2007 Grenache, Alta Mesa Vineyard, Santa Barbara County


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Tasting Notes

Indie Winemakers' Tasting Notes

Our mission is to provide unbiased opinions of the wine being offered. These notes come from up to 10 guests who tasted this wine in a blind tasting format (wine is concealed so their identity is unknown). Why this format? Tasting blind completely throws out any hype associated with a certain winery, style, price point, etc; it forces the taster to accept what is in the glass without any predetermined notions.

Our tasters are not wine professionals, but a cross-representation of professions where the common denominator is our love for wine. We utilize Robert Parker's Glossary of Wine Terms to help write our comments. In addition, we utilize the aroma wheel to enhance our ability to describe the complexity of wine flavor.

Tasting Notes

Group Tasting Notes: Ridiculously good wine! Very dark and extracted color in the glass on this Grenache. Red berry fruit nose. Tastes of black cherry, vanilla, raspberry - just like trying fruit samples at the farmers market. Incredibly long finish with a little bit of tannins. Give this a few more months and then dig in.

Technical Data

Wine Technical Data
Blend 96% Grenache (Tablas Clone) and 4% Syrah
Appellation Santa Barbara County (Cuyama Valley area)
Harvest Dates September 28, 2007
Sugar at Harvest 28 degrees Brix
Fermentation 14 days in 1.5 ton open top fermenters. Punchdowns by hand 3x daily
Aging / Cooperage 12 months in barrel, all French Oak cooperage 15% new
Alcohol 15.6% by volume
Acidity TA: .58, pH: 3.9

About the Vineyards

Located in eastern Santa Barbara County in the Cuyama Valley, Alta Mesa Vineyard sits perched above Barnwood Vineyards at 3200 feet in elevation. Planted in 2000 to 8 X 5 spacing (1089 vines per acre), this vineyard is home to 9.5 acres of Grenache (Tablas clone A on 1103P & 101-14 rootstock).

The soils consist of decomposed granite and clay loam with large rocks of schist, quartzite, basalt, and gneiss. There is a massive swing of daily temperatures that is very beneficial to the growing of these grapes, most often a 40 - 50 difference between day and night. Daytime high temperatures are lowered by the arrival of cooling breezes from the north at approximately 2:00 in the afternoon.

Fruit from Alta Mesa is shared with other prominent wineries like Core Wine, Ojai Vineyard, Sine Qua Non Winery, and Ethan Wines.

About The Vintage

The 2007 growing season marked the beginning of the minidrought we have been experiencing the last couple of years here in Santa Barbara County. It hasnt really been all that severe, but it definitely played a role in the wines of 2007. Light rainfall levels paired with a good dose of wind during flowering stacked on top of a little frost made fruit set really variable. The resulting crop was characterized by extremely small berry and cluster size. So small, that many berries didnt even have seeds inside. The combination of size and poor fruit set meant crop levels were down by as much as 50% in some vineyards. Across the board, the fruit was rich and densely flavorful with great acidity, aka a really great vintage.

About the Winery

We handcraft our wines every step of the way using gentle, old-world techniques and fruit (Rhne varietals and Pinot Noir) grown in exceptional vineyard sites throughout Santa Barbara County. We only make a few hundred cases of wine each year so we keep our eyes (and hands) on ever grape cluster and every bottle of wine produced. We are proud to share our wines with you and hope you enjoy.

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