Tag Archive: Grenache

College Cellars Continued

The remaining wines from the Walla Walla Enology & Viticulture Center:

Syrah 2014: By far, my favorite of the bunch, according to the four hearts I drew next to it! This was co-fermented with 7% Viognier, which adds preservative qualities, preserving color, adds green grape aromatics, with almost a Gewurztraminer spice. This wine is much more fresh than I’ve ever had with a straight Syrah. There are hints of spruce, and juniper. It would have been excellent with cedar plank salmon and a beautiful, joyful finish that is constantly evolving.

Cab “Seven Hills” 2015 – This cab is young, but it’s rich and luscious with dense fruit. The tannins don’t overpower this wine. The tannins and fruit aren’t warring, they’re dancing, in red velvet slippers. This cab smells of earth, tilled farm soil, and has a beautiful balance, with anise seeds and dark cherries.

GSM 2015 – A typical name that I would see through out my visit. This stands for Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. This is a nice, simple wine, for all that’s blended into it. It is cherries and eucalyptus, and would be great with food.

Carmenere 2015: This Carmenere is a rich herbal paint splash of licorice, anise seeds, celery and basil, outlined in staunch red fruit, and forest greens. If I recall correctly, Tad said, “It’s like one big green grape, trying to stuff itself up your nose.”

Malbec 2015 – This Malbec is precisely what you would expect of a Malbec. It’s nicely herbal, with a pleasing balance between tannin and red plum juice. It’s weight is surprisingly hefty, contributed to by the Oak Program that the Enology & Viticulture Center offers its students as a learning tool.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Enology & Viticulture Center. I hope to return at some point, and spend more than just a delightful afternoon there.



“Kosmos” 2014

Kosmos 2014 is an organic red blend made by Gerard Bertrand. This wine is simply classified as “Vin de France,” from the South of France, which allows Bertrand more freedom, than a more stringently regulated classification.

Warm florals, beautiful spice, but big, black plums, fresh plum  juice, and blueberries, evolves into raisins. The body is nice and comfortable, but not not flabby or lean. The finish lasts on the palate, complimenting baklava nicely. This wine is composed of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cab sauv, merlot, Malbec, and Marselan. I haven’t seen Marselan in years, but I’m thrilled that it’s back- the last time we carried this wine at the Pan Handler, I bought many bottles, both as gifts and for personal consumption. This is one of the wines that we sampled Friday morning, to consider bringing it on board at work.

My nose, while much better than it has been, still isn’t 100%. My palate is back, as though I were smelling with it, but it’s weird…

Hopefully it will just get better from here. Kosmos was my favorite of the three wines.

Cuvee du Vatican 2000

This is a delicious Chateaneuf du Pape was a gift to me for my birthday. This CDP comes from the Cuvee Du Vatican vineyard, owned by the Diffonty family,  that was christened such in 1958, with the blessing of Pope Saint John xxiii. The Diffonty family is an long standing family in the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation from 1673. A common mistake, one I made, was thinking that this wine was created specifically for the Vatican. Blessed, yes, served there, I don’t think so.

That said, this wine is a deliciously blustery blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. This wine is rich with figs, black plums, and tart cherries. A few moments later, there is fast moving acid that coats the tongue, which is kind of interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything quite like that. I opened this wine the same night, and it’s changed rapidly, within a few hours. The last time I tasted it, it was beautiful, dark and mysterious, with brown sugar, maple, black cherries and charcuterie spice. This wine is a coin with two sides, evolving fast.

Penya Vin de Pays

Penya is a deliciously nostalgic red blend from Roussilon, France. It is comprised of 20% Syrah, 65% Grenache, 12% Carignan, adn 3% Mourvedre. For a simple, cheap little wine, it’s like a warm blanket that smells like home, when you’re away at college, or studying abroad.
This wine is dark garnet ruby, with aromas of roses, sparkling red grapes, and on the tip of your tongue, just a hint of residual sugar. I’m not a fan of chaptalization, though over a few days, the minorly jarring effect wore off. This wine is filled with dark fruits, plums, figs, and black melons.
This wine is a delicious little red blend for a relaxing night.

Mas Donis Rosat 2013

Mas Donis Rosat 2013 was my second favorite Rose of this tasting. his wine comes from Capcanes, Spain. It’s composed of Grenache, Syrah, and Merlot. All of these grapes can be used for blending, Syrah, having the least history as a blending grape. All of these are big and juicy, yet the blend that Celler de Capcanes has created is light and delicate, like a rose, itself. It’s nose is roses, white peach stones, apricots, strawberries, and dark shale with hints of lava stone. Mas Donis Rosat is everything that a rose’ wine should be to me. It’s light, summery, enough body to feel like it was there, enough of a pleasant finish to ease you back to your feet after a “hello twirl” from a friendly companion, but doesn’t keep spinning you unpleasantly.
I was just speaking with a friend of mine about Rose’ wines. He said that he prefers them to reds, and wasn’t sure why. My response:
Rose’s are carefree, and light. They don’t feel like an undertaking. They’re a group out at the beach, or a road trip with hair blowing in the breeze. Reds are backbone, tradition, the cathedrals, and mountain top monasteries. Even at their lightest, reds are a night on horseback with a campfire. They still require planning, and at the least, already having the equipment in place.

The Celebration of Kurt Winegarder’s Life was held at Winegardner’s Wine’s Reception hall this afternoon in Bozeman. Over 100 people turned out to celebrate this quiet giant of a man’s life, along with his amazing wife Melinda, their children and grandchildren. Bob Dylan was playing in the background, as family members spoke, and a slide-show of life played on. The food was fantastic, and the wines were perfectly paired.
The wine I enjoyed best, was called “Le Pigeoulet 2013”. This wine is by Frederic & Daniel Bruner. This is a red blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan to form a delicious Vin de Pays Vaucluse from Provence France.
Le Pigeoulet is a beautifully balanced fruit, full of red raspberries, whispers of cranberries, like tinkling crystal chandeliers, in a Christmas Church, “The Church of the Common Denominator” surrounded in love and memories, with Bob Dylan playing in the background. When Kurt officiated his son’s wedding, he was ordained online, and made up that church as a response.

Doyenne Rose 2013

This delicious rose’ blend from Yakima Valley, WA is a perfectly refreshing palate cleanser to any dinner. It’s a blend of some of the most unexpected French grapes, grown right here in the US. It’s 49% Grenache, 38% Mourvedre, and 13% Cinsault. While too many roses are unnecessarily sweet, marketed to the standard, soda drinking market. This wine has the classic salmon color that marks it as Mourvedre. Doyenne Rose is a delicious blend of pale strawberries, warm laundry, hints of raineer cherries wafting through on the summer breeze that carries the laundry scent, of lace bananas, mouth-wateringly refreshing apricots, pear aromas, and pink melon finishes. I really enjoyed this French American fusion.

This is an old, old French vineyard in Cotes-du-Rhone France. The blend of ancient vine’s grapes, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. It smells immediately of black licorice, anise seeds, and red cherries. This Oraison’s wines bare the Pope’s sigil, on the label. It could have been classified as a Chateaneuf du Pope, but chose not to, in order to maintain creative integrity. This wines opens delightfully to black plum, thyme, cassis, and vanilla extract. This is a delicious wine, though as far as contemplation goes, I think that I had drunk it before I was ready to contemplate it. Perhaps in another week, I will be ready- though a different bottle will be procured.

Onix Priorat Classic 2011

Onix Priorat Classic 2011 is a delightful blend of Grenache and Carignan from Spain. As a 50-50 blend, this wine has distinct characteristics of both varietals. It is tart and passionate like Carignan, but is softened by the fruity easy-going nature of Grenache. There are flavors of red fruit, pomegranate, and red melons. To add polish, there are juniper and cedar notes that open to a giant cranberry juice blast! This wine is salsa music and tango in a dimly lit studio on a humid night.

Rabbit paired it with pot-roast, which brought out the very best black plum juice- this was a perfect pairing. I was impressed.


Location E-2

This is another Orin Swift Location wine. Location E-2 is a blend of grenache, tempranillo, monastrell, and carignan from Spain. This wine is deliciously meaty, violet hints of pastille candy, with a little bit of old oak. The sample of wine that I had for Location E-2 was opened before hand, and lacked a finish. I would attribute that to being open for so long. I wasn’t a fan, but it’s all subjective.