2016 BLANC de GRENACHE NOIR – tasting room exclusive
Cholame Vineyard, Monterey County
Bottled on March 29, 2017
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” — Robert Burns (translated from Scottish)
It’s true and if anyone who knows anything about winemaking tells you differently then they aren’t telling you the truth (or they don’t really know what winemaking is all about). I have also learned over the years that most of the time my winemaking plans — no matter how brilliant they were — were in fact inconsequential; that sometimes letting unplanned events occur as-they-may often have resulted in surprisingly wonderful wines from which I have learned things I never would have otherwise. Winemaking at its core is humbling and expansive all at once and makes me reflect on the contradictions of life and the lessons we can learn when we simply let things happen beyond our control.
Grenache Noir — simply known as Grenache in the US & France or Garnacha in Spain — is usually made into Rosé or a deep, rich red wine. Our intent was to made a Rosé from this fruit but I wanted to get as much skin contact as possible prior to pressing it so we employed two people to crush the grapes with their boots and then soaked the juice over 16 hours on the skins prior to pressing it. It had color — lots of color –and perhaps it was a little too red when we pressed it. We cold-settled the juice afterward for 24 hours then racked it into a tank where it fermented.
While checking it one day, though, we realized however that it had lost its color. The color simply had dropped out. Grenache doesn’t have much tannin in it and tannin stabilizes color so it wasn’t a complete surprise that the color went away but in this wine in went away completely and we were left with this absolutely white wine.
This wine is perfect for warm weather! Aromatic, food-friendly but it has a surprisingly viscous mouthfeel. This is what I will be drinking this summer. Let’s drink to beautiful mishaps and unexpected pleasures!
Cheers! Winemaker Annette Hoff