Point to: Grenache

The astonishing lightness of the pour is obviously the first thing to grab you about this wine. Clear, light, totally transparent garnet–I’ve seen ROSÉ darker than this. Seriously: MANY rosés. Deep and brooding in the nose, leather fruit in that warm-armchair sort of spiciness and duskiness, dank and earthy, but full fruit clarity: strawberry and blood-orange, plummy round distinction, complex in Pinot ways: chalkboard and smoky sauté, meditative in its rosy glow, calm and brilliant with wet newsprint and coriander hinting of great things.

Pretty sure this is my first Colson Canyon wine OTHER than Syrah. I have been a huge fan of this strange vineyard tucked away up in the hills of *technically* Santa Maria Valley, but if you look at a map, it definitely is an outlier. Many people have bottled wines from this special spot on the Central Coast–although lately it has been almost singularly under the Tensley label.

A wine like this BEGS you to drink it. In the mouth, a concentration FAR beyond the appearance swells the taste-buds into glorious contemplation. This is NOT your black dense crowd-favorites of the California Grenache game and hi-proof bling bottles of black jam & vodka. This is thinking-man’s wine, delicate and perfect, fruit a sunlit glimmer on an effervescent lake, the thin cherry and berry doled out in even doses, no more than one can handle at a time, and distilled by careful vinification to clairvoyant levels. The balance is perfect: nothing out of place, a spice complement turning to light tannin is such a subtle way as to question acid. But the fact you don’t have to look for it explains all you need to know about this beauty. I was a FULL ONE POINT off of my usually-accurate ABV-guess, another huge point toward the balance of this wine.

An absolute tour de force in wine-making. Having coaxed fruit and density and balance into the bottle causes a holy moment of sitting back and appreciating what transpired to bring a wine like this to the table in finished product. Someone was paying attention. This is Grenache that will change your world. They don’t come along like this very often, and if you can find it, you will agree. I don’t subscribe to the whole “Grenache delivers what Pinot promises”–thinking it sour grapes of an over-looked variety, but HERE. HERE, boys and girls is the real dealio. Fucking ridiculous wine.

2017 SAMSARA Grenache Colson Canyon Vyd Santa Barbara Co. 14.1


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