What’s a Great Grenache?

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Clifford Brown
Even though I am a big fan of the Grenache wines coming out of the Southern Rhone region, for Spring dining, I turn more towards California Grenache wines.  One of my perennial favorites is the Villa Creek Denner Vineyard Garnacha (they use the Spanish spelling for the grape).  The California versions are a bit more fruit driven that seem to be a better pairing with lighter warmer weather fare.
Here is my note from a recent bottle of their 2007 vintage of the wine:
The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very alluring nose has cherries, black raspberries, cola, warm baking spices, white pepper, violets, stony minerals, touch of pine needles, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, peppery cherries grab hold first, slowly allowing some minerals and earthiness to slip into focus.  The finish has very nice length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  This has exceptional balance and should drink well for at least another 3 or 4 years.  (93 pts)
Cliff Brown


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