2012 Horsepower "Sur Echalas Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Grenache

SKU #1198279 97 points Wine Enthusiast

 Despite its lighter color, this wine explodes from the glass with a complex, near-endless list of aromas that include sea breeze, crushed flowers, peat, green olive, fire pit, smoked meat, pepper, orange peel and sea salt. Its ethereal, elegant style belies the outrageously rich, exquisitely flavorful savory notes that won't quit, offering a completely captivating walk on the variety's wild side. *Editors' Choice* (SPS)  (9/2015)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Dark, dense and focused, yet surprisingly light-footed, layering chalk and wet rock minerality through the ripe and meaty cherry and clotted cream flavors. Complex and inviting, this is long as a midsummer day. Drink now through 2025. 203 cases made. (HS)  (6/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Sporting a transparent ruby color, the 2012 Grenache Sur Echalas Vineyard is Rayas-like in its perfume (I served this blind to a great taster and they guessed 2001 Rayas) of kirsch, blackberry, ground pepper, gunpowder and floral-laced nuances. Full-bodied, elegant and layered, I thought it showed more flesh and texture from barrel, but it's still a gorgeous Grenache. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more. (JD)  (6/2015)

94 points Vinous

 (13.1% alcohol): Moderately saturated medium red. Mesmerizing aromas of raspberry, peony, garrigue, smoke and earth; would anyone not pick this blind as a French wine? Dry, saline and superconcentrated, with raspberry and earth flavors conveying superb penetration and energy. Finishes with big, dusty tannins and outstanding length and spicy lift. A great American Grenache. Christophe Baron's biodynamically farmed Sur Echalas Vineyard??, planted in 2008, is the densest in Walla Walla Valley, with 4,840 vines per acre (i.e., three feet by three feet spacing). (ST)  (11/2015)

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Price: $179.99
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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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.1