2021 Thompson Vineyard Santa Barbara A Tribute to Grace

Grapes Grenache Blanc
Colour White
Origin USA, California
District Santa Barbara Highlands
ABV 13.5%

The first white wine we've taken from Angela at Tribute Grace and it's absolutely gorgeous. Unlike many other Grenache Blancs you'll find from other corners of the globe. Intensely floral, full of jasmine and white blossom, with a almond-y nuttiness underneath. This is abundant on the palate too, with a beautiful weight from eleven months on lees, with a gentle minerality. Very precise and pure. L&S (Jul 2023)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

The 2021 Grenache Blanc Thompson Vineyard is bright and beautifully focused. Orchard fruit, mint, white pepper and jasmine are all nicely lifted. Slightly longer aging in oak helps build texture. This is beautifully done. Drinking range: 2023 - 2027 Rating: 93 Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate (May 2024)

First vintage with enough made to sell in the UK. California’s oldest planting (2003) of Grenache Blanc. The vineyard and winery were sold to a burgundy fan so Angela Osborne ‘swooped in to work with it since 2018’. Andrew Murray has always made wine from this vineyard. Own-rooted on flint. She loves high-acid wines. Picked at 21 Brix in mid October! (Virus delays harvest – she picked Mourvèdre in December for a client!)
Very distinctive. Very pale again. Light floral notes. Spicy and fuller-bodied. Citrus peel and very smooth and satiny. Very beautiful texture and balance. A charmer.
Drinking range: 2022 - 2025 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Aug 2023)

In 2021 we made our fourth vintage from Thompson Vineyard in Los Alamos ~ continuing with the divine own-rooted vines that have represented our sole Blanc since 2018. We chose again to harvest on the earlier side, to capture the jasmine and bitter almond paradigm that can lift this variety into the sublime. Gently whole-cluster pressed to tank, settling for one sleep, before being racked to a combination of neutral barrique and stainless steel barrels for fermentation. The wine remained on gross lees for an 11 month élevage, to increase both complexity and bring the minerality jasmine-bound. Harvested on October 6th, 2021 (moon in Libra). Bottled August 17th, 2022 (moon in Aries). TASTING NOTES: Royal Jasmine, stonefruit and sailboats. 280 cases produced.Winemaker's notes (Feb 2023)

A 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.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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