Jeff’s Corner 7-6-17

Hello, Hello

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…