Wine Spectator | Rating: 96Dark, dense and focused, yet surprisingly light-footed, layering chalk and wet rock minerality through the ripe and meaty cherry and clotted cream flavors. Complex and inviting, this is long as a midsummer day.Author: Harvey Steiman
Wine Advocate | Rating: 95Sporting a transparent ruby color, the 2012 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is Rayas-like in its perfume (I served this blind to a great taster and they guessed 2001 Rayas) of kirsch, blackberry, ground pepper, gunpowder and floral-laced nuances. Full-bodied, elegant and layered, I thought it showed more flesh and texture from barrel, but it's still a gorgeous Grenache. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more.Author: Jeb Dunnuck
Rating: 94(13.1% alcohol): Moderately saturated medium red. Mesmerizing aromas of raspberry, peony, garrigue, smoke and earth; would anyone not pick this blind as a French wine? Dry, saline and superconcentrated, with raspberry and earth flavors conveying superb penetration and energy. Finishes with big, dusty tannins and outstanding length and spicy lift. A great American Grenache. Christophe Baron's biodynamically farmed Sur Echalas Vineyard, planted in 2008, is the densest in Walla Walla Valley, with 4,840 vines per acre (i.e., three feet by three feet spacing). - Stephen Tanzer
Grenache is a thick-skinned, late-ripening variety that requires a warm or hot climate to grow. Its tolerance for drought conditions make it an ideal match for the water-starved regions of , the , and . It is rarely made as a varietal wine, and usually produces full-bodied blends that are high in alcohol and low in acidity with soft tannins and aromas of cherry, rhubarb, raspberry, cinnamon, tobacco, and thyme. These wines are typically matured in large old oak vessels so as not to overwhelm the delicate fruit flavors of Grenache.
Grenache is the most widely planted variety in the Southern Rhône, and the best-quality blends come from where the wines are full-bodied with rich texture and concentrated spicy red fruit. Look to producers such as , , or for the best expressions of these wines.
In Spain, this variety is referred to as “Garnacha” and is an important blending partner of in the region of , where low-yielding old vines enable the production of intense, complex, full-bodied, wines with high tannin, fresh black fruit, and toasty oak. It is also an important contribution to blends in , where it contributes perfume, body, and alcohol to . and create some of the best expressions of these Spanish styles.
In the New World, high-quality Grenache-based blends are found in the and regions of Australia, where old bush vines yield low volumes of highly concentrated grapes. Wines from top-quality producers such as are robust, with intense flavors of ripe red berry and peppery spice. producers such as are also making world-renowned wines from Grenache.
Grenache’s spice-forward flavor profile makes it a great pairing option for spiced and herb-heavy dishes, including roasted and spiced vegetables, braised pork, turkey breast, and a range of ethnic foods. However, it is important to note that the high alcohol in Grenache can magnify the heat of piquant dishes, and vice versa.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 26 bottles owned
- 11 collectors