100% Grenache, Tierra Alta Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
100% Grenache, La Presa Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
An elegant, yet bold wine this Grenache shows Bing cherries, pomegranates and plums, with an undercurrent of cinnamon, violets, anise, cloves, smoked cedar, and toasty French oak vanillin.
Just down the road from the Old Mission Santa Ynez “La Presa Vineyard” sits on a gentle slope overlooking the Santa Ynez River, about one mile from Sunstone. The Land once used for seasonal cattle grazing between the mainland & the Channel Islands now nourishes nine grape varieties. Owned by Wendy Caldwell-Altman’s Family (Eric & Carleen Caldwell) since 1972. The first grapes were planted at La Presa in 1974. Over the years an evolved understanding of the specific soils, terrain, micro climate, sunlight exposures and moisture conditions, the expression of the fruit is continually being refined.
John Belfy planted Tierra Alta in 2000, and the site has since become one of the best locations for the Rhone varietals in Santa Barbara County. Tierra Alta is the steepest vineyard located in the Ballard Canyon AVA. The soils are rich with limestone that stress the vines into producing intense dark fruit. The vineyard is all hand farmed and is cropped to levels of about 2.5 tons per acre. Tierra Alta is in the cooler part of the Santa Ynez Valley that is called Ballard Canyon. The grapes came from a block of Grenache rooted in limestone, which tends to give the wine an interesting minerality.
The 2013 Grenache grapes were separately sorted, lightly crushed, and de-stemmed before being pumped into an open top fermentation tank. After cold soaking, the grapes were inoculated and allowed to ferment for 12 days on the skins to extract maximum color and flavor. Following fermentation, the wines were transferred to French oak barrels, for a secondary fermentation and aging. After barrel aging for 12-months, the separate lots were blended to to taste, filtered and bottled to 282 cases 12/750mL in November, 2015.
Grenache is wonderful with braises and stews: long and slow cooked roasts of fatty pork or lamb. Also, stews with dark, red wine sauces. Try it with classic French bistro dishes such as Cassoulet and hearty Spanish or Portuguese country cooking. It can take a bit of spice, even paprika. It’s incredible with milder Indian curries and Moroccan cuisine.
This medium/heavy bodied Grenache is delicious now, but will gracefully mature over the next 1-4 years, from 2016 and 2020.
Bion Rice, Director of Winemaking
Jose Gomez, Cellar Master
Guadalupe Chavez, Assistant Cellar Master
Titratable Acidity (TA): 0.70
Volatile Acidity (VA): 0.076
Residual Sugar: 0.18 g/L