasty and impressive stuff, and I love his brother’s, Hannes’ Storm Vrede Pinot, my favorite southern Hemisphere Pinot Noir to date. The Grande Marque Rouge is drinking wonderfully now, I can see no good reason to wait, though it can last another 5 to 7 years easy, drink from 2015 to 2021.
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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