2007 Mendocino County Grenache
California: Mendocino County
What We Say
SUPER QPR ALERT:
Today’s wine delivers a drinking experience that goes well above its selling price, earning it this special QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) Alert. In other words, it represent an outstanding value.
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Mission Codename: The Jealous Crown
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Operative favorite, Adobe Road Winery, where Agent Red first tasted their 2007 Grenache six months ago. He loved the wine, then, so have him reexamine it to see if it is ready for our very demanding Operatives. If the wine is even better than is was on first tasting, have Red secure an ample allotment.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 Mendocino County Grenache
Winemaker: Michael Scorsone
Backgrounder: Grenache, one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, is most famous for its use as the primary grape in France’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A late ripening grape, it grows best in hot, dry climates. It is generally considered to be a spiced, berry-flavored grape that is somewhat soft on the palate.
The Mendocino AVA, located along the Russian River and highway 101 north of Sonoma County is where the grapes for this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon were grown. The actual AVA is centered between Hopland and Ukiah in the southern third of the county and are heavily influenced by the climate which is regulated by the mountain ridges that surround the upper Russian River. The deep alluvial and gravelly loam soils also contribute to the flavor profile of the grapes grown in the region. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are the primary grapes grown in this region but, in hotter pockets of the AVA, Grenache thrives.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful, shimmering ruby hues, from the pure ruby core of the wine, out to the glinting ruby edges. That’s a lot of ruby, yes, but you’ll see what we mean when you hold this shimmering wine up to the light. After a good swirl, wave after wave of skinny legs run slowly down the glass.
Smell – Sweet and softly spiced, with blueberry, red cherry and dried cranberry out in front. Cherry cordial candy, young strawberry, dried blackberry, cocoa and a hint of sweet cedar.
Feel – Cool and light across the tip of the tongue. Then, the wine quickly becomes plush and medium bodied, gaining in dimension as it lands on the mid-palate. After a few moments, fine-grained tannins give the wine a softly dry, slightly grippy feel. Gradually, the cheeks and lips become dry and a flinty flavor and feel appear.
Taste – Delicious, red, juicy and intriguing, led by softly spiced cherry, dark red plum skin, dark red flower petals, cranberry and red currant. Just behind these, forresty wildberry, bramble, soft lather, spice and minerals provide flavors that prop up the red fruits.
Finish – Red fruit and earthen flavors linger for a long time. As they fade, a distinct and intriguing flinty minerality appears at the back of the palate, and spreads forward. Eventually, flint spreads to the lips and cheeks, delivering a slight hint of cracked pepper spiciness to the tip of the tongue.
Conclusion – Goodness, but we just love this 2007 Mendocino County Grenache from our good friends at Adobe Road Winery. We first tasted the wine about six months ago and we really enjoyed it, then. Recently, though, we had an updated tasting – and decided that we had to show this wine to our Operatives. Where many a California Grenache can have a somewhat astringent quality to it, this wine shows much more fruit and suppleness on the palate. Flavors are big and red and juicy and the feel is quite plush. The finish is really quite intriguing, with fruit that fades slowly, leading to a distinctive flinty flavor that spreads around the palate, ultimately driving a hint of freshly cracked pepper right to the tip of the tongue. We are really crazy about this very summer-ready, food-friendly wine and it easily earns our solid recommendation.
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The approximate location of the Adobe Road tasting room, in the heart of the town of Sonoma, California, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Very rustic aromas of forest floor, vanilla extract, and minerals. A very balanced, medium bodied Grenache with loads of pomegranate, cranberry, dried strawberry, and crème brule crust. Finishes long and rich. An excellent pairing to any wild game dishes!
Winemaking: Whole cluster hand-harvested from a very cool climate vineyard on the Mendocino coast. Destemmed into a small open top fermenter for a long cold soak. A lengthy cool fermentation fallowed by a barrel aging with very little new oak influence.
About The Winery:
Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.
Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.
With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off.
Barrel Aging: 14 Months
Bottled: May 2009
Release: July 2009