When I first met Angela Osbourne, she was working with the Natural Process Alliance (NPA) in Santa Rosa in 2010. I had the opportunity to taste some of her early incarnations and knew we were in for a treat.
Originally from New Zealand, Angela moved to California in 2006 to pursue her love of Grenache. In 2007, Angela found her first fruit from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, which is located 33 miles from the Pacific Ocean, in a high desert landscape. For a heat loving varietal like Grenache, this is the perfect location.
At 3200 feet, the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard is located in an arid and hot climate, with cool snowy winters. Sustainably farmed and planted for the site specifics, the vineyard has 12 varietals with Grenache only being 4% of the total planted land. with 5 clones of Grenache, only 5 winemakers are making Grenache from this site.
100% Grenache, A Tribute to Grace is a lighter style Grenache, with a pungent strawberry punch at the beginning. This is a fresh, lively wine, that shows off dry earth and red fruit in a fresh mouth full of flavor. With a touch of spice on the finish and more red raspberry up front, this wine is 50% whole cluster fermented which Angela ligihtly treaded on daily. At least I hope it was Angela doing the treading! The other 50% was destemmed and the resultling wine is a lively fun, refreshing Grenache with the backbone whole cluster provides. The use of whole clusters changes the flavor profile, tannin structure and aromas of a resulting wine, so by blending in a classically destemmed portion, Angela achieve a balance that creates a lovely wine.
Check it out!