Grapes for this bottling came from vines tended by three respected growers located near Talmage and Ukiah in the Russian River Valley. Perched high on a windy mountain above Talmage, Eaglepoint's Grenache vines provided a tart 77% of the blend. 17% percent came from Pete Chevalier's vines and the final 6% came from bio-dynamically grown Syrah from Dark Horse Vineyards, which augments the Grenache strawberry element with black-cherry flavors and briary notes. After de-stemming, the grapes were fermented as separate lots in five ton stainless steel open top fermentors and punched down twice daily. For the first few days we chilled the tanks to prevent fermentation and allow the grape's enzymes to extract color and tannins.
We fermented this Grenache the "old-fashioned" way by punching down by hand rather than using pumps. This helps keep the tannins soft and avoids excess astringency. At the end of fermentation, rather than pump the juice or must, we use a forklift to pour the entire contents of the Grenache fermentor into the wine press. Assisted gravity!
Jim Klein winemaker and Ghia inspecting ancient goblet trained vines after harvest 2008. This bottling is 94% Grenache and 6 percent Syrah.
Following a warmer fermentation, the free run and first squeeze were racked to French oak barrels to age ten months before bottling in August 2009. Grenaches' potent wild strawberry and spicy flavors fuse with the smoky background from the 2008 vintage and there's a hint of vanilla from aging in French oak barrels. Aging for a year in the barrel followed by another six years in the bottle have smoothed out the tannins so the mouthfeel is round, soft and balanced with a little vanilla from aging in oak barrels. Silver Medal winner.
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