TN: ESJ wins in New World Grenache night
So when my friend Dave sent that theme for our local (not very serious) group this month was New World Grenache (at least 45% Grenache), I immediately replied all with "what did I ever do to you that makes you hate me so much?" I was joking, but barely. I didn't think I had anything that qualified,and had no real ideas for shopping- Greneche is not my favorite variety, and most that I drink are from the Rhone. However, the day was saved when Steve Edmunds informed me he thought the 2001 Rocks and Gravel was about 46% Grenache. Squeaking by! Turns out other people were less concerned with sticking by rules than I was.
So over to Dave's house for 6 blind wines:
Red#1 Somewhat hot, my first guess is something at 15.5-16 % abv, though itturns out to be only 14.5%. Tastes like like "expensive cuvee Spanish Garnacha" to me, but know it's on theme. Kirsch, macerated cherries, just a hint of oak, ok acidity, others like more than I do. 2005 Clarendon Hills "Hickinbotham"*Grenache . B-/C+
Red# 2 Screwcap, much lighter, hint of spritz, red berries, a Beaujolais of a Grenache blend. High acids, not a lot of depth, but surprising and refreshing wine. I eventually get producer after some hugely broad hints from Fred (with those hints you could get BD without tasting wine). 2009 Bonny Doon "Clos de Gilroy" B
Red# 3- No guesses from me, as it's my wine. 3rd time I've had this recently, and to me best of a good series of showings. Balanced, earthy, herby, fleshy without any flab, a lot like an old school CdP. First bottle emptied (maybe only one). 2001 Edmunds St. John Rocks and Gravel (46% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah, and 3% Counoise). A-
Red#4 - Jammy, fruit compote meets fruit compost, no apparent oak, heavy, some lifted notes much beloved by some. I figure Oz. 2009 Torbeck Juveniles (60% Grenache). C
Red#5- I'm in Oz again. Very ripe, but fresh and straightforward. Red fruit, herb, red fruit. Guy who brought admits it's actually 42% G. 2009 Stump Jump GSM B-
Red#6- Roger says he tried, but no New World Grenache at store he went into.. Red jammy fruit, a bit of oak, somewhat monolithic/monotone. 2009
Borsao Tres Picos C+/B-
Not my favorite lineup, but interesting to try and really good company. Nice breezy walk home.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
Re: TN: ESJ wins in New World Grenache night
> Red# 3- No guesses from me, as it's my wine. 3rd time I've had this
> recently, and to me best of a good series of showings. Balanced,
> earthy, herby, fleshy without any flab, a lot like an old school CdP.
> First bottle emptied (maybe only one). 2001 Edmunds St. John Rocks
> and Gravel (46% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah, and 3% Counoise).
When I read this, I was thinking back to my own experiences with this
wine before recalling that I never had it: what I had was the '01 Los
Robles Viejos, which was also a lovely, fleshy wine. For whatever
reason, Steve E. seems to find more success in odd-numbered years than
even-numbered ones recently, though the legendary '92 Grand Heritage
Syrah looms large as a counterexample.
> Red#4 - Jammy, fruit compote meets fruit compost, no apparent oak,
> heavy, some lifted notes much beloved by some. I figure Oz. 2009
> Torbeck Juveniles (60% Grenache). C
This is very interesting to me. A while ago, Dan Fredman -- one of the
most knowledgeable people I know on the subject of Oz wines -- had
recommended the Cuvée Juveniles as a good introduction to Torbreck for
people with Europhilic palates. Dan generally doesn't steer me wrong,
but I don't think I'll go looking for this while here in the Antipodes.
> Red#5- I'm in Oz again. Very ripe, but fresh and straightforward. Red
> fruit, herb, red fruit. Guy who brought admits it's actually 42% G.
> 2009 Stump Jump GSM B-
For the record, the producer is D'Arenberg in case anyone's looking for
this. I recall drinking some of their wines back in the early aughties,
but they always seemed to have a very similar licorice/eucalyptus
character to them that grew boring after a few examples.
> Red#6- Roger says he tried, but no New World Grenache at store he
> went into. Red jammy fruit, a bit of oak, somewhat
> monolithic/monotone. 2009 Borsao Tres Picos C+/B-
That sounds a bit like my impressions, too. The Tinto Borsao, as you
well know, proved more interesting to me.
You're a trooper, Dale. Well done!