2013 Califa Grenache
The Edna Valley certainly produces a unique style of Grenache: dark, dense and packed with exotic spices. The Califa Grenache is the poster child for this style. The wine is tightly wound right now with aromas of black cherry, molasses and black pepper, and its dense, elegant palate promises great age worthiness. If you plan to drink this wine soon, please decant, otherwise we recommend laying it down for 3-8 years.
Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now contains 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. The nearby Pacific ocean creates a long temperate growing season for exceptional hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
The fruit for this wine was hand picked at night, then meticulously hand-sorted. Berries were then destemmed and gravity fed into small opentop fermentors. Naturally low yields in 2013 meant that we combined our Grenache into one fermenter; the vineyard blocks that would normally have gone to Cinq á Sept and our Estate Grenache were fermented together. After a three-day cold soak, a long, cool fermentation was initiated using native yeasts. Gentle pumpovers were utilized to optimize extraction. Following fermentation, the wine was racked to French oak barrels for 18 months with minimal racking.
2013 started with a dry winter resulting in only 8.5 inches of rain. A warm February initiated an early budbreak and continuous warmer than average temperatures culminated in an early Harvest. Dry and consistently warm temperatures throughout summer and fall allowed grapes to hang until optimum ripeness. Overall, this was a stunning vintage with excellent balance.
Our Califa Grenache consists of Clone Noir, which adds rich red fruit and structure to the wine, and Alban Clone, which gives this wine complex layers of black fruit and spice.