2022 Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah!, Old Vine Grenache, Mendocino County.
Finally catching up with Hardy Wallace, the madman behind Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! winery and formerly of Dirty & Rowdy, in person was one of years highlights in wine and his latest set, as mentioned in my most recent review of his wine, are a fabulous collection, with this 2022 Old Vine Grenache being my personal favorite, its a sublime effort that melds raw intensity, savory elements and energy with generosity, texture and inner beauty! Don’t be fooled by its lighter ruby pigment and remarkably low alcohol, at 12.5%, this Grenache has incredible concentration, depth of fruit and length for days! The youthfully taut medium bodied palate unfolds with spice, dark florals, candied cherries and a rush of red fruits, including briery and brambly boysenberry, pomegranate, strawberry preserves, tart red currant, and a hint orange marmalade along with sage, minty anise and peppercorns. There’s a heightened crunch of whole cluster that intensifies the contrast between lush fruit and umami elements, and secondary notes of mineral, framboise and wild flowers are seductive. Wallace, who is a Mourvèdre freak, has really done genius work here on this Grenache, considering the difficult nature of the vintage for this organic and dry farmed vineyard that saw severe heat spikes, its simply amazing. When trying to compare this wine, I may say it reminds me of some excellent Sierra de Gredos Garnacha versions I’ve had, like those of Dani Landi, as well as some Sardinian Cannonau (the local Grenache) bottlings, but still remains its own animal, fans of Grenache should check it out.
As I’ve said before, Hardy Wallace is one of the most gentle, flamboyant and intriguing personalities in the world of California wine and his Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! is an awesome label that marries old world traditions with way out there experimentation, as seen in his crazy blends, like his Family Band red that has Zinfandel, Grenache and Skin fermented Chardonnay! Then there is Wallace’s deep dive into orange wines, with his 2021 Close Encounters being a phenomenon all its own, skin contact Chenin, Chardonnay and Viognier, that rivals anything I’ve ever had in the weird and wacky world of orange wines. The more standard stuff now includes a set of Bordeaux varietals, of which I was the most in impressed with his Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Franc, that I wrote about last month, but the quality of the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon will surprise fans of these grapes as well! The all new Carignan was another personal fav, again I loved its soulful transparency, lively nature and its pleasure on the palate. Getting this far into talking about Hardy and not gush about his Mourvèdre bottlings, all of which come from outstanding and historic sources. This Grenache, Hardy told me, struggled through the growing season and almost shut down, the berries were tiny and had almost no juice, in fact Wallace had to basically use small buckets to wet the cap, because he could get enough to flow through the hoses! Hence the grip and complexity here and after pressing he put it into neutral wood for close to 8 months, preferring to bottle fresh and preserve vibrant clarity. Maybe not sadly for Wallace, this wine has already caused a stir and is selling out fast, I got mine, but I recommend not waiting to secure yours and visiting the tasting room in downtown Sonoma!
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive