Hello friends. We have the return today of a wine that has become a list mainstay; a killer Grenache from the rocks of the Walla Walla Valley:
I checked our records, and this is the fifth vintage in a row that we have offered. I believe we’ve offered every vintage of this wine that has existed, beginning with the 2009 vintage and continuing through today. Why? Because where else can you find any Washington Grenache (let alone from the rocks) at $15?
Now then, a quick 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 Busch (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 previous years).
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. It is true to the warmer vintage, clocking in at 14.3%, and texturally is reminiscent of that first vintage in 2009. It pours pale and garnet, a reminder that Grenache in Washington can look quite delicate in the glass (a la Pinot Noir), especially if it’s not blended with deeper-pigmented Syrah. That paleness, however, belies the power and richness inherent to this wine. It has a wonderful naughty rocks brackishness, a saline kick to pair with notes of brambly raspberry fruit, gravelly minerals, beef stock, and olive brine. Floral notes add lovely inner mouth perfume and keep things fresh and vibrant, but ultimately this is a hefty mouthful of richly-fruited, generous Grenache.
Like in previous vintages, this provides terrific value for the tag. First come first served up to 36 bottles, and the wine should arrive in the next week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.