Beginners Luck

In honour of National Grenache Day, I scoured the cellar for something–knowing I had no Grenache–and, with the exception of a couple GSM’s, this is the closest I could come.  Deep garnet with moderate sediment and bricking edges.  Shockingly well-preserved and still deeply fruited, was surprised at how little aged-polish shone through the nose.  This is the second wine I had made, and picked the fruit from a 75-year-old dry-farmed, head-trained vineyard in Carmichael around the corner from my house.  I made it in garbage cans and it was aged in carboys.  I had not graduated to barrels yet and probably made at most 10 cases.  Rich, heady bouquet of forest-floor and dark cherry fruit.  A generous AL shines through and burns the nose a bit.  The spice and vanilla nuances are shocking because they must come completely from the fruit–as it was aged in glass and I do not think I had even discovered oak-chips yet.  Dense and chewy, and only showing tiny bits of portiness, Again quite shocked it is still viable.  A shocking tannin structure completes the middle and carries on long into the finish–but again with a solid side-helping of pesky AL.  Down to maybe 4 or 5 of these and probably will drink one per year.  For the level of wine-making education I had at the time (a couple library books and a little–what I have learned is horrible HORRIBLE–advice from the local wine-and-beer-making shop) this wine just stuns me as it is rich, vibrant and COMPLETELY enjoyable 14 years in.  Considering the marginal testing, sketchy cleanliness, and COMPLETE NUBE processes, I am quite proud.  I had absolutely NO CLUE what I was doing.  14-75 and  ♦

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