I remember my surprise the first time I tasted a Ch.Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape in 1990. I was struck by the light color and delicacy compared to all the other wines from this region I had been enjoying for several years before that. It seemed like there was an unoaked Pinot Noir snuck into the tasting. After encountering Ch. Rayas a number of times since, I have a great appreciation for the range of character that 100% Grenache wines can illustrate.
This vintage of Kick Grenache channels some of that Rayas delicacy. Still exhibiting rather primary fruit, it is surprisingly delicate with bright acidity not unlike the 2016 Hallberg Pinot Noir. According to Antonio Galloni “The 2017 Grenache Kick Ranch is a very pretty, perfumed wine. Dried cherry, sweet pipe tobacco, cedar and crushed flowers. The Grenache is quite ethereal and not especially varietal in 2017, but it is an attractive wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. 90 pts.”
Of note: I age Grenache in older, larger format cooperage. New oak seems to get in the way of the delicate nuances the grape has. Somehow, by contrast Pinot Noir’s nuances don’t tend to collide with new oak the way Grenache’s do.