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Grenache Grenade

by Susanna Gaertner

Normally not a fan of rosé, I was pleasantly surprised by the power of this grenache blusher, whose terracotta tint hints at its deeper flavor. Winemaker Jeff Emery feels that “Rhone varieties pushed into cooler California growing regions tend to produce wines that are more like their Old World counterparts than the average California style expression. When you plant grenache in this cooler climate you get bright fruit and zippy spice elements.” The grapes are from Hook Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation.

After crushing the fruit, Jeff and his team “bleed” off (saigné method) c. 20% of the juice after only one night on the skins; the free run juice slowly ferments in stainless steel tanks for several weeks before being racked into fresh tanks, where it remains until bottling the following spring.

With its spicy nose and tropical fruit body, deeper and more concentrated than that of its pale pink cousins, this robust rosé is a perfect seasonal transition wine. Nose and palate reveal a good equilibrium between floral (strawberry, guava) and spice (cinnamon, cardamom) notes. Ideal for Thai cuisine, it will complement everything from scallops to scallopine. Actually, it's very much a wine for all seasons and all occasions.

The winery has about a hundred cases left: $24 per bottle with 5 and 10% discounts for half and whole cases.

About the Author

Susanna Gaertner - As a wine travel writer for Epicurean Traveler, Susanna has written about venues in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and Chile. Susanna would like to extend special thanks to her mentors, the teaching staff of the wine program at the CIA in St. Helena.

Visit Susanna Gaertner's Website