2022 A Tribute to Grace, Santa Barbara Grenache
2022 A Tribute to Grace, Santa Barbara Grenache

2022 A Tribute to Grace, Santa Barbara Grenache

California, United States 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$39.00

2022 A Tribute to Grace, Santa Barbara Grenache

There’s a cheeky saying some Australian winemakers have: “Grenache delivers what Pinot promises.” Pop a bottle of A Tribute to Grace’s Santa Barbara County Grenache and you’ll know exactly what they’re getting at. You can set aside any preconceived notions you might have of the variety as syrupy or jammy; this is a floral, spice-laden, supremely elegant wine of such forthright beauty that it feels akin to nothing less than great Burgundy. It’s so packed with character, sense of place, and value that it caught us by surprise. It shouldn’t have; no one is better suited to coax such fluttering finesse from Grenache than A Tribute to Grace winemaker Angela Osborne, who for almost two decades has worked with Grenache and Grenache alone. This is a bottle to go deep on, so you can revel in its head-spinning glory now and watch it evolve into something ethereal and exquisite with a few years in your cellar. There’s no better tribute to Grenache than a bottle of A Tribute To Grace!

That Angela Osborne makes wine in California at all is a result of her single-minded pursuit of Grenache perfection. She’s originally from Auckland, New Zealand, where she got a part-time job at a retail wine shop. In 2002, on a lark, she got an internship at a Dry Creek Valley winery. There, she had her first taste of Grenache, and decided on the spot that she would be a winemaker dedicated to the variety. She spent the next few years traveling the world, from Spain to southern France to Australia, learning to work with Grenache and searching for the perfect Grenache vineyard. In 2006, she found it in Santa Barbara County, and released her first wine from the AVA the next year.

From the get-go, Angela’s goal has been to capture Grenache’s ability to not just be full-bodied and lush, but also high-toned and elegant. Indeed, the very name of the project puts that front and center—it’s both an homage to her beloved grandmother, Grace, and a mission statement. Angela seeks out sites that combine the daytime heat and ample sunlight that this Mediterranean grape needs to fully ripen with cool nighttime temperatures and higher elevations to preserve structure.  The 2022 Santa Barbara County Grenache is a testament to the potential of the grape in this unique place. It’s the perfect bird’s eye view of Angela’s vision, made up of five different clones from seven blocks in four different vineyards. To further accentuate the lifted floral and spice characteristics she prizes, Angela fermented the fruit 69% whole cluster with minimal extraction and aged it for 11 months in neutral barrique and puncheon. 

Make sure to serve Angela’s Santa Barbara County Grenache in Burgundy bowls to fully appreciate its kaleidoscope of aromatics, and a quick 30-minute decant to help them unfurl wouldn’t hurt, either. It pours a translucent, almost pale ruby, and leaps forth from the glass with a riot of red fruits and floral tones. Cherry liqueur, strawberry, hibiscus, orange zest, and rose petals mingle with spicy black tea, sandalwood, and tobacco. There’s nothing raisinated or pruny here, just all heady lift. The palate is medium-full, belying its warm climate origins and loaded with more red-fruited generosity, but there’s also fantastic tension here, a brisk throughline of acidity with a very fine outer frame of tannin. There’s no doubt it’s incredibly delicious and deeply satisfying right now, but it’s also loaded with potential. In a few years’ time, this’ll be even more sultry and spicy, something truly special, especially given the price. So just make sure to grab enough to follow it through the years!

2022 A Tribute to Grace, Santa Barbara Grenache

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