‘Pretty’ is not the most common lead descriptor one is likely to see for this variety. However, that is precisely my first thought when approaching this wine. I remember my first encounter with the Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1990 Château Rayas. I was surprised by the lighter color and delicacy it possessed compared with other wines from that area and vintage. It possessed amazing flavor intensity and continuity without being heavy or harsh.
I have often described my view on the vinification of Grenache to wine industry professionals as an experience kind of like going to a David Bowie concert: It is masculine in the beginning, but changes to feminine toward the end. That is Grenache to me. RIP David. Live on Grenache.
The 2012 Sonoma County Grenache we released last year was based on Kick Ranch Grenache. But I felt that the vintage and my harvest choices saw a more harmonious result in the finished wine with the inclusion of some non-vineyard Syrah, preventing any vineyard designation. By contrast, in 2013 it already had perfect harmony and balance without any assistance of Syrah. So, it is 100% Kick Grenache. I am really enraptured by its floral perfumes, spiciness and gentle presence. In the mouth it is a front-loaded WOW! The finish simply invites another sip. Call it warm-climate Pinot Noir if you wish. It will deliver.