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Horsepower Vineyards Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache 2014

Grenache from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP99
  • WE95
  • WS94
  • JS93
13.5% ABV
  • RP98
  • WS93
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • RP99
  • WS96
  • RP97
  • WE95
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With 3-foot by 3-foot spacing and 4,840 vines per acre, this 2 acre vineyard of Syrah and Grenache is the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley, and one of the highest in North America.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Reminding me of a hypothetical mix of blood and herbs (blood sausage?), with notes of earth, mushrooms, rose petal and strawberries, the 2014 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is full-bodied, exotic and seamless, with building tannin and a gorgeous saltiness on the finish. Like these latest 2014s, it opens up with time in the glass, has a layered, elegant and incredibly long finish, and perfectly polished tannin. It's not Rayas, it's not Chateauneuf du Pape, it's an incredible, singular wine that stands on its own.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
The aromas explode with notes of potpourri, olive, smoked meat, fire pit, orange peel, mineral, mushroom, garrigue and white pepper. The palate is lifted, bright but intensely flavored, loaded with flower, berry, olive and charcuterie flavors. The finish seems near endless and the sense of balance is exquisite. It's shockingly good.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Expressive and distinctive, with smoky meat, raspberry and garrigue aromas and gracefully complex cherry, olive and crushed stone flavors that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2023.
JS 93
James Suckling
Intense meat, dried-flower and plum aromas follow through to a full body, round and soft tannins and a tangy finish. Hints of asphalt at the end. Complex subtlety. Drink now.
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Horsepower Vineyards

Horsepower Vineyards

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Horsepower Vineyards, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Horsepower Vineyards is about tradition and history—and making history. It's a connection between a vigneron and his roots. An homage to craft and family. An embrace of the earth that seems at once old-fashioned and new. And at its simplest, it’s a man slowly working the vineyard with his horse, just like generations before him.

Tradition isn’t an abstract concept to Christophe Baron, founder of both Cayuse Vineyards and Horsepower Vineyards—he was born into it. The oldest son of the centuries-old Champagne house, Baron Albert, his family has worked their land in the Marne Valley of France since 1677. As recently as 1957 horses still did all of the vineyard cultivation.

Horsepower represents a return to that time, to a simplicity of craftsmanship and purpose that has been largely lost in the modern translation. It’s a window to the Old World—right here in the new.

Walla Walla Valley

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Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.

The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.

It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.

Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.

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.

GWT355734_2014 Item# 355734