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Booker Vineyard Ripper Grenache 2014

Grenache from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • RP98
0% ABV
  • JD97
  • RP97
  • RP97
  • RP96
  • RP96
  • RP92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Most consider the Ripper to be the most elegant wine Booker Vineyard produces with its delicate red fruits and hints of cherry cola. They partially age the wine in neutral French 500L oak barrels, and the other parts of the wine in concrete tanks. The Ripper is only made in select years when the Grenache crop shows top-quality.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A true gem in the vintage, the 2014 The Ripper (Grenache) is reminiscent of a top vintage of Domaine de Marcoux's Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes with its gorgeously pure bouquet of framboise, kirsch, spice box, licorice and dried flowers. Medium ruby colored and semi-opaque, this full-bodied Grenache has no hard edges, a full, layered texture and building, ripe, sweet tannin that really stretches out the finish. This is a fabulous, tour de force effort that I wish every reader could taste. It's sensational today, but should continue to shine for upwards of a decade.
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Booker Vineyard

Booker Vineyard

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Booker Vineyard, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Booker Vineyard is located on Paso Robles' Westside, immediately joining the famous Stephan Vineyards that produce L'Aventure Wines. The high-density vineyard is mostly Rhone varietals planted on steep hillsides of calcareous shale.

The name Booker comes from the two orphan brothers Claude and Dick Booker who had owned the land, as well as hundreds more acres on Paso's Westside. The Booker brothers were Paso's favorite sons, dedicating their lives to being great farmers and humanitarians. Aside from lending their farming knowledge and manual labor to neighbors and those in need, they were the area's biggest philanthropists, leaving 100% of their estate to charity when they passed.

At Booker Vineyard we have dedicated our lives to farming perfection. We are constantly striving to find perfect balance in our vineyard through sustainable farming practices and methods. Beginning in the spring of 2010 we began our venture into the world of Biodynamics. Our wines are always 100% estate fruit and are a true reflection of the calcareous and salicious shale hillsides provided by our Westside Paso Robles vineyard.

Paso Robles

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Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.

This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

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.

JFK163113_2014 Item# 163113