Starting with the Grenache release, the 2012 Grenache Stein is a blend of 76% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre, aged in 14% new French oak (15% was in concrete), that comes mostly from the estate`s Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, but also includes grapes from the Cumulus, Third Twin (Syrah) and Bien Nacido vineyards. Checking in at 15.7% alcohol, it`s no lightweight, yet it has considerable elegance in its sweet blackcurrants, white pepper, licorice, baking spices and hints of violet-like aromas and flavors. Possessing the hallmark purity of the estate, it`s full-bodied, concentrated, rich and textured, with sweet tannin barely noticeable on the finish. I don`t think it`s one of the greatest Grenaches from the estate, yet it`s still an incredible effort that will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 15-20 years or more of overall longevity.
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