Got together with some friends at Wild Ginger last Saturday night for a tasting of grenache, blind. All of the wine was provided by our generous friend, Steven Maxood, who put on quite a show. We drank a white (grenache blanc) and a rose (of grenache) to wet the ole whistle and then had four flights of the world's best grenache. Very eye opening tasting as every region displayed the ability to make world class grenache, except Australia! This is part 1 of the tasting. I'll post part 2 later today, hopefully.
2008 Tablas Creek Grenache Blanc
Have not had many bottles of grenache blanc. Rhone whites have always been a problem for me as I can never seem to get enough acid for my liking. This bottle, while pretty good, was no exception. Fairly muted on the nose. Slight aromas of ripe Japanese pear and yellow plums. More of the same on the palate with that oily texture you can get from roussanne. More creaminess than lively. Still, an enjoyable wine. 87pts.
2008 Cayuse Edith Rose Grenache
This vintage is much better than the 07 which I found to be almost viognier like. Very pale salmon color with crisp acid. Spiced watermelon and dehydrated strawberries were the main ingredients. This may make my rose rotation if the 09 improves on the 08. 88pts.
Wine #1 – Ruby red with a musky and bright cherry nose. Very lush with concentrated fruit. Layers of spicy oak interwoven with fruit and even some tannin left. This wine still has 10 years to go. Damn good start to the tasting. 95pts (My #1 of the flight, groups #1) 1998 Alvaro Palacios L’Ermita Priorat
Wine #2 – Purple with bricking edges. This wine seemed a little tight at first. After a few minutes, some espresso and chocolate notes appeared. First thing I noticed and was surprised by was the tannins. They were still very apparent. Blackberry liqueur and pepper were the main components to me. Lots of structure but the fruit may be fading. 92pts (My #3, groups #2) 1998 Pegau Cuvee da Capo
Wine #3 – This was certainly the most fruit forward of the bunch. Ruby red with sweet dark fruit on the nose with some chocolate. Nice lush texture with some oak still present. A freshness still present. Very close to wine #1 for me. 94pts (My #2, groups #3) 1998 Clos Erasmus
Flight Two (A)
Wine #1 – Wow, this hit me hard. Gorgeous purple with bright red edges. Knockout nose of blood, minerals, and chocolate. Nice core of dark blueberries and raspberries rounded out with meat covered in spice. Healthy dose of cherry liqueur on the finish along with good structure. This wine is hitting its stride. 97pts (My #1 and WOTN, groups #2) 2001 Clos du Caillou Reserve
Wine #2 – Another dynamite wine. Dark and concentrated with hints of spicy oak and roasted fruit. Dark cherries dominate the palate with some coffee and pepper rounding out the edges. Big finish with tight fruit and tannin. This wine seemed to have a feeling of some aristocratic pedigree. 95pts (My #2, groups #1) 2001 Pierre Usseglio & Fils Deux Freres