2017 Grenache "Spring Ephemeral"
This is from a 10 acre site that we farm where the Gorge transitions to desert. The Grenache is planted on the banks of the Columbia in deep sand with basalt cobbles. It was fermented whole cluster in open top wooden vats and tread by foot once a day. After fermentation it was pressed directly to barrel via gravity with a basket press. The wine was bottled after 8 months of aging on the lees.
The wine is sun warmed, very pale in color and emphatically aromatic. The kind of Grenache that reminds one of Pinot Noir, but with an entirely different set of aromas. It smells like being in a field of flowering herbs. At first the aroma of desert sage is overwhelming. It surrounds one. And then the other herbs emerge, lavender, chocolate mint, yerba buena and yarrow. As the wine sits in the glass those primal aromas transform into some sort of romantic flower. The kind you get in a bouquet, but from the desert. There are fruits of course: josta berries, strawberries and currants, all perfectly ripe, and picked in full-sun at the end of the day. The wine offers all the textural sensations that can only be conveyed by Grenache. It is totally round, sensual and enveloping, but also pale and weightless. Its is fresh, but just enough to give the barest sense of shape. There is no strident acidity to spoil the sense of warmth and gentleness. It is a red of pure summer and perfect for the foods consumed in the peak of the garden season.