2019 Grenache "Old Vines"
Dry Creek Valley
Vineyard: The 30 year-old vines adjacent to our winery in the rugged hills above West Dry Creek are planted in a secluded glen with well-draining, gravelly Laughlin loam soil. At 300 feet elevation, the vineyard enjoys cooler temperatures than the valley floor and is above the fog line on most days, creating the ideal environment for a balanced, elegant expression of pure Grenache.
Vintage: The 2019 growing season began with heavy rains in March and April, which cultivated robust cover crops that organically enriched the soil with an abundance of nutrients. Fruit set was abundant and we aggressively thinned the Grenache to encourage flavor development and even ripeness. With the exception of a brief heat spike in June, summer weather was moderate except for a brief heat spike in mid-August. Harvest occurred on October 2nd under mild autumn conditions and yielded grapes with bright fruit flavors and balanced acidity.
Winemaking: The grapes were de-stemmed into small open-top tanks for a long cold soak to encourage development of color before fermentation began spontaneously with wild yeast. Aided only by the heat of the sun and gravity-fed rack and returns once per day, the must was unadulterated with chemical additives, other than a small sulfur addition at the completion of malolactic fermentation. The wine aged 9 months in neutral French oak barrels and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Tasting Notes: Dripping with sun-drenched black-plum and cherry flavors, this is an elegant expression of pure Grenache, marked by refined layers of black tea, crushed clay and spice. Its freshness, soft tannins and juicy constitution make it ready to drink now, but it should gain depth well through 2025.
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