2015 Samsara, Grenache, Santa Barbara County.
Chad Melville’s Samsara 2015 Santa Barbara County Grenache is a bright, fresh and pure in varietal character and has a very natural feel and intensity, it’s absolutely delicious with fruit, earth and spice. This 2015 Grenache joins a lovely set of Syrah, single vineyard Grenache and Pinots made by winemaker Chad Melville, who also is the director of winemaking and general manager of Melville Winery in the Sta. Rita Hills, his family’s pioneering estate that has become one of California’s great family run properties. His Samsara wines differ in that they are much more limited and are true reflections of his own style, made with native yeasts, partial whole cluster and very minimal intervention from grapes grown to his belief in organic/sustainable principles. On a recent visit to the Samsara tasting room in Los Olivos, I enjoyed a sampling of the current releases, which include extended aged Syrah from Turner Vineyard, a long lees aged Rose of Grenache that is so good it reminds me of Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Rose, as well as this new 2015 Grenache that really needed to be in my collection! The 2015 Santa Barbara County Grenache Noir starts with delicate floral notes, wild spices, mineral and racy red fruits with a vibrant medium bodied palate of loganberry, plum, pomegranate and tangy strawberry fruits along with dusty peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cedar, framboise, lavender, briar and minty/salted black licorice. I really like it’s youthful zesty freshness, it is a thrilling Grenache that can be enjoyed right now with soft ripe tannins allowing it’s charm to shine through, and I suggest drinking this beauty from 2018 to 2024. Grenache is on a roll these days, especially in California with many tiny producers specializing in this grape, but it is seeing renewed attention in places like Spain, Sardinia (Cannonau) as well as in the Rhone and Languedoc regions of France, so it’s a great time to explore Grenache!
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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