Big Basin Grizzly Red Blend 2011 Front Label
Big Basin Grizzly Red Blend 2011 Front Label

Big Basin Grizzly Red Blend 2011

  • RP93
  • WE93
750ML / 14.9% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WE92
  • RP90
  • RP93
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750ML / 14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The aromatics of the 2011 Grizzly are extremely intense, perfumed and down-right sexy. This wine shows Grenache at its best: loads of spicy red fruits and crushed white flowers. In combination with the Viognier, there is a sweetness which propels the whole aromatic package into an ethereal realm which many have never experienced before in a Rhone blend. Syrah and Mourvedre deliver the palate weight, depth of flavor and texture to the blend. Dark berries, iron, crushed rocks and hints of cure meats can all be found in this blend of vineyards unique to Big Basin. Grizzly has become one of Big Basin's most sought after wines and the 2011 vintage, there were 185 produced cases which probably won't last too long.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Just as good, the 2011 Grizzly is a blend of close to equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre that has a beautiful sense of energy and vibrancy. Possessing plenty of ripe black raspberry, kirsch, licorice and ground spices on the nose, it flows onto the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a seamless, elegant texture and fine tannin that emerges on the finish. Clean, classy and focused, it’s another superb wine from this estate that will evolve nicely for over a decade.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Black and white pepper splash all over the aromas of the otherwise cherry meringue-driven nose of this blend of 39% Grenache, 33% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre and 2% Viognier. It's light and airy on the palate, blending fresh strawberry fruit with a cornucopia of peppercorns. It provides a great example of how a fun, lively wine can be savorily serious as well.
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Big Basin

Big Basin

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Big Basin, California
Big Basin Winery Video

Located in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Big Basin Vineyards is terraced into a steep hillside first planted to grape vines by French immigrants over 100 years ago. Their winery and the vineyards they work with are located at sites in the Santa Cruz and Gabilan Mountains that are as beautiful as they are exceptional for grape growing. They farm organically and practice minimal-intervention winemaking with the goal of producing wines that transparently and authentically express site and variety. 

Big Basin believes that their choice of vineyards, picking at the right time to retain intensity and elegance, and minimalistic winemaking practices are the keys to producing more aromatic and ethereal wines - new world wines with old world soul. Owner and winemaker Bradley Brown has been on a 20 year quest to produce beautiful and soulful wines. Winemaker Blake Yarger joined the team in 2017 and together they are always fine tuning practices to more transparently express the vineyards.

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

ALWBGGRIZMCSC11_2011 Item# 166343

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