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Alban Pandora 2013

Rhone Red Blends from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
  • JD100
  • RP99
0% ABV
  • RP100
  • RP95
  • RP97
  • V96
  • WS91
  • RP97
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • RP91
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

In the myth, Pandora is the first woman- the Greek ‘Eve’. She is fashioned out of clay and as you know, handed a vessel that she is instructed not to open. Of course, curiosity forces her to take a look. In that moment, all the challenges of the world are released- much like the effect of the apple in Eden. What is all too often overlooked is that Pandora shuts the vessel in time to retain one attribute: Hope. Naturally as the first woman, she is the source of all hope for mankind.

Aromatic and exotic with smoked herbs, juvenile fresh red fruits, fennel, and wet crushed stones; dense and long. Aged 34 months in larger French containers of various ages after being fermented open to by its native yeasts. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
Similar to the classic Grenache, yet with even more polish and finesse on the palate, the 2013 Pandora is another monumental effort. Lavender, cassis, black cherry liqueur, flowers and toasted spice emerge from this huge, ethereally textured, sensationally rich Grenache that's every bit as good as the perfect 2012. It needs 2-3 years of cellaring to show at its best, and will have 20 years of overall longevity.
RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Coming from a separate block from the Grenache release, the 100% Grenache 2013 Pandora offers darker black and blue fruits, licorice, roasted herbs and caramelized meat characteristics to go with the upfront, voluptuous, sweetly fruited style of the vintage. Possessing a big, rich, layered mid-palate and awesome purity, it too will have 15-20 years of overall longevity.
Range: 97-99
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Alban
Alban, Edna Valley, 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.

Edna Valley

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California’s coolest wine growing area, Edna Valley excels in the production of high quality Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Rhone Blends and aromatic white wines. It has a cool Mediterranean climate and an incredibly long growing season, giving late-ripening varieties plenty of opportunity to take their time to develop great phenolic complexity.

Its northwest-to-southwest orientation creates a direct path for cool Pacific air and fog to penetrate the valley from the Los Osos and Morro Bay area inwards. Low hillsides of both calcareous and volcanic soils are home to much of the vineyard acreage of the Edna Valley.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

JIM362070_2013 Item# 362070