Starting with the Grenache release, the 2012 Grenache Stein is a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah, and 8% Mourvedre, aged in 14% new French oak (15% was in concrete), that comes mostly from the estate's Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, but also includes grapes from the Cumulus, Third Twin (Syrah) and Bien Nacido vineyards. Checking in at 15.7% alcohol, it's no lightweight, yet it has considerable elegance in its sweet blackcurrants, white pepper, licorice, baking spices and hints of violet-like aromas and flavors. Possessing the hallmark purity of the estate, it's full-bodied, concentrated, rich and textured, with sweet tannin barely noticeable on the finish. I don't think it's one of the greatest Grenaches from the estate, yet it's still an incredible effort that will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 15-20 years or more of overall longevity. (JD)
The 2012 Grenache Stein is incredibly refined, silky and pure, with bright red and blue-hued fruits. Today, the flavors are primary, so readers will have to be patient get the full breadth of aromas, flavors and textures. The Stein is a decidedly feminine, gracious Grenache that impresses for its textural beauty and nuance. I imagine it will provide a long and broad drinking window of pure pleasure over the next 15-20 years. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine from Sine Qua Non. The final blend is 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvèdre; 53% from Eleven Confessions, 29% from Cumulus, 9% The Third Twin and 9% Bien Nacido. The 2012 was done with 29% whole clusters and will spend around 22 months in French oak (14%) prior to its scheduled bottling this summer. (AG)
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