After my private tasting at Betwixt Wines, winemaker Tim and his wife Melissa were kind enough to send me home with a few complimentary bottles. It must have been my reaction when I sipped on their 2014 Grenache from Monterey County’s Boer Vineyard that made Melissa insist I take home this bottle…

About the Wine: On the heels of a successful 2013 Grenache from Boer Vineyard, Chalone, Monterey (just recently picked up by the prestigious Frances restaurant in San Francisco), is Betwixt’s 2014 vintage from the same vineyard. This is another great example of Tim’s ability to utilize the best of small lot vineyards and create something truly unique. While many Grenache’s can be heavy and overbearing, Tim’s take on this varietal is quite light and lively, showcasing the ripeness of the fruit alongside the natural minerality of the vineyard’s terrior.

This wine is made 100% Grenache grapes, aged for 15 months in neutral oak, 14.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Ok, I’m going to break this down for you. This is a complex wine — and it’s young, so it has the potential to mature and develop those complexities even further. Why am I calling this wine so complex? Because it has two completely different flavor profiles depending on when you drink it.

Straight out of the bottle, this pale-pinkish-red wine emits a strong fruit-filled scent. On the palate, the acidity is quite high and flavors are reminiscent of underripe strawberries and cherries, muting any oak and tannins. It’s bright, light, and lively on the tongue — best paired with a lighter fare (but nothing overwhelmingly citrusy or acidic) or even on its own as an aperitif.

But give it a minute. Gently pour the wine into a decanter or simply pour your glasses 10 to 20 minutes before your meal and the flavors will be completely different. Something science-y happens when the wine gets some air, and that light and lively wine you may have sipped minutes before develops into a medium-bodied red wine with a soft, round mouthfeel and a fuller depth of flavor. The aromas of a full and flush berry bush, with its moist soil, brambly branches, and perfectly plump fruit take over. The oak seems to take its effect and adds a silky mouthfeel that’s quite calming. The lingering aftertaste has a joy of earthy spices with just enough tannins to provide complete closure to the taste.

Food Pairing: The great thing about this wine is that it could take you through several courses if you decide to enjoy it out of the bottle straight-away. An appetizer of bruchetta, with its sweet tomatoes, filmy olive oil, and herbaceous basil will contrast the bright acidity the Grenache provides in the beginning. Once the wine opens up and brings forth those deeper flavors, a main meal consisting of a hearty yet delicate grilled meat, like filet mignon, will compliment the earthy notes and the firmer body of the wine.

More Info: As I said, Tim and Melissa very generously gifted this wine to me (Cheers!), and it is not yet available for purchase at the moment. However, their 2013 Grenache from the same vineyard is available for purchase via their site (Price: $28)

For more information about Betwixt and their wines, read my review of Betwixt’s 2014 Pinot Noir from Lester Family Vineyard and a re-cap of my private tasting and tour at their SF winery. And, of course, visit the Betwixt Wines website for a complete list of available wines and a list of upcoming tastings.

BriscoeBites officially accepts samples as well as conducts on-site interviews. Want to have your wine, winery or tasting room featured? Please visit the Sample Policy page and then Contact Me directly. Cheers!

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