Back in October I spent 10 days out in California. Part of my time was spent at the 1st North American Wine Bloggers Conference, the rest touring wineries. During my time at the conference I had the opportunity to taste quite a few wines I was not aware of and thus might not have sought out otherwise. Their quality and my interest in them varied greatly. A couple of producers really stood out. One that I made a note to revisit was Renard. Renard is by most measures a tiny winery. Most of their offering are a few hundred cases or less. They source fruit from throughout the state. I'm going to look at 3 of their wines, all from fruit grown in Dry Creek Valley. The 2006 Renard Grenache is made from Dry Creek fruit sourced at the Unti Vineyard. They produce approximately 100 cases of this wine each year and it retails for $35.
Leather and violets fill the nose of this highly perfumed Grenache. Cassis, black pepper and raspberry notes fill the palate. Touches of bacon Fat underscore the mid-palate and really make the core of the wine multi-layered and interesting. Cranberry characteristics come out and carry through the finish which features emerging tobacco and earth notes. The Renard wines I have sampled, particularly this Grenache, are simply built to pair with your favorite meal. This wine will be versatile and marry well with a host of foods.
I was impressed that despite alcohol clocking in well over 15% this wine doesn't drink hot at all. Contrary to that it's balanced and has good acidity. This Grenache has a charm and appeal that is often missing from wines produced in large quantities. I Highly recommend the Renard Grenache.
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