Tag Archive for 'Grenache'

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2006 Grenache Syrah

After three decades of wine growing in the Santa Rita Hills, Pierre Lafond and winemaker Bruce McGuire are still experimenting with unconventional varieties in this very cool growing region. Following their successful introduction of Syrah to Santa Rita Hills in the early 1990’s, they are now onto their second vintage of this Grenache/Syrah blend.

Utilizing Syrah from neighbor vineyard, Hilltop Ranch (right across the dirt road) and Grenache that Bruce sourced from the Byron Vineyard up in Santa Maria, Bruce has crafted a wine showing the cool climate spiciness of Syrah and the bright red fruit flavors of Grenache.

The Grenache dominates the blend and helps to tame the Syrah making this middle weight wine more approachable than straight Syrah, and thus easier to pair with a wider range of foods. A delightful wine to have with Spanish tapas, lighter meats, or an afternoon repast of olives, cow’s milk cheeses and fresh bread. This wine should show complete flavor development by the end of 2008 and be quite enjoyable through 2010.

Suggested Retail 22.00
To Order: Santa Barbara Winery

Santa Barbara Winery New Release

2007 Santa Ynez Valley Syrah

Winemaker Bruce McGuire is an early pioneer in blending Syrah grown throughout the west-east traverse of the Santa Ynez Valley. Because Syrah is proving to be the rare example of a varietal that can be grown in all the temperature zones found in our valley, blending vineyards becomes an intriguing endeavor.

This bottling of Syrah highlights both the cool climate white pepper and lavendar forward flavors and the jammier full fruitcharacter experienced in the back of the mouth courtesy of the warmer eastern Santa Ynez Valley. In 2007, Bruce crafted a blend of about three quarters cool climate Lafond Vineyard and neighboring Hill Top Ranch in the Santa Rita Hills with one quarter warm climate Joughin Vineyard near Los Olivos.

Most of the wine aged in small 60 gallon French and Hungarian barrels as Syrah benefits from ample barrel aging. A smaller than average crop from the our vineyard manager’s Santa Ynez Joughin Vineyard meant that a higher percentage of Santa Rita Hills fruit appears in the blend.

A small amount of Grenache (4%) was added to enhance the aromatics of the finished wine. In the bottle, 2010 to 2013 will be the prime drinking window for this wine. Pair with rustic fare, slightly charred grilled meats, and washed rind cheeses.

Retail: 20.00(750ml)
To order: Santa Barbara Winery

New Release Santa Barbara Winery

2006 Lafond Vineyard Grenache

After three decades of wine growing in Santa Rita Hills, Pierre Lafond and winemaker Bruce McGuire are still experimenting with unconventional varieties in this very cool growing region.

Following their successful introduction of Syrah to Santa Rita Hills in the early 1990’s, they are now releasing their third Grenache from Lafond Vineyard.

Planted in loose conglomerate (sand and rocks to four inches) in the warmest section of the vineyard allows the fruit to ripen to its full potential throughout its lengthy hang time on the vines.

Historically, Grenache has been grown in the Southern Rhone Valley of France as well as large areas of Spain where it is known as Garnacha.

Often used for blending, recent years have seen more Grenache bottled by itself as growers limit yields to make more flavorful wines highlighting the plump, mid-palate flavors that make this multifaceted wine so versatile with food. Its characteristic mouth “grip” is tannic yet plush.

Simple, easy to prepare foods are at home with this wine, and the summer of 2009 should see the tannins integrate with fruit to make a most enjoyable quaff. We anticipate this wine aging nicely through 2011.

Suggested retail: 26.00

To order:

Lafond Winery & Vineyards New Release

2006 Syrah / Grenache

After three decades of wine growing in the Santa Rita Hills of the western Santa Ynez Valley, Pierre Lafond and winemaker Bruce McGuire are still experimenting with unconventional grape varieties in our very cool climate growing region.

The knowledge gained since the first planting of six varieties in 1972 (one of the early vineyards in Santa Barbara County) has led to a focused approach in which varietals are sought out according to Bruce’s hypothesis on a grape’s potential to exhibit unique character when grown in our area. While this pioneering has led to short term trials like Cabernet Franc, it has also paid off with great success such as the introduction of Syrah to the Santa Rita Hills.

Grenache intrigued Bruce and Pierre for they thought it had the same potential as Syrah to show off spicy character expressed in a different way than the white pepper spice found in our cool climate Syrah.

The 2.25 acre planting has paid off in a distinctly bright Grenache exhibiting a hint of black pepper with cinnamon spice and dark red fruit flavors with a whisper of menthol. The blend of these two grapes yields a very pleasing full bodied wine that invites paring with a wide variety of foods. The wine should be fully integrated in 2010 to 2011.

Suggested retail: 38.00
To order: Wines