2014 Site Wines "Larner Vineyard" Grenache Ballard Canyon Santa Barbara

SKU #1390788 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Grenache Larner Vineyard, which incorporates 20% Syrah, comes from the sandy, limestone soils of one of the top sites in Ballard Canyon. Notes of smoke, liquid blackberry, crushed rock and ground herbs all emerge from this 2014, which is full-bodied, deep, rich, tannic and concentrated. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring and drink through 2024. The Grenache was aged 20 months in neutral barrels, and the Syrah spent 20 months in puncheons. I continue to be blown away by these wines from winemaker Jeremy Weintraub, who's also the winemaker for Adelaida in Paso Robles. Focusing on Rhone varieties, mostly from Ballard Canyon, the wines see a small amount of whole clusters, with the Grenache always aged in neutral puncheons and the Syrah mostly in new barrels. These are pure, balanced reds that possess top notch varietal character. (JD)  (8/2016)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Dark and thick in the glass, this bottling shows concentrated black cherry and blackberry aromas alongside baking spice, cocoa, vanilla and roasted meat scents. There is zesty acidity and strong structure throughout the sip, which offers floral touches of rose petal and carnation and prominent oak elements. (MK)  (6/2018)

92 points Vinous

 Brilliant ruby-red. Highly perfumed aromas of ripe red fruits and candied flowers develop a smoky mineral overtone in the glass. Stains the palate with juicy raspberry, cherry and lavender pastille flavors that stretch out and deepen with air. Sappy and seamless in texture, finishing on a sexy floral note, with impressive clarity and supple tannins coming in late. (JR)  (9/2016)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The 2014 Site Grenache is a very concentrated wine that offers blueberries, blackberries, lavender, and toast. The mouth is dense and very well structured. It's 80% Grenache fermented and aged in old puncheons and 20% Syrah aged in new French barrels."

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Price: $39.95

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By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is dark, yes it smells dark too, powerful, bold fruit bolts out of your glass enough that I was glad I was sitting down. On the palate the wine is tightly wound and the bold dark fruit, it's so coiled up that it's hard to distinguish individual flavors at this point, but they are bold. The finish looks to future promise, if I was sitting down to drink this wine I would have decanted it a couple of hours ago or done some quick power decanting. I'd like to come back to this wine in a couple of years and watch its evolution.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/14/2019 | Send Email
Anyone who knows me or pays attention to my wine selections already knows I'm just a little bit obsessed with Grenache. I think it's a grape that deserves more attention and can make truly exceptional wines in a variety of styles. Larner Vineyard in Ballard Canyon is one of the most celebrated plantings of Grenache in the country. This exact block of vines previously went to Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non. Now Jeremy Weintraub does just as stellar of a job crafted this perfect fruit into one of the best bottlings of this varietal you find anywhere. The pure, lush, exotic, mouth-filling, Grenache is bolstered by 20% Syrah (fermented whole cluster) also from Larner. The Grenache see time in large 500L neutral oak Puncheons while the Syrah gets splashed in new French oak barriques to polish the tannins. It is quite simply one of the most stunning wines I've tasted to date, and for me puts winemaker Jeremy in an elite group of winemakers I believe to be pushing California wines to new heights.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2019 | Send Email
The 20% Syrah here is key. It’s whole-cluster and provides not only depth and darkness to this Grenache, but texture, tannin, and a beautiful, reductive meaty quality. The grenache on the other hand has richness, levity and brightness. The balance between these two distinctive elements is absolutely phenomenal. Mouth coating and delicious this is a wonderfully dark and broody take on grenache, full of rich black fruits offset by smoked bacon and a hint of sweetness. More than anything, this reminds of the wines Paso Robles cult producer Saxum, which if you can get them, usually go for at least three times the price. This was my favorite of the recent offerings from Site, and sits at the top of my list for domestic grenache.

Additional Information:



- 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.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.