Superrich and concentrated, with a wealth of flavor, stretching out from espresso, huskleberry, currant, leather and beef carpaccio, accented by hints of vanilla, sage and dusty berry, ending with a long, intense, fully tannic aftertaste, but in the end it's the fruit that surges to the forefront.
The 2002 Grenache (15% Syrah is included in the blend), which I tasted several days after bottling, is absolutely remarkable. The problem is, there is virtually no production as the crop size was minuscule (.6 tons of fruit per acre). This wine, which is destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts in open-topped fermenters, and is both punched down and pumped over, may be the finest Grenache the Albans have yet produced. Classic aromas of raspberries, kirsch liqueur, and hints of blackberries, anise, and loamy soil soar from the glass of this dense purple-colored Grenache (one of the blackest I have ever seen). Tipping the scales at 15.3% alcohol, this monumental Grenache is a tribute to just how great this varietal can be in Edna Valley. It should drink well for 10-12 years or more. (RP)
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