Tuesday, August 7, 2012

J. Brix Vin Gris and Grilled Shrimp, A Sensory Feast

I want to share a wonderful wine Becky and I had recently, and show some support for two of San Diego's best winemakers, Emily and Jody Towe of J. Brix Wines.

Sunday night, Becky grilled some shrimp, green peppers, and stuffed portobello. The fresh shrimp rested in a garlic-lime marinade for a few hours before meeting our grill. The portobellos were stuffed with cheese, spinach, and onion. Our green bell pepper was left by its lonesome self, but that is just fine.

Our wine was the 2011 J. Brix "Uncontainable" Vin Gris of Grenache, an unfined, unfiltered, non cold-stabilized, purpose-picked ode to the versatility of grenache. Emily told me that they chose to use "vin gris" instead of "rosé" because vin gris implies a purpose-made rosé wine, instead of one made by bleeding off red wine or blending red and white wine together. Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard produces some of California's best grenache, and you may recall seeing the name on Angela Osborne's stunning "A Tribute to Grace" grenache bottlings.

The vin gris had some facets of a red wine, with the interplay of tannin and acidity, creating a beautiful complex texture. It also had the lightness, that lifting, crisp mouthfeel of a great white wine. Flavors of orange peel, raspberry, green herb, and wet rocks played around on my palate, while the marinade used on the shrimp allowed the fruit flavors to emerge right in the middle of my tongue. All of this finished in a tart, lively finish that resulted in a near-constant grin on my face.

Becky knows that when I chatter incessantly about a wine, I truly love it. I fell in love with the J. Brix rosé vin gris, the marriage of complexity and charm. Blind, I could see people picking this as one of the great rosé wines of France.

Whether you call it a vin gris or rosé, the Uncontainable is a special wine. It begs to be shared with family and friends, to be explored, pondered, and above all, enjoyed. 

There are a few cases left but I recommend tweeting at Emily or Jody, or visiting the J. Brix website to make sure you don't miss out. They can be found on the J. Brix Facebook page as well, for more up to date information and sneak peeks on their future projects.

Beau Carufel


  1. Strange fact. I just had the 2013 version of this wine alongside grilled shrimp and pepper. And the 2013 is really good too.

    1. I regret missing out on the 2013, hopefully I'll be able to get some 2014.