Clear bright ruby and chunky little tartarates. I’m PERFECTLY ok with a little crunchy stuff in the bottom of the glass–it tells me little things about the wine-making: things that make me happy. And just LOOK at that color! Nose runs rich savory. Raw lamb and warm olive oil, with a bruised fruit you probably want to make a smoothie with or eat over the sink, because it’s too messy for the car.

I have to admit, coming from a label most-often talked about for the Zin, I expected a wine a bit bigger, but am thrilled it turns out to be a pure, juicy, transparent, beautifully-fruited version of the variety. This thing sits just slightly above middle in terms of concentration–a very nice segment of the Grenache population to be in. Nowhere NEAR some of the pancake-syrup offerings so common in certain areas but also not crazy-thin Pinot-style that throws many people off.

In the mouth, all that floral translates straight into an edgy broken stem quickly morphing to broken Pixie Stix as all that gorgeous blackberry and blood orange is released. Tight dry acid becomes apparent immediately, signaling an end to your tongue’s bask in the rosy sun and back to serious red wine contemplation, where cool walnut-meat tannins gently orchestrate the finish.

I’m very happy about this wine. Ignore the claret bottle–it’s a stunning Grenache.

2016 T-VINE WINERY Grenache Calistoga Napa Valley 14.5


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