Gorgeous glowing transparent dark ruby. The density of fruit is the first thing to hit the nose, cheesecake and Rum and a dirty alley mid-rain–most likely behind a restaurant with a couple bus-boys smoking. Thick, thick icing between layers of carrot cake and all over it drizzles of maraschino blackstrap Tootsie-Roll. Late-breathe, a spicy, minty burn develops, and I’m going to guess 14-6.
By all appearances, this thing is a monster, but knowing this producer: I’m guessing it is NOT. Sure, it’s probably north of 14, but the nose this producer manages to cram into his grenache hints at some of the Paso Robles, Edna Valley, and Ballard Canyon offerings of straight pancake syrup. But unlike those–which run north of 16, and taste like it–these Graybehls always come off lean and clean in the mouth, typically packed with tannin to boot.
As I expected this one is not slutty in the mouth, although it is a little alcoholic. The shocking and early tannins I have witnessed before in these wines are indeed present and waving brashly at a classic Grenache portion of delicate fruit. Tasting it–as is often the case–strengthens and solidifies your experiences with the bouquet. Pretty cherry manages to hold on throughout the bold structure–they make a great little tag-team together–and it never really disappears down the last gasps of a long finish.
2016 C. R. GRAYBEHL The Grenachista Grenache Noir Mathis Vineyard Sonoma Valley 14.6