100% grenache blanc
Drinkable upon release (Mar. 2014), 4-8 years ageability
2013 Vinferno (375 ml)
Late Harvest Grenache Blanc
$24.00 per bottle / $259.20 per case
$20.40 per bottle / $230.40 per case (Members)
Like patient cargo cultists, we patiently await the arrival of botrytis in the Beeswax Vineyard. And wait and wait and wait. (And still no botrytis.) 2012 and 2013 were, as we well know, very dry years, and the only positive result of this was that the ’13 vintage was exceptionally advanced in maturity, allowing us to leave the fruit on the vine well into early November without untoward result. Ergo, this wine may well be thought of as a classical “late harvest.” Coconut, papaya, pineapple, pear and quince paste (yes!) in the nose and maybe a suggestion of dried fruit (dried peaches?). There is a wonderful toastiness to the nose, maybe the caramelized sugar of a of crème brulée? On the palate, the wine is sweet, of course, but extremely well balanced with acidity and just a hint of astringency which prevents it from cloying. Very, very long, clean finish. This is possibly the most perfect wine you could imagine with a cheese course.
2013 brought an incredible opportunity for a truly late harvest wine to be produced from Beeswax Vineyard in Arroyo Seco. Typically this vineyard’s fruit is harvested nearly into November, but in 2013, it was harvested for our Cigare Blanc in the first week of October. This allowed us to leave a portion of the Grenache Blanc in the vineyard for another 5 weeks to naturally dry and concentrate sugar and flavor on the vine. We hand picked the fruit and gently pressed whole cluster at the winery. The resulting juice was 31.8 brix and was slowly cold fermented in 100% stainless steel.
Hell-o! We were just minding our Beeswax when it became clear we could contrive to produce a decadent single vineyard dessert wine from the air-dried grapes of the noble white cépage, grenache blanc. Vinferno is er, darned rich, fragrant and honeyed—nary a trace of brimstone—with non-trivial lashings of quince and Asian pear and a finish that seems to last an eternity.
Food Pairing Notes
Fruit or nut based-desserts, foie gras torchon.