Grenache and Blends
Huntsman, 2013

$ 34.00

This wine is a synthesis of sites where wildlife and viticulture meet at the edge of civilization. From both the far eastern and western edges of Sonoma County, the wine speaks of more of this general wildness than of a specific variety or site. It should pair well with the types of foods found in the area as well: game, flavorful mushrooms and the like.

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Winemaker's Notes

Expanding the metaphor for how well Syrah and Grenache blend as pink wine, imagine Country singers Johnny Cash and June Carter here as red wine forms of Syrah and Grenache. They have more differing personalities after fermentation on skins. While Syrah and Grenache are not considered as high-brow as varieties such as the operatic Pinot Noir in many circles, in combination the interplay and harmony are haunting, compelling and undeniably satisfying. Numerous vintages of Southern Rhone wines are proof of this. In difficult vintages, they bring complementary strengths where needed most by each other. In very favorable vintages, such as 2013 here, they build strength upon strength without overdoing it in any one spot. What a perfect varietal blend partnership!

In this Huntsman project I find that the relative proportions of these two varieties vary according to their prominence/volume, so to speak in order to be blended to a balance point. As a major player, Grenache brings that higher-frequency tone with its soaring perfumes. Syrah brings a darker, broodier textural side as well as its own brand of perfumes that fit with nice clarity among those supplied by Grenache. Strange as this sounds, this wine makes me think of a rich Pinot Noir: Just enough tannin to support things while allowing the texture and mid-palate red fruits to show thru along with hints of black and white pepper. These parts wane just slowly enough to allow more of the inner-palate perfumes and red, then black fruits to show thru as a mini-cascade. Unlike Pinot Noir, though, this pairs nicely with tomato and garlic heavy foods, beef and heavier fare.

Here is a great example where blending two very different things become intertwined as a balanced, unified entity.

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