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David Girard Vineyards

Grayson Hartley
November 2, 2014 | Grayson Hartley

Winemakers Notes - November

The Fine Points

Harvest 2014 has more or less come to a close, and it had the liveliness and excitement of an old Ronnie Dee song: “Action Packed!” We certainly had the A-Team this year: Mari came by weekly to bless the fermentations, Dani answered the call all the way from Annapolis, MD for her first Harvest Internship, and Dylan made the best of a down year for kayaking by earning his keep on the crushpad. Wine quality is phenomenal, and I can’t wait to watch and taste as the wines evolve and eventually make their way to your table. In the meantime, Rod and I have continued our effort to bring more of these exciting vertical releases to the Club schedule. I love that they are educational while providing such pleasure, and I hope you enjoy comparing the different years too – let us know! Here are my thoughts on our Grenache offering:

Minerally and rich, the 2010 Grenache has evolved beautifully and now boasts an elegant bouquet of dark cherry, stewed strawberry, and a bounty of clove, cinnamon, and ginger spices. Juicy and vibrant in the mouth, carried by a healthy dose of acidity and zip. The tannins have almost melted into the wine at this point, providing a silky mouthfeel that amplifies the abundant flavors. Delightful!

From an even cooler year, the 2011 Grenache is a stunning example of aromatic complexity. Strawberries and their seeds (think crisply fruity, not jammy), a spring bouquet, and even some more elusive fruit notes, like apricot, are all part of the mix. Expressing spicy red fruit in the mouth, the wine is fresh and racy – especially impressive given the late harvest dates – and finishes with tannins that we call “granitic”, not because they taste like rocks, but because their firm-yet-subtle character is unique to our weathered mountain soil.

The most floral of the three wines, the 2012 Grenache is perhaps also the most structured, framed by fine-grained, almost sweet tannin, making for a fleshier wine overall.  With a dense mid-palate full of red fruit, dried herbs, and a hint of minerality, it’s also extremely gulpable…. Heck, 2012 was such a perfect year, it’s no surprise that this wine fires on all cylinders! We’re very excited to release it in such a fun (and informative) context, where the evolution of our vineyard and winemaking, as well as the character of each vintage are all on display.

Grayson Hartley




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