Tuesday, July 5, 2011
A Wine Experience
I had this on Saturday night at 3rd Corner in Ocean Beach. 2008 A Tribute to Grace from Santa Barbara. 100% grenache. Made by a Kiwi, Angela Osborne, who came to this country in 2006 with the desire to make grenache. She says the name comes from two things, her grandmother Grace and her best attribute.
Really, really, really fucking good wine. It looked like cloudy strawberry juice. Maybe it was the lowered lighting, the laughter among friends, or the anticipation of tasting a wine I had heard so much about. I looked into my wine glass and contemplated a Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard grenache.
I smelled summertime, and rocks. Sandy soil, love, ambition, determination, all with a sense of grace. Miss Osborne is onto something with the name, isn't she? Strawberry, spice, hot orange peel, and wet stone smell like heaven.
Tasting the 2008 A Tribute to Grace connected me to a vineyard in a remote place. I've never been to the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, it's 33 miles east of Santa Barbara itself, why would I ever visit such a place? Yet with each sip, I felt like I was there strolling among the rows of grenache as they ripened in the stifling heat of summer's passion.
At once smooth and spicy, fruit and acid, not diametrically opposing concepts, but numerous pathways for this wine to travel along my palate. Subtle warmth from the oak caressed little bits of sour cherry and grape stems, another sip brought a rush of tiny wild strawberries and soaking wet gravel. What have I gotten myself into, I thought?
Really, really, really fucking good wine.