Starting out the tasting and absolutely rocking, the 2011 The Ripper checks in as a blend of 100% Grenache that was brought up in equal parts concrete and neutral barrel. Offering up layers of kirsch, dried underbrush, white pepper and hints of spring flowers, it flows onto the palate with a medium to full-bodied, vibrant profile that gains richness and depth with air. Leaning towards the more focused, elegant side of the spectrum, this beauty doesn’t lack for texture or length. Give it a year or three and enjoy through 2023. It’s superb and well worth the effort to track down. Drink 2015-2023. (JD) 96+
Eric Jensen has done a fabulous job with the 2011 Ripper, no easy feat after the iconic 2010. Expressive floral notes, mint, spices and kirsch all lift out of the glass. The freshness and crystalline purity of the year come through in spades. Jensen aged the 2011 70% in cement and 30% in neutral oak, an approach that worked beautifully. Over the last few years, Ripper has established itself as one of the most distinctive Grenaches in California. (AG)
Deep ruby. Spicy black raspberry and cherry compote on the highly perfumed nose, with zesty mineral and spice notes adding vibrancy. Deeply pitched but lively red fruit flavors show excellent clarity and sweetness, with a jolt of tangy acidity adding spine. The sappy, broad finish is shaped by smooth and harmonious tannins. This wine was raised entirely in used demi-muids. (JR)
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