(13.1% alcohol): Moderately saturated medium red. Mesmerizing aromas of raspberry, peony, garrigue, smoke and earth; would anyone not pick this blind as a French wine? Dry, saline and superconcentrated, with raspberry and earth flavors conveying superb penetration and energy. Finishes with big, dusty tannins and outstanding length and spicy lift. A great American Grenache. Christophe Baron's biodynamically farmed Sur Echalas Vineyard??, planted in 2008, is the densest in Walla Walla Valley, with 4,840 vines per acre (i.e., three feet by three feet spacing). (ST)
Sporting a transparent ruby color, the 2012 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is Rayas-like in its perfume (I served this blind to a great taster and they guessed 2001 Rayas) of kirsch, blackberry, ground pepper, gunpowder and floral-laced nuances. Full-bodied, elegant and layered, I thought it showed more flesh and texture from barrel, but it's still a gorgeous Grenache. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more. (JD)
Dark, dense and focused, yet surprisingly light-footed, layering chalk and wet rock minerality through the ripe and meaty cherry and clotted cream flavors. Complex and inviting, this is long as a midsummer day. Drink now through 2025. 203 cases made. (HS)
Despite its lighter color, this wine explodes from the glass with a complex, near-endless list of aromas that include sea breeze, crushed flowers, peat, green olive, fire pit, smoked meat, pepper, orange peel and sea salt. Its ethereal, elegant style belies the outrageously rich, exquisitely flavorful savory notes that won't quit, offering a completely captivating walk on the variety's wild side. *Editors' Choice* (SPS)
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