Monday, January 9, 2012

Two Shepherds, 2010 Grenache Blanc, Saarloos Vineyard

Sometimes folks just talk and talk and talk about what they are doing but than you never get to see the results.  And than sometimes you get to watch someone with so much passion and attention to detail knock it out of the park. I think this would sum up William Allen, wine aficionado, blogger, hedonist,Rhône lover and nice guy!

This is Two Shephards' first vintage of Grenache Blanc, from the Saarloos Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley. To preserve the wine's natural acidity and freshness while adding body and texture, it was fermented and aged in neutral French oak for eight months on the lees. 
The nose leads with aromas of white peach, citrus and candied lemon with nutty undertones, followed by a creamy, round palate with a nice beam of acidity running through. With air, aromas and flavors of green melon and honeysuckle emerge, and a pleasing wet stone minerality accents the finish. Alcohol was kept at a moderate 13.9% abv – impressive! “  K&L Wine

Another review reveals; "Nose of Asian spice, kiwi fruit, limestone, lemon zest, and pear. Good intensity and a complex set of flavors create an expressive, vibrant bouquet. The palate opens with a burst of lively acid that gives way to a balanced mid-palate of ruby grapefruit, tangerine, limestone, and peppery spice. Great flavor integration that will only get better with time had me thinking this wine will last 5-7 years." Beaus Barrel Room Blog

Wine blogger turned winemaker William Allen felt "so strongly about a movement back to wines of balance, elegance, and modest alcohol," he writes on his blog in the fall of 2011, "that after several years of pontification I...put my money (all of it) where my mouth is and started a new micro label (<300 cases) called Two Shepherds."

Not sure how long it is going to last, but we have been pouring it by the glass. It will be exciting to see what the next harvest brings Two Shepherds.

Grenache blanc is a variety of white wine grape that is related to the red grape Grenache. It is mostly found in Rhône wine blends and in northeast Spain. Its wines are characterized by high alcohol and low acidity, with citrus and or herbaceous notes. Its vigor can lead to overproduction and flabbiness. However, if yields are controlled, it can contribute flavor and length to blends, particularly with Roussanne. Since the 1980s, it has been the fifth most widely planted white wine grape in France after Ugni blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon blanc.

Grenache blanc responds best to low fermentation temperatures which produces a fresh, dill scented wine in its youth. The grape is fairly flexible in winemaking and can be exposed to malolactic fermentation, extended skin maceration, lees stirring as well as oak aging.(wiki)

In Santa Ynez; the Saarloos Vineyard painted by artist Richard Rice.