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Alban Edna Valley Grenache 2002

Grenache from Central Coast, California
  • RP95
  • WS94
15.3% ABV
  • RP95
  • WS96
  • RP96
  • RP96
  • WS93
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15.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
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.
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Alban
Alban, Central Coast, California
Alban Vineyards is the first America winery and vineyard established exclusively for Rhone varieties. Conceived at a time when there were virtually only two "flavors" of wine produced in the U.S., they set out to introduce wine grapes that would offer oenephiles a new world of possibilities. Pioneering Roussanne, Grenache Noir and Viognier to go along with meticulously selected clones of Syrah, Alban Vineyards has guided consumers and producers to the enormous potential of Rhone varietals in California.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Grenache

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

MRJGRENACHE_2002 Item# 120463