2007 Adobe Road Mendocino County Grenache

Mission Codename: The Jealous Crown

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Operative favorite, Adobe Road Winery, where Agent Red first tasted their 2007 Grenache six months ago. He loved the wine, then, so have him reexamine it to see if it is ready for our very demanding Operatives. If the wine is even better than is was on first tasting, have Red secure an ample allotment.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery

Wine Subject: 2007 Mendocino County Grenache

Winemaker: Michael Scorsone

Backgrounder: Grenache, one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, is most famous for its use as the primary grape in France’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A late ripening grape, it grows best in hot, dry climates. It is generally considered to be a spiced, berry-flavored grape that is somewhat soft on the palate.

The Mendocino AVA, located along the Russian River and highway 101 north of Sonoma County is where the grapes for this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon were grown. The actual AVA is centered between Hopland and Ukiah in the southern third of the county and are heavily influenced by the climate which is regulated by the mountain ridges that surround the upper Russian River. The deep alluvial and gravelly loam soils also contribute to the flavor profile of the grapes grown in the region. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are the primary grapes grown in this region but, in hotter pockets of the AVA, Grenache thrives.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautiful, shimmering ruby hues, from the pure ruby core of the wine, out to the glinting ruby edges. That’s a lot of ruby, yes, but you’ll see what we mean when you hold this shimmering wine up to the light. After a good swirl, wave after wave of skinny legs run slowly down the glass.

Smell – Sweet and softly spiced, with blueberry, red cherry and dried cranberry out in front. Cherry cordial candy, young strawberry, dried blackberry, cocoa and a hint of sweet cedar.

Feel – Cool and light across the tip of the tongue. Then, the wine quickly becomes plush and medium bodied, gaining in dimension as it lands on the mid-palate. After a few moments, fine-grained tannins give the wine a softly dry, slightly grippy feel. Gradually, the cheeks and lips become dry and a flinty flavor and feel appear.

Taste – Delicious, red, juicy and intriguing, led by softly spiced cherry, dark red plum skin, dark red flower petals, cranberry and red currant. Just behind these,forresty wildberry, bramble, soft lather, spice and minerals provide flavors that prop up the red fruits.

Finish – Red fruit and earthen flavors linger for a long time. As they fade, a distinct and intriguing flinty minerality appears at the back of the palate, and spreads forward. Eventually, flint spreads to the lips and cheeks, delivering a slight hint of cracked pepper spiciness to the tip of the tongue.

Conclusion – Goodness, but we just love this 2007 Mendocino County Grenache from our good friends at Adobe Road Winery. We first tasted the wine about six months ago and we really enjoyed it, then. Recently, though, we had an updated tasting – and decided that we had to show this wine to our Operatives. Where many a California Grenache can have a somewhat astringent quality to it, this wine shows much more fruit and suppleness on the palate. Flavors are big and red and juicy and the feel is quite plush. The finish is really quite intriguing, with fruit that fades slowly, leading to a distinctive flinty flavor that spreads around the palate, ultimately driving a hint of freshly cracked pepper right to the tip of the tongue. We are really crazy about this very summer-ready, food-friendly wine and it easily earns our solid recommendation.

Mission Report:

Wine Spies Winery Check:

The approximate location of the Adobe Road tasting room, in the heart of the town of Sonoma, California, can be seen in this satellite photo.

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