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San Diego County Grenache-Carignane, Los Pilares 2011


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A stunning second vintage of this 50% Grenache and 50% Carignane cuvee from fruit grown in meticulously farmed vineyards in the backcountry of San Diego County just east of Escondido. The area is ideal for growing these varieties, as it has the scrublands and Mediterranean climate that allow these grapes to produce intense, flavorful wines. 2011 produced delicate and fresh Grenache fruit that benefited from the earthy depth of the superb Carignane. Made as naturally as possible with little manipulation. The fruit was hand sorted. Vinification was whole-berry, native yeast fermentation. No additives were applied nor inoculation in the malolactic fermentation, just grapes. Aging was in tank, no wood. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. More elegant, higher acidity, and more polished than the previous 2010 vintage. Intense flavors that are bright and layered with delicious complexity. 13% alcohol. A revelation for San Diego County wine! Very limited availability. Just 120 cases produced.

"($25, 13%): Technically this could have fit in last week, but this young project from San Diego always has a Carignane-dominant aspect. The latest vintage is a bit less funky, but with lovely raspberry and blueberry fruit, and a subtle savory side: Mexican oregano, iris, apricot pit." Jon Bonne, San Francisco Chronicle