Appellation: High Valley
Blend: 68% Grenache 20% Mourvedre 12% Syrah
Barrel Aging: Total of 11 months in 18% new European oak barrels; the rest in various neutral oak barrels
My goal was to create a distinctive yet accessible GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend. I’ve always had a special preference for the great wines of Southern France and with this inaugural release I’m offering my California version of this style.
Vineyard: The grapes are grown on Montelago Vineyard planted between 2000 and 2400 feet elevation above the largest lake in California—Clearlake. South facing exposure.
The Soil: Brick red volcanic cinders and pumice-like gravel and stones. In general, low fertility with high level of calcium and potassium.
The Vintage: The 2012 harvest brought Northern California back on track with one of the best vintages we’ve had in several years. High Valley does not get the morning fog as the coastal valleys do. It is classified between region 2 and 3 (very similar to Sonoma and Napa) for its summation of temperatures during the growing season. The 2012 vintage was perfect in every aspect of grape growing, delivering fantastic fruit and respectively, great wines.
Winemaking: The grapes were harvested on October 4th, 2012 in the cold early morning, then sorted by hand and destemmed in the most gentle way possible. The must was fermented at relatively cool temperatures in an open top tank. In December, after mallolactic fermentation, the Cuvée Sasha was blended and then aged for 11 months in 18% new oak and neutral older barrels.
Tasting Notes: What I love about Grenache is the seductively inviting aromas of jammy strawberries, dry apricots, guava and cranberry with hint of dry rose petals and Herbs de Provence that make you smell the wine over and over again. The mouth feel is clean, fresh and lively without any heaviness with focused acidity and food friendly softness. Cheers!