My wine of the week for September 15-September 21 is the 2011 Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Terribles Grenache, Dry Creek Valley.
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.
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.
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.
Varietal(s): 100% Grenache
Cooperage: 5 months in 100% older French Oak 500 Liter barrels
Cases produced: 187
Ageability: Drink now, or hold for 2-3 years
Other Related Posts:
- Wine of the Week; 2011 Dashe Vin Gris (ENOFYLZ Wine Blog)