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94 points- Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis
94 points- “Sommelier to the Stars” Christopher Sawyer, @sawyersommelier
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With a renewed sense of vigor for the New Year, the Outcasts decided to seek something a little more "Outcast" than usual with the new release of one of our favorite rhone varietals - Grenache! This historic grape of the Rhone valley, when done correctly, can yield incredibly focused and beautiful wines of such purity, that they are sure to please just about any crowd.
- Tasting Notes:The palate dances with excitement at the fresh and delicate dried herbs, secondary favors bring forth slight hints of ripe pomegranate and tart cherry pie with buttered pie crust. Mild baking spice and vanillin flavors from the seasoned oak complete the balance making this a really fun wine to enjoy now or over the Holiday's.
- Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
- Appellation: Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, California
- Varietal: Grenache
- Vintage: 2011
- Hailing from Oak Knoll, CA, one of the most world-renowned AVAs on planet earth, comes our 2011 Outcast Grenache. The colors of Grenache can tend to be a little lighter than most deep red wines (think pinot noir), but don't let the lively ruby color fool you into thinking that this wine doesn't pack a flavor punch. The nose has a sweet baked red fruit core enveloped by dried patchouli and wild cherry blossoms. Crushed strawberry and raspberry preserves enter the palate on the attack, and the mid palate and finish are remarkably pure and evolve in overlapping and fully integrated striations of flavor.
- Aged: 18 Months in 10% New French Oak
Ryan Hodgins Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Hodgins attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he often had conversations with his plant biology professor about winegrowing. Though he explored a few careers upon graduation, his interest in wine was piqued, and he soon relocated to California and enrolled in the Master’s program at U.C. Davis and graduated with a degree in Viticulture & Enology. As a means of researching the topic for his thesis – Pinot Noir tannins in the Willamette Valley – Hodgins got his first hands-on vineyard experience while working harvest at Witness Tree Vineyard in Salem, Oregon. Upon graduation in 2004, he spent a year gaining experience in other regions at wineries such as Acacia Vineyard in Napa, where he served as harvest enologist, and Krishna Valley Winery in India, where he served as visiting winemaker. In 2005, Hodgins returned to the United States and accepted a full-time position as assistant winemaker and viticulturist at Hanzell Vineyards, a role that helped hone his expertise in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Sonoma. While at Hanzell, Hodgins also worked as the founding consulting winemaker for Breggo Cellars in the Anderson Valley. Cliff Lede’s acquisition of Breggo Cellars (now FEL) in 2009 allowed Hodgins to become full-time winemaker.
- Braised Lamb Shank
94 Points,Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis, aka Grape Goddess: Showing all the charm of the Grenache grape, this has inviting notes of strawberry, dark cherry, blueberry, blackberry, juicy super-ripe watermelon, gala apple, sarsaparilla, sundried tomato, tomato leaf, moss, white pepper, sandalwood, sauna and cedar spice. It is full-bodied, round, full and richly flavored, like a bacon-wrapped plum, and has rich chewy tannins, soft cleansing acidity and a tart, refreshing dried cranberry finish.
94 Points,“Sommelier to the Stars” Christopher Sawyer, @sawyersommelier: Wondering what the newest trend is in Napa Valley? The answer is Grenache, one of the world's most versatile red grape varietals, which is currently being planted in the more moderate climate zones throughout the valley. One of the tasty new examples is the Outcast 2011 Grenache, a bright, fresh and expressive wine made with grapes grown in breezy Oak Knoll District between Napa and Yountville. On the nose, the wine features lovely nuances of ripe red fruits, caramel dipped red apple, cola, brioche, and savory spices. In the glass, the flavors expand with vibrant notes of ripe cherry, plum, pomegranate, cola, pink grapefruit peel, fresh herbs, and cardamom. For fun food pairings, try this wine with grilled veggies, pasta with sundries tomatoes, Ahi tuna burgers, fire-roasted salmon, baked chicken, and pork tenderloin.