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2016 Grenache, Sonoma Valley, Estate Vineyard

RRC Wine Club Exclusive
RRC Price $48.00
  (not eligible for discounts)
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2016 Grenache, Sonoma Valley, Estate Vineyard
Varietal: 100% Grenache
Appellation: Moon Mountain District Sonoma County
Vineyard: Amapola Creek Estate Vineyard
Brix: 26.0 °
TA at harvest: 4.6 g/L
pH at harvest: 3.58
Harvest Dates: September 9, 2016
Barrel Aging: 12 months in seasoned French oak barrels
Alcohol: 15.5%
Associate Winemaker: Richard Arrowood

The Vineyard

Our 2016 Grenache is made from vines organically grown on our two-plus-acre parcel named Bobcat Run. This block takes its name from a large resident feline that treats us to an occasional sighting. The site is ideally suited for growing Rhone varieties as it lies in a fairly cool hollow open to the southwest, and its rows run north-south for good sun and warmth without excessive exposure. The cooler conditions in Bobcat Run produce fruit with a great depth of flavor, adding nuance and complexity to the intensity of the fruit from China Bowl.


The weather during the growing season in 2016 was perfect for wine grapes, largely dry and warm, but not overly hot. We received an abundance of winter rainfall after experiencing three years of drought. The rains were a welcome relief to the thirsty vines and replenishing much needed ground water. The quality and quantity of the fruit were exceptional. We handpicked these grapes September 9, 2016.

The Wine

As grape varieties go, Grenache is grown and made into wine pretty much all over the world. Winemaker’s stylistic intent will dictate the outcome more than the grape. Winemaster Richard Arrowood again demonstrates finesse with this fresh and floral, easy-drinking wine that is more akin to Beaujolais than to the ultra-ripe expressions of Grenache that can be syrupy, thick and sweet with jammy fruitiness.

The color is an appealing bright red with a bit of purple core. The nose opens with a host of subtle aromas, graham cracker and anise, fresh rainier cherries, raspberry, and a hint of vanilla. The palate starts softly, with a hint of fresh red fruit and a wisp of spice. Wait a moment, and you will find that this wine opens up grandly on the palate, a slow burn revealing gobs of bright red strawberries, supported by a subtle toast and balanced perfectly against an exquisite acidity. The finish is long and lingering, uncovering a trace of purple fruit and just the barest hint of the spice hinted at on the nose.