A somewhat surprising clear, non-staining garnet out to pink edges. Warm and wet-barky with gobs of loam and lovely Pinot barnyard. Rich dark cherry with a considerable spot of oak and cola-syrup. This is quite a Grenache. Concentrated briar and mint overlie a tarry wet gravel-pit.
Ripe and full in the mouth, smoothly concentrated sweetened applesauce for a moment while incredibly ample acids dance around, begging you into the unavoidable bright, bitter tannin which overwhelm mid-palate and grow into something your mouth doesn’t soon forget.
This is a very interesting wine, and not a horrible one–and I’m not just saying that to save face with The Village. It is definitely an extracted fruit-bomb–something the tourists will devour–but not a cheap forward sort of fruit. It has depth and elegance despite being on heroin. There’s just enough gameyness in the early nose to save it, just enough biting balance to justify the ripeness, and enough sweet oak juxtaposed against stunning tannin to make you forget for a second you are drinking Grenache.
This is the epitome of a New-World Garnacha. On the extraction-scale, it lies somewhere above fatter Priorat and classically weird/nuanced also-rans from the area–I dunno… Curtis, Kenneth Volk, Jaffurs, Beckman, LaFond… but somewhat below stupid-extracted stuff like Sans Leige and Herman Story. It plumps up a bit with air-time, and it is easy to see why this is a screw-top and older vintages have the potential to head an unpleasant direction. At 4yo, I’d drink as much of this as I could. It is designed for that.
2010 KAENA Grenache Santa Ynez Valley 14.9