62% Grenache, 38% Mourvèdre
Now - 2025
2018 Vin Gris de Cigare Réserve
Pink Wine of the Earth
Pale color (remember this was pressed very lightly). Exceptionally concentrated with a soft, mouth-coating, creamy texture, bolstered by a firm but not oppressive acidity. Nose of apricots and strawberries , maybe even rhubarb, and a very slight herbal note (tarragon?) This wine will live longer than all of us.
The Texas Ranch on the west side of Paso Robles was exposed to some incredibly warm temperatures during the growing season, in addition to being chronically short of available moisture. (The vineyard has very little water with which to irrigate, so this is something rather akin to “dry-farming” by default. As a result, we observed that the normal developmental cycle of the grapes (both Grenache and Mourvèdre) was disrupted and the vineyard ended up with essentially Lilliputian-sized clusters - not raisinated mind you - just incredibly teensy and intensely flavored We made the decision to make the wine as a pink rather than as a red, to conserve the brilliant natural acidity of the wine (the acidity seemed to be concentrated along with everything else). The vineyard owner had to be very pleased with the abundant rain that followed the vintage into the spring.
As mentioned, these clusters were perhaps the smallest grape clusters I have ever observed, and as a result, they were essentially all skin and very little juice. We pressed the grapes as gently and lightly as could be reasonably be effected (whole cluster pressing) with no skin contact at all, if for no other reason but to eschew astringency, and as a result, we ended up with a scandalously low juice yield. On the brighter side, the juice didn’t require much settling as there were very low solids from the get-go; the fermentation was conducted in old, neutral puncheons in a cool cellar and went rather slowly. Malolactic fermentation was conducted along with non-trivial lees-stirring to enhance textural complexity.
Food Pairing Notes
Aïoli monstre, scallops, lobster