CAMP 4 VINEYARD
2014 GRENACHE BLANC, SANTA YNEZ VALLEY
My infatuation with Grenache Blanc started in 2002 while working in France with Pierre Gaillard. Pierre introduced me to Grenache Blanc during our visits to his winery in Banyuls-sur-Mer. My love of the variety was cemented during these visits when I recognized its ability to produce a wine of substance and grace. My hope then was to find a way to create a wine of my own that resembled the stunning wines I tasted with Pierre. Over the past four vintages, I have channeled the spirit of the seminal Grenache Blancs I tasted over a decade ago. My challenge has been how to tame such a finicky grape. In doing so, the result can often be masterful in its deft balance of power and subtly. Vineyard balance is foremost in creating a great Grenache Blanc. The clusters are large and unwieldy. Balanced ripening is crucial – picking too early creates an herbal wine; picking too late gives you a monolithic wine. Therefore, I work closely with the vineyard team to manicure the vines and allow the grapes to mature slowly. At the winery, I continue to handle the grapes with care. Pressing is light so not to extract Grenache Blancs’ harsh tannins. Neutral oak is exclusively used to express the true character of Grenache Blanc and low fermentation temperatures are chosen to harness its purity. The 2014 Camp 4 Grenache Blanc was picked on the 24th of September. The juice was fermented in a stainless steel tank. After the primary fermentation finished, the juice was transferred to neutral barrels. Similar to years past, the lees were never stirred and malolactic fermentation was blocked. It was aged in one hundred percent neutral oak for three and one half months and bottled after light filtration. 145 cases produced.
The 2014 Grenache Blanc exhibits a light golden color in the glass. The aromatics are striking and emit an exuberant blend of pineapple, lemongrass, and seashells. Enticing acidity highlights the mid-palate and accentuates flavors of mango, kaffir lime, and honeycomb. The zesty finish exhibits accents of lingering ginger, Meyer lemon, and green tea.