2014 Lepiane "Black Oak Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Grenache

SKU #1398953

Winery notes: This is a light but bright red Grenache with beguiling aromas of tobacco, dried orange peel, and dark plum. This wine is light on its feet, but also delivers layers of texture in the mouth and a delicious long vibrant finish. It would pair deliciously with baked chicken with preserved lemons, paella or a selection of cured meats and artisan cheeses. Inspired by her roots in both Italy and California, winemaker Alison Thomson crafts elegant, aromatic wines in a style that is all her own. Named for her great grandfather, who moved from Calabria to Hollister to start a grocery and make wine, L.A. Lepiane focuses on small-production Nebbiolo and Barbera, plus a soupçon of Grenache (not Italian, but who's counting?), grown in the Santa Barbara region. After a study abroad trip to Siena during college, Thomson fell in love with the wines of Italy, and came back to Cali with a new mission. She studied viticulture at Davis, trained in Barolo, then returned home to work with the likes of Manfred Krankl, Steve Clifton, and Chad Melville. She's currently the assistant winemaker at Two Wolves by Alecia Moore (AKA Pink). We're pleased to help spread the good word about this winery to watch.

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Price: $37.99

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By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/13/2019 | Send Email
Punchy, vibrant Grenache with solid earthiness through to the finish, this is a fun yet still incredibly elegant wine, from dynamo winemaker Alison Thomson. Berry fruit shows up in a big way, but still feels light, tempered by the herbaceous quality of including 50% whole cluster. Alison has taken on the task of growing Old World varietals in a classical style, here in Santa Barbara County. This wine is aromatic and textured, sourced from a single vineyard, and crafted with precision and heart. Only 63 cases produced! Look for great things from Lepiane.

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.