2014 was the third consecutive vintage of superlative fruit quality.
The year began under the drought conditions, but we received two very well timed and high volume rains in February and March that provided the vines with the hits of water that they needed to kick start the season. Bud-break was perhaps 10-14 days earlier than ‘normal’ but with a cool spring, the actual flowering was approximately a week earlier than ‘normal’. Crop load was good, like 2012 and 2013, so fruit thinning was essential to quality. Mountain vineyards were ok with one to two thinning passes, where the valley floor sites normally required two or more passes to get a more balanced load. When all the fruit was in, we all looked back on our third straight high quality vintage.
In its own valley, there is a vineyard east of Calistoga with a whole lot of history going back pre-prohibition. Rumors of moonshining during prohibition are in the record books, and the surviving old vines of Petite Sirah are infamous. Palisades Vineyard (formerly Carver Sutro) lies in its very own valley, completely isolated from the rest of Napa Valley. The grapes obviously like it there for they wouldn’t have survived as long as they have. Its new owners are fanatical (in all the right ways) about the farming of this historic site. There is only one block of Grenache in this vineyard. This wine is from that block. Our best Grenache to date.
The 2014 Grenache is the first release from TOR from the Palisades Vineyard in Calistoga. Like previous Grenache that we have made this was made from all de-stemmed fruit so no whole cluster inclusion. Also like previous vintages there is no new oak on this year’s wine (we have never liked the flavor of new oak on Grenache). Even though the winemaking was exactly the same as previous years this is by far the most intense and rich Grenache we have ever released. There is an extra level of intensity and concentration that the extremely shallow and poor soils at the Palisades Vineyard have given the wine. Though clearly identifiable as a Grenache from the ruby red color, spices and earth this is the most dense and age worthy Grenache yet released from TOR.
There is no mistaking the 2014 Grenache as anything other than what it is. The color is a classic dark ruby red. On the nose there are tons of candied, ripe red fruits along with damp earth, bright spices and roasted meats. On the palate you will find more red fruits, licorice and dark fruit liqueur. This is very simply the best Grenache we have yet released.