This was my eighth vintage from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, and the expression of Grenache that accompanies the altitude here continues to amaze me. At 3000 feet elevation, the soil is a combination of decomposed granite and clay loam, and reminds me greatly of what I imagine the moon to look like. The elevation brings a diurnal shift of up to 50’F, which allows for a rebalancing after often-soaring daytime temperatures. Kaolin Clay was sprayed on the Grenache clusters to minimise sun-damage (an effective natural sunscreen for grapes), whilst also aiding in slowing acid respiration. In 2014, I continued with the 67% whole cluster inclusion that I have employed since 2012. Whilst the drought continues to heighten skin tannins, I have long believed that stem inclusion helps balance these tannins ~ thus making for a more integrated grace.
Vineyard: Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard
AVA: Santa Barbara County
Varietal: 100% Grenache
Harvest date: September 13, 2014 (moon in Taurus)
Alcohol: 14.5% abv
Élevage: 17 months in french 220L & 500L barrique (17% new)
Finishing pH: 3.72
Bottling date: February 9, 2016 (moon in Aquarius)
Release date: September 1st, 2016
Total Production: 469 cases
Fermentation was native, and I foot-tread twice daily throughout the 19 day fermentation. Secondary fermentation was spontaneous, and in barrel. The wine was racked once under the first new moon of 2016, and bottled one month later.
tasting notes: sandalwood, copal and rosewater