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