Clear non-staining ruby with slight pink edges. No initial funk–what you get out of the first pour is what you get. Lovely sweet ripe vegetal–red bell peppers, raw haricot vert and snapped celery in the nose with a background of barnyard but with a pop of AL. Mouth-filling and supple, but fruit fades off considerably over the black-walnut-bitter middle and sharp acidity. Tannins of a quite unpolished nature take over from there. I wouldn’t exactly call this wine “chewy”, but SERIOUS backbone and things get positively warped mid-palate. Although considerable fruit early on, the meagerness takes over and things thin out into the bitter finish. Still, a beautiful grenache from a stellar vineyard and all-in-all a balanced wine. Crisp and worthy, with the stuffing to last–I just with there was more of the fruit found in the bouquet present in the taste. The nose never lies, though, and I feel this will settle down a bit in a year+ and a lot of the negative situations will polish out.
2011 SAMSARA Grenache Larner Vineyard Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara 14.0