Harvest 2014 is speeding past us. Today we received fruit from Sangiacomo Green Acres, the last Chardonnay lot that will become a single-vineyard bottling.
At the same time, fruit arrived from Ulises Valdez Diablo Vineyard – but not the Pinot Noir we’ve come to associate with this lovely Russian River site. Today, it was Grenache.
The arrival of these three tons marks the third harvest in which we’ve received Grenache from Ulises Valdez’s Diablo Vineyard. In our Pinot Noir- and Chardonnay-centric world, it’s exciting and a bit unnerving to see the voluptuous clusters.
Grenache, which likely originated in Sardinia, is a favorite of France’s Rhône Valley as well as Spain. One of its values lies in the ability to blend seamlessly and beautifully with grapes like Syrah and Mourvedre in France and Tempranillo in Spain, imparting a gorgeous spiciness into the resulting wine. The vines are strong, the skins thin, and the grape typically late to ripen.
But on its own, Grenache is just as inspiring, particularly when grown by such a passionate, dedicated farmer as Ulises Valdez. We’ll be releasing the first vintage of Ulises Valdez Diablo Grenache in the next six months, so keep an eye out!