2012SheldonGrenache2012 Sheldon, Grenache, Ceja Farms, Sonoma Coast.
Sheldon crafts delicate and distinctive wines, these are unique and pure examples of varietal and place, especially their Grenache, a favorite passion of the winery. Dylan Sheldon is a Grenache fiend and has long explored it’s charms, he researched from Chateau Rayas and Chateau Saint-Cosme in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas to Turkey Flats in Australia, he even spent time making a vintage with Louis Barrol at Saint-Cosme before setting out to make his own personal statement. At first he made his from Santa Ynez, but after many years finally got his own little piece of Grenache heaven to work with in partnership with Ceja Farms, and now the Sheldon Grenache is truly his minds eye ideal. This is an evolving vision and the vines are starting to show personality and sense of place, this is a cool site for Grenache and it is interesting to see low alcohol (about 13%) on a grape that is notorious for very ripe levels, but somehow it all works and fits Dylan and his wife Tobe to a tee, this is a beautiful and refined red that is full of flavor, but is poised, easy to love and transparent in presentation. Sheldon employes a soft touch and mostly natural techniques with slow fermentations, a gentle basket press and with the Grenache does a bit of whole cluster, plus his wines only see very seasoned neutral French oak. Everything is about finesse and balance, and the new vintage of Grenache from 2012 is another gem, bright, fresh and wonderful from start to finish. This unfiltered red is a light ruby/garnet hue in the glass, it is medium bodied and beautifully detailed on the palate with raspberry, boysenberry, cherry and plum leading the way with a succulent dose of pomegranate and strawberry as well with pepper, lavender, saline and wet chalk adding tangy and savory counter balance, plus there is a constantly changing background of earth, kirsch and mineral notes and a long finish that feels sweet fruited but lifted by nice acidity. Drink this over the next 3-5 years and maybe with just a touch of a chill, this is a interesting and fun wine, not too heavy, making it a super summer red. Don’t forget the Sheldon Grenache Blanc, it is divine too!
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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