A little favorite Grenache here on the central coast for many years, then a few years ago the Sanger Family took over (maybe they always were) and changed the label and the direction went a bit different. They became less concentrated and powerful, lost their single-vineyard notations, the price went down, and they started showing up on seemingly every BTG list in the area. The wines were still *good*, just more user-friendly and available, lacking that original one-off feeling of the original label. I drink them from time to time as they are often at restaurants where the list is so bad, this is the easy go-to for decent quality. They always please, but in a simpler fashion, never achieving the blockbuster proportions of the early bottlings. I have a smattering of bottles in my cellar–grabs from bargain-bin slumming I am fond of doing. I was shocked to find some of these–at 10–and definitely need opening.
Transparent amber garnet in the glass, a nose nutty and savory, fruit distilled down into slightly pruney layers of simple tertiary fade.
Gorgeous Grenache through-and-through in the mouth, peppery burn being the swagger as chalky berry and chubby cherry fade beyond anticipated drinking windows. Almond butter and wilted lily crease the middle, but all along, a burn of heat shines though. These used to be concentrated, hi-alc wonders, but now my guesses are vague as to proof but am going to go with near-15. Aged funk gives a cardboardy, soggy texture and while quite drinkable, the heat and vapidity of fruit cause furrows of brow. But it’s Grenache! Glorious, typical Grenache, clear in visual and showing powerful legs. I know I have pushed this wine probably 5 years past the intended drinking window, but it is thinly enjoyable and PLEASE: when you see these on a menu: grab a glass. This bottle is muddled in raisin and tarnished berry, but still manages gravitas.
2012 CONSILIENCE Grenache Santa Barbara County 14.5