ENO Grenache EaglePointRanch/MendoCnty SashaVerhage 2011: Med.color; quite fragrant Grenache/strawberry/very spicy/balsamic braised strawberries bit earthy/Mendo tomatoey/bit mushroomy rather exotic/Mendo garrigue complex slight herbal/basil nose; soft bit tomatoey/earthy/mushroomy strong Grenache/strawberry/Mendo garrigue light vanilla/oak fairly complex smooth/graceful flavor w/ light smooth/velvety tannins; very long/lingering rather light vanilla/oak strong Grenache/strawberry complex/Mendo garrigue finish w/ light graceful/smooth tannins; probably at its peak or beyond; speaks strongly of Grenache and the Mendo garrigue; some like a Rhonish CdR, some like a 15 yr old Jaffurs Grenache; quite a lovely easy-drinking red. $nc (KZ)
A wee BloodyPulpit:
This was a wine gifted me by KenZinns right off the bottling line some time ago, w/ a hand-drawn label afixed. This was grown when Casey was still the farmer extraordinaire at Eaglepoint. Clearly, we should thank a guy on a tractor for this wine.
Garrigue: This is a term often used in describing the unique scent found in SouthernRhone wines. It hails from the pungent oils emitted by the rosemary & thyme & other herbs that grow in the area around the vnyds and settle on the grapes, imparting their distinct smell & flavor. It is often found in mountain wines in MendoCnty, coming from the oils emitted into the air from the alternative crops growing nearby, though not nearly as prevalent as found in the HumboltCnty wines.
Thanks for posting the tasting note, Tom. I need to see if I still have any of this wine around.
Sasha was really concerned that the Grenache would not ripen in 2011, with such a cool summer and rainy harvest season. Old-vine Carignane from both Ukiah Valley and Redwood Valley got moldy before it ever ripened that year. But we figured if anyone could get that Grenache ripe, it would be Casey, and we were right! Thanks, Casey!
Tell me Ken, isn’t this wine somewhat of a coferment? I’m dying to try it. I tested Sasha and he assured me he’s holding some for me. 2011 was the end of my run at Eaglepoint. I’m enjoying the challenge of farming many more acres in a very exciting area.
I had to go back and look at the notes from 2011 crush. The Grenache was indeed cofermented with about 10% Syrah. Picked on 11/1 - amazing that it held on into November without getting moldy that year.
I definitely need head up your way and see how you’re doing with farming in Anderson Valley - haven’t been up there for a few years now and I’m overdue.
Finally got to taste this wine from my past. My last year at Eaglepoint before the owners decided to run the place themselves. Sasha sent me two cases of this I’m guessing as a farewell gift to my 25 harvests at Eaglepoint.
This is why Syrah and Grenache are the perfect marriage. On the dark and rich side the GRE brightens up the show. Not knowing what the oak regime was I think the spice elements from either the barrels or the vineyard show exceptionally on the mid pallet and finish.
As I have 23 bottles left I’m looking forward to see how this one evolves. I see 8-10 years of legs on this one. Sasha and Ken, great job on a tough vintage.
Glad that Sasha finally got you some of that wine, Casey! The wine was aged in an older puncheon, and it showed that spice character right from the start so I don’t believe it was from the wood. The spice element was quite distinctive and different from earlier vintages of the Eaglepoint Grenache - guessing it was a result of that cool 2011 vintage but I don’t know for sure.
Sasha is taking a hiatus from making Eno wines right now, as he’s got a lot on his plate with family, work at Google, and other projects. I know he’d like to make more wine at some point but I’m not sure when that will be.
Since I had 23 bottles of this calling me in my cellar, I had a couple of New York steaks calling out to me (even in 100 degree weather). This wine has a purity of red/ripe fruits that is mind blowing. I absolutely can’t stop drinking this wine. There is so much fresh/richness/ripeness in this wine I’m obviously spellbound. I’ve had so many syrahs over the past decade that are murky and muddy and am encouraged to taste a wine that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. I can only guess that there are scores of wine like this in the southern Rhone. 22 bottles suddenly doesn’t seem like a huge supply.