Wine Of The Week; 2011 Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Terribles Grenache

My wine of the week for September 15-September 21 is the 2011 Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Terribles Grenache, Dry Creek Valley.

The Winery

Dashe Cellars, founded by Michael and Ann Dashe in 1996, is an urban winery located near Jack London Square in Oakland, CA.   Michael Dashe is the Winemaker, and Anne Dashe is the General Manager.  Between the two, they have 40-plus years experience in the wine business, including experience at  some big-time wineries such as Ridge Vineyards, Far Niente, Chappellet, Schramsberg Wine Cellars in California;  Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château La Dominique in France,and  Cloudy Bay in New Zealand.   The winery produces about 10,000 cases annually.

The Wine

Grenache (both Grenache Noir – used to produce red wine such as this, and Grenache Blanc – used to produce white wine) is a wine on the upswing.  It’s finding favor with consumers because it’s packed with juicy red fruit flavors like cherry, and strawberries, and its luscious texture. Not only that, it’s priced well too. It’s easy to find a great bottle of Grenache between $10-$30.

Grenache is a malleable grape that can be made in a lighter “Beaujolais” style, or a more full-bodied, higher alcohol, more tannic style depending on the vessel in which it is aged (typically stainless steel, new, or depending on the style the winemaker seeks), and how long it is aged.  For decades Grenache has been a blending grape used in jug wines or part of a “GSM” (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) blend. But I’m seeing more and more stand-alone varietal bottlings of Grenache.

The 2011 Dashe Les Enfants Terribles (Wild Child in French) Grenache is a great example of Grenache  made in the lighter, Old-World “Beaujolais” style.  It’s made with low sulfur and native yeasts found naturally growing on the grapes.  After 12 hours of fermenting some of the wine was “bled off”  and used to make the Dashe Vin Gris, a technique that simultaneously concentrates this wine.  The wine is unfined.

2011 Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Grenache, Dry Creek Valley
2011 Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Grenache, Dry Creek Valley

My tasting notes follow:

Strawberry red color with strawberry, cherry, white pepper, spice and a bit of hard candy aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied  and lush with pure strawberry, cherry, spice and mineral flavors. Medium+ finish.  – 90pts

This is a very good food wine. It drinks well as an aperitif, and with light meals.   I’ve enjoyed it with a wide variety of foods including charcuterie, paella, barbeque (it takes a chill very well), and pizza.

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Alcohol: 13.1% alcohol.

Closure: Cork.

AVA:  > California> Sonoma> > Dry Creek Valley

Varietal(s): 100% Grenache

Cooperage: 5 months in 100% older French Oak 500 Liter barrels

Retail: $24

Cases produced: 187

Ageability: Drink now, or hold for 2-3 years

Other Related Posts:


  1. Errin says:

    You are not the only one who has enjoyed this wine Martin. We only released it in May and we only have 20 cases left. If any of your fans would like to try it you’d better tell them to come in quickly.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      It’s a great wine Errin! Looking forward to the 2012 vintage already!

  2. Your tasting notes make me want to reach in and grab a glass. I’ll try to get a hold of a bottle or 2 before they sell out.

Comments are closed.