2017 Santa Barbara Highlands Tribute to Grace
|District||Santa Barbara Highlands|
Angela Osbourne's raison d'être as a winemaker is replicating a bottle of Château Rayas she had many years ago, and finding the truest expression of Grenache possible, and my word she has got very close with this wine. The fruit here is from a single vineyard 3,500ft above sea level - high toned and with more complexity than many a Grenache found from lower elevations. Perfumed, delicate and elegant - you get a real sense of the high altitude of the vineyard here. Macerated strawberries and rhubarb, with a gentle peppery character and silky, gossamer like tannins, this is simply delicious. L&S (Jan 2022)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Cuyama Valley, Sierra Madre Mountains., 3500 feet elevation. “Mesa Norte” block, 9.5 acre planting - Grenache clone Tablas A, planted on 101-14 rootstock. Decomposed granite and clay loam, with large rocks of schist, quartzite, basalt and gneiss. Planted in 2000, spacing at 8 x 5. Native ferment, foot-tread daily for 13 days. Pressed on day 14. 57% whole cluster., 10 month èlevage in french barrique and 500L puncheon (16% new).
Cuyama Valley, Sierra Madre Mountains., 3500 feet elevation. “Mesa Norte” block, 9.5 acre planting - Grenache clone Tablas A, planted on 101-14 rootstock. Decomposed granite and clay loam, with large rocks of schist, quartzite, basalt and gneiss. Planted in 2000, spacing at 8 x 5.
Native ferment, foot-tread daily for 13 days. Pressed on day 14.
57% whole cluster., 10 month èlevage in french barrique and 500L puncheon (16% new).Winemaker's notes (Jan 2022)
Tribute to Grace
'A Tribute to Grace' is winemaker Angela Osborne's project to craft wines which focus on the aromatic and silky qualities of Grenache. The 'Grace' in the name is not only a reference to her beloved grandmother but is a mantra for Angela’s life and approach to winemaking. Grace is also what Angela finds in her treasured Grenache, particularly in the wine that inspires her: 1999 Château Rayas.
A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Angela fell in love with the storytelling of wine when working in wine retail while also studying film-making. In the six years Angela worked in retail, she never came across a single-varietal bottling of Grenache, however, after a three-month internship in 2002 at Simi winery in Sonoma County, California, she finally had her epiphany moment after tasting a Dry Creek Valley Grenache.
Returning home, Angela knew that she had to produce her own expression of this intriguing variety but wouldn’t be able to do so in New Zealand’s cooler, unsuitable climate. She considered several vineyard locations in Europe and Southern Australia, but after a brief stint in London, Angela returned to California in 2006, settling in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara is probably best-known for producing Pinot and Chardonnay, but is also capable of producing world class expressions of Rhône varietals, which have been cultivated in California for over 100 years.
The 'Santa Barbara Highlands' vineyard sits at 3500 feet elevation in the Sierra Madre mountains on a layer of decomposed granite and clay loam. Here, the 17-year-old “Tablas A” clone produces a vibrant, well-balanced expression of Grenache, full of rhubarb, red berries, and baking spices.
The 'Shake Ridge' vineyard in the Sierra Foothills AVA is at 1700 feet elevation on a bed of rose quartz. The combination of soil profile and diurnal temperature shift (around 10°C) results in a unique expression of Angela’s favourite clone (362), which is delicate, pure, and haunting.
Site selection is the key, and dictates the differences of each wine. Angela employs restraint in the cellar, working with native yeasts and to biodynamic principals (including the lunar calendar). The wines are elegant, nuanced and complex, and in shape more like Pinot Noir than the boisterous styles of the southern Rhône.
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