2008 Grand Rêve "Collaboration Series V - Ciel du Cheval Vineyard" Red Mountain Grenache

SKU #1271925 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Collaboration Series V is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah sourced from the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (as are all these wines for the time being). It was aged in 100% new French oak and made by Chris Gorman. It is rare for this much new oak to be used with Grenache, but here it seems to work. The wine delivers an expressive nose of sandalwood, smoke, Asian spices, lilacs, black cherry, and black raspberry. Full-bodied and plush on the palate, it has layered spicy red and black fruits, good volume, enough structure to evolve for several years, and a lengthy, pure finish. It will be at its best from 2013 to 2023. Grand Reve Vintners is a collaboration between Paul McBride and Ryan Johnson to grow grapes and produce wine focused on the Red Mountain AVA. They are planting the first hillside vineyard in Red Mountain on the slopes above Col Solare at 955 to 1230 feet of elevation. I visited the site in June, 2010, and it is a remarkable piece of work. The winemaking is in the hands of five top local winemakers, Ben Smith (Collaboration I) making a Cabernet blend, Ross Michel (Collaboration II) a Rhone blend, Mark McNeilly (Collaboration III) a Syrah, Carolyn Lakewold (Collaboration IV) a Merlot, and Chris Gorman (Collaboration V) a Grenache. There are also two Reserve wines being offered in the new collection. (JM)  (8/2010)

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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.