This remarkable expression of Grenache comes from two distinct blocks on our estate vineyard (the 9’s). Block 9a is a Spanish Garnacha clone planted on our only northwest slope on the property. The neighboring block, 9b, is an Alban clone that runs directly along the ridge at just over 1900 feet elevation. For both blocks we opted to utilize a goblet style of modified head training for the canopy. This gives us a great deal of flexibility when selecting clusters while allowing us to keep our density up and yield per plant down. Great stem maturity allowed for roughly 30% stem inclusion during fermentation. The wine was then basket pressed at dryness and barreled down to French Oak 500L puncheons of which approximately 30% were new. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered and will receive 12 months of bottle age prior to release fall 2014.
96 Points, Robert Parker
Starting with the 2011, the 2011 The Nines is easily one of the top 100% Grenache efforts coming out of California, and it's rare to see Grenache have this level of concentration, depth and texture from this state. Aged 20 months in 40% new 500-liter barrels, its inky purple color is followed by thrilling notes of black raspberry, kirsch, licorice and crushed flowers. Full-bodied, concentrated and layered, this beauty will give many a top Chateauneuf du Pape a run for its money.
94 Points, Wine Spectator - James Laube
Deliciously rich, firm, complex and layered, with tiers of dusty dark berry, mocha, raspberry and spicy, toasty oak. All the elements fold together, showing appropriate tightness, density and focus. Ends with a long, persistent finish. Grenache. Drink now through 2027. 120 cases made.