Kale “Home Run Cuvee” 2016

Kale Home Run Cuvee

Rhone-style wine specialist Kale Anderson’s Syrah/Grenache blend (about half of each) from the hillside “Kick Ranch” vineyard is outstanding. After just 20 minutes of breathing it shows lots of black pepper, kalamata olives and smoke accessorizing a the rich, ripe dark berry fruits (blackberry, mulberry, blueberry). Expansive in the mouth with fine tannins and a […]

Cottebrune Faugères Rouge 2016

Cottebrune Faugeres Red 16

This Grenache/Syrah blend blend from the high quality yet relatively unknown Faugères appelation is a real gem. Growing in high density vineyards in the foothills of France’s Massif Central, Cottebrune Faugères “Les Moulins” is pure and pretty with loads of red plum, raspberry, strawberry and peppery spice pleasure. A subtle floral component-fresh violets and lavender-lurks […]

601 Rose of Grenache 2019

601 Rose of Grenache

Black peppercorns, blood orange rind and red roses come forth on the deep and savory nose. The same goodness continues in the taste – strawberries and blood orange for sure, but spice, flowers and texture are the major takeways where. And balance: not too fruity nor light nor rich. It hits the middle ground in […]

Jane Ventura Cava Brut Rose

Jane Ventura Cava Rose

A unique Cava in that it’s made from 100% Garnatxa. The vineyard lives 2000+ feet high (in the Montmell Mountains, 25 miles west of Barcelona) and close enough to the Mediterranean to enjoy cooling from both elevation and the sea, which in turn means healthy acidity and ideal ripeness for sparkling. The Jané Ventura Cava […]

le Mas des Flauzieres Gigondas Grande Reserve 15

Mas des Flauzieres Gigondas 15

A robust, spicy red from Gigondas in France’s Southern Rhone Valley. Just opened I get briary raspberries, strawberries and blueberries and with resuscitation out comes the five-spice, cinnamon, black pepper, dark soy sauce and roasted red chili pepper. It gets bolder and stronger with each passing minute of air. You get a whole lot of […]

Trinafour Rosso Misto 2017

Trinafour Rosso Misto

Old vine Grenache and Carignane from Mendocino’s Redwood Valley are married in this bright, intense, food-friendly red. I smell and taste red raspberries, cranberries, wild cherries, pomegranate, white pepper and fennel frond. Reminds me of a top-notch Corbières or other such Southern France red wines with great character and no oak. I’m a big fan […]

MAS DOIX Priorat Les Crestes 2016

Mas Doix priorat les crestes

80% Grenache, 10% Carignan and 10% Syrah. Showcases the Grenache grapes sappy, dark strawberry and raspberry fruitiness (relatively young 20 year old vines, so the fruit is highlighted over the earth). Peppery/minty spice smells and flavors, medium bodied, fine tannins that nibble on the gums. This delicious Spanish red pairs well with combo pizza, cheeseburgers, […]

HOGWASH Rose 2018

Hogwash Rose 2018

Almost 100% Grenache, most coming from “Bokisch Vineyard” Lodi. I call this a “Provence Style” Rosé because of its dryness and citrus/stone fruit/strawberry smell/flavor trifecta. Very dry and a low 11.8% alcohol, the 2018 Hogwash is set up to drink bottle after bottle. At $18/bottle it’s a DDWA Awesome Value and makes my “Best of […]

Benevolent Neglect GSM 2016

Benevolent Neglect GSM

This GSM is 70% G (Grenache), 20% M (Mourvedre) and 10% S (Syrah). A gorgeous wine, full of spice, sweet & uplifting strawberry and plum fruits, sweet earth and cured olive smells and flavors. The smell reminds me of Southern Rhone with its potpourri, fennel, musk and minty qualities. Perfectly ripe red fruits with a […]

MADELOC Banyuls “Robert Pages”

Madeloc Banyuls Robert Pages

Owned and made by the Northern Rhone Valley’s Pierre Gaillard, Domaine Madeloc is his Roussillon (Banyuls and Collioure) brand. The Madeloc Banyuls Robert Pages is 90% Grenache Rouge & 10% Grenache Gris, late harvest, fortified (i.e. a Vin Doux Naturel, or VDN) then aged partially outside, in the elements, in big glass bottles (and part […]

MAS de FLAUZIERES Gigondas “Four Danuga” 2016

le mas de flauzieres gigondas

Fresh, bright strawberries and raspberries with a dusting of peppery spice and herbs de Provence is your first impression of Mas de Flauzieres Gigondas Four Danuga. It makes sense, as it is the winery’s “early drinking” wine: gentle tannins, neutral oak aged, transparency. The blend is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. Along with the […]

OPERATION DRAGOON Cotes du Rhone 2015

Operation Dragoon Cotes du Rhone

70% Grenache, 30% Syrah. A throw-it-back Rhone red with character. Smell and taste dark raspberries, black pepper, sweet red plums, strawberries, black licorice, thyme and rosemary. No oak influence to speak of, medium acidity, soft tannins. This has very good concentration, as you would expect from an $18 Cotes du Rhone, to be honest. Have […]

JEROME GRADASSI Chateauneuf du Pape 2016

Jerome Gradassi Chateauneuf du Pape

This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre. It has a deep, ripe core of sun-ripened blue and blackberries with a supporting cast of black currants, cola, leg of lamb (gamy), black pepper and mint. I like the power, and with a one hour decant I’d be happy to drink it tonight. But I […]

SANTA DUC Cotes du Rhone Les Quatre Terres 2015

Santa Duc Quatre Terres

Domaine Santa Duc Quatre Terres is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% combined of Cinsault, Carignane and Clairette. Grapes grow in four distinct plots owned and farmed by Santa Duc. (See below for more on this.) The wine marries ripe wild strawberries and plums with new leather, veal stock and […]

COMANDO G La Bruja de Rozas 2016

La Bruja de Rozas

All Garnacha (Grenache), 50-80 year old vines, in the high altitude, rocky & rugged Sierra de Gredos mountains outside of Madrid. La Bruja de Rozas, the “entry level” multi-vineyard sourced Grenache from Comando G Winery, is just fantastic. Fermented in concrete tank then aged in super-big, mostly neutral oak barrel. Very pretty and intense, showing […]

HERENCIA ALTES Garnatxa Negra Rose 2017

Herencia Altes Garnatxa Rose

Very friendly, dry Rosé from Terra Alta in Spanish Catalonia. Picked for Rosé and direct press (Intentional Rosé), this wine has all the delicious qualities of Grenache/Garnacha/Garnatxa. Strawberries, watermelon, fresh pink roses, a dusting of black pepper. Big chill it and drink with gusto. Visit my complete list of Rosé wines here.

BETWIXT Rosé 2017

Betwixt Rose Wine

The aroma is classic, appealing Grenache Rosé: watermelon, blood orange, strawberry, peppercorn. Taste more of the same, but more constricted and subtle. Acidity and a talc-like savory quality take the lead. Tang, citrus and background red fruits on the finish. Ultimately, this falls into my REAL DRY category. That said, the red fruit flavors peak […]

HOGWASH Rosé 2017

Hogwash Rose

Made with all Grenache from Sacremento Delta and Lodi vineyards. Grenache’s strawberry, watermelon and light spice nose is here in spades. Same fruit flavors with a suggestion of cotton candy and Jolly Rancher (without the sugar sensation-this is dry). The finish is quick and pleasant in its lightness (could use a little more finish, to […]

KALE Rose “Kick Ranch” 2017

Kale Rose Kick Ranch

Made from 100% Grenache from hillside vineyards outside of Santa Rosa. Fresh aromas of strawberries, watermelon and pink roses. More fruit in the taste: red berries, melons again plus blood orange with a pinch of white pepper and cilantro. A jolt of acidity elevates the fruity flavors and extends them into the bright, 10 second […]

ASPRAS Côtes de Provence Trois Frères 2015

Aspras Provence Trois Freres

The warm Provence, Southern France region and a particularly warm 2015 vintage make for a lush, deep, spicy red wine that combines crowd-friendly deliciousness and a definitive taste of the French Mediterranean. It’s mostly Grenache with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon supporting. Get deep, dark raspberry and blueberry fruits along with black pepper, black olive, smoked […]

Chateau Montmirail Vacqueyras Deux Freres 15

Vacqueyras: Southern Rhone Valley appellation. 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. Older vines at around 50 years old. Montmirail is a “traditional producer” in the best sense. Their wines are pin-point expressions of their land, see no oak, and are made with great care. Destemmed grapes, long fermentation, bottled for America unfined/uniltered. This Rhone red […]

PLANETES de VIN Priorat 2013

Planetes de Vin 2013

50-50 Garnatxes and Carinyenes (Catalan for Grenache and Carignane) aged “en amfora.” (Amphora-clay vessels. Use of Amphoras to hold wine date back to Roman times). The mountainous Priorat region in Catalonia is one of the world’s special places to make strong red wines. This fruit-driven wine smells and tastes of strawberry preserves, raspberry sauce, dried […]

Vendrell “Sere” Montsant 2016

Sere Montsant 16

80% Grenache, 20% Carignane from Vendrell’s organic vineyards in the Montsant D.O., 75 miles west of Barcelona. Dark plum, raspberry and strawberry smells and flavors are joined by cracked black pepper, fine chopped dry herbs and black tea. Medium tannins and body, no oak to speak of and medium/low acidity. More character and personality than […]