2011 Camp Four Grenache Blanc
Grenache Blanc •Camp 4 Vineyard
California: Santa Barbara County: Santa Ynez Valley
We love this quirky and delicious wine and, even if you’ve never tasted a Grenache Blanc, we encourage you to consider today’s excellent wine.
It took us a few minutes to unravel the complexities of this Grenache Blanc which, on opening, seemed somewhat reserved. However, as the wine warmed up, it began to reveal itself in a manner most pleasing. As the wine warms, it unveils a plethora of additional aromas and flavors that were not present on opening. Like a young Riesling, this wine is best served as it approaches room temperature.
Grenache Blanc is a rare, one of a kind varietal that is often used as a blending component for white blends. It is unusual to find a 100% varietal Grenache Blanc - which we offer to you, today, with our hearty recommendation.
Ultra pale straw yellow with glinting silver highlights at the edges.
As the wine warms, a hard minerality is replaced by a distinct juicy-fruit aroma, with grapefruit peel, young white peach, Japanese green plum, and underripe Asian pear.
Yellow grapefruit, pomello, lime leaf, lemon flower, and a hint of slate and subtle dried herbs coat the palate.
Very long-lingering with lemon-lime flavors that gradually tail off, leaving behind a soft and supple feel.
Crab claws, crab cakes with fresh fennel or hard cheeses would be superb companions to this exciting wine.
What the Winery Says
2011 GRENACHE BLANC - SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Grenache Blanc has become one of our favorite whites over the past 8 years due to its versatility and uniqueness in flavor. Its balance between richness, minerality, crispness and fruit sets this wine apart from other whites by providing a variety of elements for everyone to enjoy.
- 100% Grenache Blanc
- Santa Barbara County
- VINEYARD DESIGNATION
- 100% Camp 4 Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley
- HARVEST DATE
- October 3, 2011
- 23 Brix
- 80% Stainless Steel fermented and aged, 20% Barrel fermented and aged in neutral French oak barrels for 6 months
- BOTTLING DATE
- March 19, 2012
- RESIDUAL SUGAR
- ALCOHOL %
- TASTING NOTES
- Light straw in color. Grenache Blanc has become one of our favorite whites over the past 8 years due to its versatility and uniqueness in flavor. Its balance between richness, minerality, crispness and fruit sets this wine apart from other whites by providing a variety of elements for everyone to enjoy. Our 2011 vintage finds aromas of white nectarine, lychee nut, ginger, apricot and white flower on the nose. The low pH and bright natural acidity makes for a refreshing palate of nectarine, white peach, citrus, apricot and Asian pear.
- VINEYARD NOTES
- From year to year, we spend a good amount of time in the vineyard trying to prepare the Grenache Blanc fruit for each upcoming harvest. The Grenache varietals in general tend to produce a pretty high yield and the Grenache Blanc follows suit. So,prior to harvest, we drop the chutes down to one or two clusters per chute. We thin out the shoulders on each of the clusters developing only the inside, thinner part, which tends to be the ripe portion of each cluster. Even with pruning the clusters, the fruit is still pretty heavy. So, we have found that thinning out the vines helps the fruit ripen more evenly and develop a more concentrated grape.
- PRODUCTION NOTES
- We pick the grapes at about 23 brix and then whole cluster press to minimize phenolic extraction and oxidation of the juice. We then ferment the free run juice in mostly stainless steel for over a month with RHST yeast. The remainder of the 5 months, we aged the juice in 80% stainless steel and the remainder 20% in French oak barrels which helps add to the mouth feel and weight.
- WINEMAKER NOTES
- One fact that we love about Grenache Blanc is that almost everyone appreciates the fresh, balanced qualities that this wine has to offer. In fact, we find that as many red wine drinkers enjoy the Grenache Blanc as white wine drinkers! When it comes to food, there is no end to the possibilities. The fresh flavors of this wine are wonderful upon release and can be enjoyed over the next 3 years.
- FOOD PAIRING NOTES
- A fresh lively wine that is a little bit drier than our past few vintages, our 2011 Grenache Blanc is wonderful as an apertif, excellent with spicy Asian food and ready to be sipped on a nice warm day.
- 1000 cases made
About the Winery
Epiphany finds its identity and passion in the production of esoteric Rhone-based varietals and blends from some of the finest vineyard designates in California. Founded by Eli Parker at the turn of the last century, Epiphany was at first intended as a creative outlet for the then adventurous winemaking son of Fess Parker. As the years progressed, Eli assumed the role of Brand Visionary, paving the way for winemaker Blair Fox to assume the enological reins at the winery.
The Epiphany brand is an integral part/component to the Fess Parker Family of Wines portfolio. The Epiphany wine program addresses the needs of the adventurous wine lover, eager to discover new offerings and to explore Rhone-varietals in a bold and daring fashion.
Winemaker Blair Fox
Winemaker Blair Fox draws his inspiration from many Old World producers and from the experiences he had as a winemaker during a stint in Australia’s Barossa Valley as well as Haselgrove Winery – a custom-crush winery in the McLaren Vale. Their work inspires him as he continues to build a portfolio of wines that remain firmly planted in Old and New World styles of wine growing and winemaking.
Graduating from UC Davis in 1999 with a combined degree in Viticulture and Enology, Blair Fox gained winemaking experience at Sunstone Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley as well as Australia. He also traveled through France’s Rhône Valley before returning to his hometown of Santa Barbara.
At that point he joined Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard as Associate Winemaker, overseeing the Rhône varietal wines, having previously consulted in the vineyard for the winery’s 2002 harvest. Fox continues the stylistic direction set by Eli Parker when capturing the terroir of the vineyards. He aims to continue raising the bar for the award-winning Fess Parker wines.