TN: 2016 Nine Suns "Grenache" (barrel sample)

I’ve never been much of a Grenache guy. Except for some 1998 Ch Beaucastel, I own no CdPs or Grenache from the US. I have started to like some CdPs the last few years and have had a couple nice ones from Walla Walla, including Cayuse “God Only Knows.”

There is not much of the varietal in Napa. Actually I am not sure there is any! It seems you have to go out to Amador, or somewhere else. I’ve liked what Helen does with her Grenache blends at Keplinger, specifically “Basilisk.” But I usually prefer wines where Grenache is blended with other varietals such as Syrah and Mourvedre.

Well, I was up at Nine Suns the other day and they brought out their estate 2016 Grenache. Yeah, a 100% Pritchard Hill Grenache. I would not have guessed it’s varietal, either by color or smell. They have just a few rows of it and it’s all aged in a single puncheon. I am not really sure what they plan to do with most of this wine, but I know it will be their lot at the Premiere Auction in Napa next Feb. Whether they release it or not… no idea. I think they plan to, but good luck allocating it!

I don’t write up full-TNs on barrel samples, especially on Grenache, which is a varietal I have never made. Also, since I now get Cab fruit from “Houyi”, I probably should not give a score. It is lighter on its feet than SQN, but denser than most Grenache wines I taste from Walla Walla or California. The color is more like Merlot. The aromas are outstanding, red-fruit driven and it has a very good mineral finish. If you like style of the Nine Suns Cab, and you like Grenache, you will certainly like this a lot. It seems wild that they put a little Grenache where they could have planted more Cab, but this is cool. Keep an eye out for it. If it ever sees the light of day. I think they plan to bottle it in December of Jan.

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 5.34.10 PM

I saw this on your Instagram, Roy, and had that immediate feeling that Instragram is good at creating: FOMO. Sounds like it’s great.

FOMO. My wife is terribly FOMO-driven. Unfortunately, her favorite varietal is Grenache, so I did hesitate a little to post this because now she will want it. [give_heart.gif]

Thomas Brown makes a very nice Grenache for Outpost which is also grown on their property.

Totally forgot about that one. Been years since I’ve had it. Need to get up there more.

Is your fruit source pronounced ‘who-ye’?

“Who We” I believe

Gotta get down my way for some Grenache, Roy . . .

Tor makes a very good Grenache.

That’s how I pronounce it and how I hear others pronounce it, here. But when I looked at YouTube videos about the original story the name is based on, I realize everyone is saying it completely wrong.

Ho E.

Thanks for the note, Roy!

I have had the “Black Bart” Syrah from the Krupp Brothers’ 2004 vintage, sourced from the Stagecoach Vineyard. Is the Pott “OG” Grenache from the same vineyard?

Doesn’t Calistoga have some Grenache vineyards? I think that Pope Valley does, but its identity in relation to “The Valley” is sometimes up for debate.

From the Napa Wine Project website’s Nine Suns page:

“…They also produce an additional estate wine – 2016 most likely will be their first Rhone styled blend – with the primary varietal being Grenache along with some Syrah. There is not much Grenache planted in the Napa Valley and certainly not on Pritchard Hill. They have about one acre of Grenache vines. This varietal has already done well in their rocky soils – but they have to keep a close eye on the quantity of fruit these vines produce. If they see the vines have set a large crop immediately following flowering – vineyard workers will go through every bunch by hand rubbing off some of the small grapes – effectively opening up the cluster and limiting the amount of fruit.”

Not Roy, but my next door neighbor, Frediani Vineyards, grows Grenache.

Is that isolated, or is it part of a field blend?

Isolated, on the other side of the Trail from me. Jean Frediani, the queen of it all (who died just a couple of years ago), also has other children. Her daughter and her husband own the homes over on that side.

The field blends are deliciously interplanted with head-trained, totally dry farmed (no irrigation available) Syrah, maybe Petite, and Zinfandel. There is even one white grape vine out there! This is at the corner of my street - Rosedale Road - and Pickett. Field Trip! And I could enlist the guide himself, Mr. Jim Frediani. Let me know!

But the Grenache was sold to T-Vine in the past. And probably others.

I have done a wee bit of checking on Napa Grenache.

There’s the 2 Frediani Vineyards in Calistoga, I believe; only one is interplanted(?).

Paras Vineyard is up on Mt Veeder.

Rutherford’s McGah Vineyard grows Grenache.

If you count Carneros, I believe that Grenache is grown in the Hudson Vineyard.

I am still trying to figure out how many other sites exist in Napa…

T-Vine makes a Grenache from Paras Vineyard. I had the ‘09 a few years ago and it was quite good.