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CR Graybehl Mounts Family Vineyards Grenache 2014

Grenache from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP90
14.6% ABV
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Concentrated presence of fresh strawberries and foraged wild berries, bing cherries, pomegranate, cinnamon, coriander, dried rose petal, exuberant yet disciplined, with a core of red currants, heady black cherry and minerality closing with piercing finesse. Sourced from the west side of the Dry Creek valley by the Mounts Family who have been farming this plot of land for 70 years. A combination of two French Entav clones of Grenache Noir: clone 513 and clone 362. Both clones originating from the Languedoc and Southern Rhone regions of France. These clones are ideal for creating a French-Rhone style wine from California fruit.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Grenache Noir Mounts Family Vineyards has a slightly deeper ruby color, and could easily pass for Pinot Noir, if not for the smell and taste. The wine hits the palate with a nice gush of strawberries and cherries, has surprising body and a rather fiery intensity. No oak is present, which is ideal since Grenache rarely marries well with new oak. The wine is medium to full-bodied and lusty.
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CR Graybehl

CR Graybehl Wine Company

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CR Graybehl Wine Company, California
C R Graybehl specializes in Rhone style Grenache made with California Fruit. Painfully hand crafted in tiny lots from the best vineyard sources in California. These wines are made in honor of Cliff Graybehl, even though Cliff was never much of a wine drinker.

Each year a new label is designed that reflects the vintage and the comings and goings of the Graybehl's lives. And just to make things more complicated, they constrain themselves within the parameters of using what they call "the little guy", the faceless, nameless representation of anybody and everybody. He’s adorned every bottle they've ever made. As every year is unique, every label has a story and is a reflection of both the winemaking vintage and their real lives. And as in any project, they spend much time and bandwidth trying to figure it out each spring as they prepare to put the new wines in bottle. They only hope that people can relate and see themselves in whatever their "little guy" is doing this year. Collect them all!

C R Graybehl Wine Company makes very small quantities. It helps make sure that they can pay full attention to all that goes into them. In this spirit their wines are sold through allocation only.

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Dry Creek Valley

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A multifaceted and highly reputable sub-region of Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley is responsible for a wide range of wine styles—both red and white. One of the smallest AVAs in California, Dry Creek Valley has a winning combination of ideal geography and climate. Fertile, well-drained soils create concentrated varietal character while long, warm days, bookended by cool nights, allow grapes to reach full phenolic ripeness and balance. The warm and welcoming appellation is home to a number of family-owned vineyards and wineries that place a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices.

Zinfandel reigns supreme here and still produces in a great number of very old vineyards—often 100 years old or older. These old vines create a powerful, voluptuous and sultry wine unlike those of any other region. Sauvignon Blanc, the valley’s signature white grape, also performs exceptionally well. Many other varieties grow comfortably here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Syrah. Petite Sirah is often found in blends with Zinfandel.

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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.

LID10000734_2014 Item# 275766