Grenache is a wine that works great with many foods. It is really making a come-back in California as it can be a very versatile wine that will go with foods that you may not normally drink wine with, such as Indian, Mexican or Asian food. Grenache has the pizzazz to work with such exotic, and spicy, food selections.
This is the first year we have worked with this new source, the Hook Vineyard, part of Smith & Hook Estates in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
The Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County is Pinot Noir country, so it has to be cooler, and when you put Grenache in this climate you get fantastic depth of fruit along with some zippy spicy elements.
This wine truly has an aroma of French cassis, a term we hesitate to use at all because it is misused so often in wine descriptions. There are also layers of white pepper and graphite on the nose, as well as some chaparral elements. The cassis follows through in the mouth, like the tinned cassis candies from Europe that specialty shops used to sell. This dance of fruit and spices continues through the taste and long into the finish. It is definitely a big wine with a good amount of structure that will stand up to the heartiest of foods, yet there is a brightness and tartness that allows it to fit with less hearty fare as well.
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Wine: 100% Grenache
Production: 249 cases