2012 Renegade Grenache Walla Walla Valley

Hello friends. We have the return today of a wine that in a few short years has become a list mainstay; a killer Grenache from the rocks of the Walla Walla Valley:

The deal this year: Trey has exactly eight barrels of this juice. The wine was bottled in February and just shipped over the mountains two weeks ago. The 2010 and 2011 vintages of this were massively popular among our list members, so I don’t want to waste any time hitting send on this. Let’s advocate for our share before most other accounts know this wine has landed.

A reminder of what the Renegade program is all about: A winery is sitting on barrels of wine that it doesn’t want to release under its own label. There are a myriad of reasons why this could be the case. Regardless, Trey (whose main label is Sleight of Hand Cellars) purchases the barrels, bottles the wine under his Renegade label, and frequently signs a non-disclosure agreement regarding the source of the juice. Here’s what we can disclose about this Grenache:

1. It is single-vineyard, from a younger vineyard in the rocks section of the Walla Walla Valley (same vineyard source as the 2010 and 2011).

2. The vineyard sells fruit to exactly three wineries, and they are three of the finest Rhone producers in Washington. These barrels came from one of those three wineries.

3. This is delicious Grenache, evocative of its unique origins: the ancient cobbles of the Walla Walla River. On pop and pour, it displays Grenache’s fruity core, all summery and brambly raspberry and strawberry. But with time and air, notes that start out as subtleties emerge with more force: smoky bacon fat and a brackish/marine element, somewhere between green olive and seaweed. Where this differs from the previous two vintages is texturally. While the cooler 2010 and 2011 were notable for their briskness and energy, this down-the-middle vintage (14.2% listed alc) is notable for its richness, its generosity. There is terrific complexity here, a real swirling stew of rich fruity elements and savory umami elements.

Like the previous two years, this provides terrific value at this tariff. First come first served up to 36 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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