2015 The Third Man Grenache
If you read our social media posts, we love giving insight into not only what’s happening at Gramercy, but also what’s happening around the wine world. As we travel to various cities, especially in the United States, we keep hearing people saying “I’m really getting into Rhône blends.” Remember this five years from now.
We are definitely into Rhône blends, especially Grenache based blends. We love Mourvèdre too, but shhh. Don’t let that secret out yet. Grenache blends are a winemaker’s dream, especially if you like to tinker with wines. If you are slightly obsessive compulsive, these wines are a nightmare for the winemaker. When we first started making Third Man – or is it the Third Man? I’m thinking about my disdain every time Tom or Padma say “See you at Chef’s Table.” Uh – you mean THE Chef’s table. When we first started making Third Man, it would take us the same amount of time to blend the Third Man as every other wine combined. To begin, we always start with the basics, established in France a long time ago – 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. What does the wine need? Black fruit and mid palate? Add Mourvèdre. Freshness? Add Syrah. A little something else? Carignan. We are not, however, wedded to this ratio. I can easily see a blend of 33% each Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Did I turn the sink off when I left the house today? I better go check.
With Grenache, we are always seeking red fruit. We want the overall feeling of the wine to be fresh and alive. That being said, Grenache has to be ripe. Riper than any other grape in our cellar. However, Grenache can easily display pink cotton candy and confectionary sugar flavors if it gets even a bit too ripe. These flavors develop extremely quickly, sometimes in twelve or so hours. When Olsen or Alder Ridge Grenache is approaching the harvest date, we go to the vineyard every day, sometimes twice a day. The goal is to push ripeness to the very last hour, before the Grenache carnival flavors arrive. If we miss, the vintage is lost. The flavors are set and can’t be covered up with other varieties.
The 2015 Third Man is 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% Carignan from Olsen, Alder Ridge, and Minick Vineyards. Alder Ridge Vineyard contributes power and structure. Olsen Vineyard varieties lend elegance and grace to the blend. A small bit of Minnick Syrah adds freshness. In 2014, the finished wine was 75% whole cluster. In 2015, we upped the stem percentage a bit to 85% whole cluster.
Tasting Notes: So, Grenache – cranberry, Bing cherry, bright, fresh, alive in the glass, primary fruit. Some white pepper, red flower, dense and elegant on the palate, fresh acidity, Provence herb, rock/mineral, black and blue fruit on palate. Maybe the most complete ever? Tannin!
Drinking Window: 2018 – 2028
Whole Cluster 85%
|BLEND:||75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvédre, 5% Carignan|
|VINEYARDS:||Olsen, Alder Ridge, MInick Vineyard|
|AGING:||22 months in 2-7 year old puncheons and 225L barrels. French.|