If you haven’t read my notes about Crystal Basin Cellars Mourvèdre, definitely take a look. My understanding of California’s Sierra Foothills as a cool-climate wine terroir was proven right by that light, yet rustic single-varietal expression. So I was excited to open the winery’s single-varietal Grenache—a grape that I have a love-hate relationship with. I love it when I can taste the eccentricity of fruit flavors innate in this variety, the racy red spices that can linger in the back palate, and the assertive acidity that binds it all together. I hate when it turns into a over-ripe fruit bomb, worthy of spreading on my toast with peanut butter.
I’ll give you one good guess which side of the Grenache spectrum Crystal Basin Cellars falls into…
About the Wine: Crystal Basin Cellars 2017 Reserve Grenache
Appearance: Pale garnet
Aroma: Initial aromas are youthful with a medium (+) intensity. Aromas include: strawberry fruit leather, red cherry candy, prune, bramble, red cherry, red current, rhubarb, pomegranate, vanilla, cedar wood, rose petal, and sweet tobacco.
Palate: The palate is dry, high in acid, medium tannin, medium (-) body, and high alcohol. The flavor intensity is medium (+) with the flavor profile including those notes from aromatic profile, but enhancing those notes of strawberry fruit leather, cedar wood, and sweet tobacco. Additional flavors include white pepper, black tea, and black licorice candy.
The finish is medium (+) in length.
Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I conclude that this wine is good to very good. The balance and intensity are certainly present and, given the sheer amount of aroma and flavor compounds I found, I’d say that this wine is arguably complex—qualifying it as very good. However, I could also see how one may deduce that because those compounds fall into a limited amount of categories that the wine is not, in fact, complex. Either way, my personal conclusion is that this wine is, most importantly, delicious. I would drink it again; I’d serve it to a friend. I recommend you enjoy this wine sooner rather than later, as I don’t think it has much aging potential beyond two to three years.
Food Pairing: I paired the Crystal Basin Cellars 2017 Reserve Grenache with crispy skin duck breast served with a spinach-apple salad and roasted butternut squash.
More Info: I received the Crystal Basin Cellars 2017 Reserve Grenache as a sample for review (Cheers!). Retail: $28. For more information about Crystal Basin Cellars, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Crystal Basin Cellars website. Note: The winery is currently offering curbside pickup and local deliveries during the COVID Shelter-in-Place.
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