In 2011, when I was first getting to know Grenache, we had a very cool growing season that was truncated by late September rains. As the Grenache from the Kick Ranch is on the cooler end of the spectrum for this variety, it was not possible for it to ripen to the normal level which would give it enough rounds to balance the acidic and tannic angles. Flavors were great but the wine needed a bit more flesh for its bones. I asked myself what do people who grow this grape in sometimes marginal seasons do? Enter the strategy from the Southern Rhone: Blending. I found that the Syrah already in-house accomplished this really well while adding some complimentary flavors. That vintage also found a tiny dribble of Zinfandel an asset, bringing a tad more fruit notes to the table. The final proportions this vintage ended with 56% Grenache, 37% Syrah and 7% Zinfandel. So after 4 years in barrel I bottled the first version of this, the 2011 Huntsman. In successive, fully ripe vintages I found that even though each variety could stand on its own merits, the blend was quite special and worthy of exploration. Tough or easy vintage, even in California, they belong together.
Cola, sandalwood and red beets. Very suave and seductive, it is difficult to leave the cork in the bottle for very long. It goes with so many foods: From Beef to salmon. I can’t imagine a more versatile wine. It is right up there with our Zinfandel.