We’ve always been big fans of the Grenache grown in the Santa Ynez Valley, and are proud that we were the first winery bottling a single varietal Grenache in Santa Barbara County in 1995. Since then, our Grenache wines have been a source of great pride for our winemaking team. Over the years, we have experimented and produced many different bottlings of Grenache as we learned to appreciate the subtleties that our various blocks of Grenache develop in the vineyard. Our current Grenache portfolio consists of four different bottlings: the Santa Ynez Valley Grenache, Estate Grenache, Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache, and the newest bottling Grenache Libre. Here’s an overview to help you appreciate how we look to highlight the different flavors that Grenache produces in our two vineyards.
Santa Ynez Valley (SYV) Grenache
The Santa Ynez Valley Grenache is our largest and oldest single Grenache bottling. Dating back to our very first vintage of the release in 1995, the SYV Grenache has always demonstrated beautiful, pure, ripe Grenache fruit. The fruit for this wine is grown on both Purisima Mountain Vineyard and Thomas and Judith Beckmen Estate Vineyard, from some of our oldest vines ranging in age from 25 – 28 years old. The wine incorporates completely destemmed fruit which undergoes a long, slow fermentation of 12 – 15 days. Aged for 10 months in neutral French and American oak barrels, the SYV Grenache is approachable upon release and expresses layers of pure Grenache fruit with flavors ranging from raspberry to cherry to pomegranate with a touch of white pepper.
The Estate Grenache is grown and harvested from our oldest Grenache vines planted in 1995 on the Thomas and Judith Beckmen Estate Vineyard in the Los Olivos District AVA. The Estate Grenache highlights the best characteristics of this site: its gravelly, clay-loam soils and slightly warmer temperatures when compared to Purisima Mountain Vineyard. Made from completely destemmed fruit, the Estate Grenache ages for 12 – 15 months in 500L French oak puncheons. The Estate Grenache is the ripest and roundest (silkiest) Grenache in our portfolio, exhibiting great flavors and aromas of Kirsch liquor, pomegranate, red fruits, and bakers spice.
Purisima Mountain Vineyard (PMV) Grenache
The Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache is grown and harvested from Purisima Mountain Vineyard in Ballard Canyon AVA, from vineyard blocks planted in 1997 and 2015. This bottling was first produced in 1999. The PMV Grenache is fermented with 33% stem inclusion to add structure and texture before aging in 500L neutral French oak puncheons for 14 – 16 months. With the clay/limestone soils and more moderate temperatures found on Purisima Mountain Vineyard, this bottling demonstrates great ripeness, but the limestone slopes add a higher level of acidity and tannin that balances the ripeness and creates the most elegant of our Grenache bottlings, showing bright red fruits, spice, garrigue, and mineral.
Our newest single varietal Grenache bottling is the Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache LIBRE. Grown and harvested from Purisima Mountain Vineyard in Ballard Canyon AVA from vineyard blocks planted in 2003 and 2015, the Libre was created to highlight the flavorful fruit produced by our un-trellised, free-standing, head trained vines. Like the Purisima Mountain Grenache, this wine is fermented with 33% stem inclusion and ages in 500L neutral French oak puncheon but for a slightly longer period. Combining Block Eight, our original head-trained, own-rooted Grenache, and Block One, our newest free-standing block grown on the limestone slopes of PMV, this Grenache is our most structured and age-worthy of our limited production Grenache wines.
Our portfolio of Grenache wines is designed to suit all types of pallets and occasions. Starting with the Santa Ynez Valley Grenache and finishing with the Libre, our Grenache portfolio evolves from wines that are more fruit forward and less tannic wines to cellar worthy, critically acclaimed wines that offer more structure and nuance. Try some of our Grenache today and understand why we’re such big fans.