2016 Grand Rouge
Jeff’s Corner 7-6-17
Here’s hoping everyone had a great July 4th and were able to enjoy a long, relaxing weekend with friends and family. The vineyard was super busy four days in a row, with lots of happy guests and tired staff.
Kathy and I drew the long straws and had Monday and Tuesday off, celebrating with plenty of good food and wine. Steak and bakers Monday with the fabulous new 2015 Mosaic; a wine I think is destined for truly great things. The 4th we had traditional hot doggies, stuffed jalapenos, Kath’s world famous medal-winning potato salad, and the new 2016 Grand Rouge.
That’s right, the new 2016 Grand Rouge, which we’re about to take a look at right now. Grand Rouge is often our best selling wine. It’s loyal followers are like the Dead Heads of yesteryear; “There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert” and “There is nothing like a bottle of Grand Rouge”.
So, what has led to this enormous, cultic following of our Grand Rouge (or Grand Rogue, as it’s often referred to)? First, it’s a semi-sweet red in a world of sweet wines dominated by whites, blushes, and roses. Second, it’s served chilled (I recommend 45-50 degrees), and many folks want their beverages cold.
Finally, it is aged in stainless steel and never sees the inside of an oak barrel. This gives the wine a very bright, clean finish that really allows the fruit flavors of the grapes to show their stuff. When I was a kid, Grapette was one of my favorite sodas. I wonder why…
The 2016 is a tad sweeter (about 3.3% residual sugar) than the ’15 (2.7%). The alcohol by volume is 13.6%, and it is close to equal parts Sangiovese and Tempranillo. The color is a bright violet/purple and is a bit more extracted than previous vintages.
The ’16 shows delightful, straightforward aromas of violets, raspberries, cherries, and red licorice. The fruit flavors and aromas ripen at a warmer temperature, but it needs to be cold enough to maintain a crisp finish. It’s not very poetic, but it tastes like grape juice infused with fresh berries. Grand Rouge is a fun wine, free from pretense. Buy it, chill it, drink it…