The Goldilocks of Grenache

I think this is my new favorite Grenache.  I got into National Grenache Day a little late–being unwarned of it’s looming–OK, so I was COMPLETELY UNAWARE of it’s EXISTENCE until Instagram informed me–and well, to completely spill the embarrassing fact:  I have no Grenache in my cellar.  A couple GSM’s, but no Grenache.  Why is that?  Grenache is grown in two very distinct styles:  99% of the 15-billion hectares planted in the world are this fat, juicy, no colour, blender which we love when blended anonymously but fail miserably when bottled alone.  The most important remaining 1% is some voodoo-science of old-vine, dry-farmed, own-rooted, funkiness which can run the gamut between lush, dark and rich and cloyingly fruit-forward jam-bombs.  Think: Zinfandel since 2000.  The thinnish, mall-hair fruit and often funky overtones (I’m talking about Garnacha there) of either version is a death-knell on this taster’s palate.  OK, I am COMPLETELY over-simplifying here.  But then, then, the day after National Grenache Day (WHO DECIDED THAT?!?!?!?) I sat down to this one.  Dark and staining with clear edges.  A whallop of AL comes off but in balance.  Funky and deep, with dark cherry and blackberry and off in the background a minty-briar.  Balanced and perfect on the tongue–with nuances which scream GRENACHE and at the same time explain scientifically about a world-class Southern-France varietal.  This wine is SOOOO Rhoney.  There is this amazing see-saw job it does between Rhone/Spanish funkiness and California ripeness.  Rhone acid and New World pH.  A little wet-cardboard with a helping of eucalyptus.  A little bright gooseberry with a foundation of dark, ripe cherry.  Too big; Too small; Just right.  Too sweet; Too sour; Just right.  Brett and forest floor; Oaky and ripe; Just right.  Really:  Find some of this if you can.  I am pretty much in awe of this grenache.

2009 A-NON-AH-MOUS Grenache Alisos Vineyard Santa Barbara County
Have not seen this wine anywhere but at the website:  a-non-ah-mous wines


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