In Grenache, Angela Osborne Finds Grace

In Grenache, Angela Osborne Finds Grace

In Grenache, Angela Osborne Finds Grace

Preaching the gospel of California Grenache

I first met Angela Osborne many moons ago, while she was riding around on the back of a Vespa, preaching the gospel of California Grenache all around the city. She claimed that California Grenache could embody grace: the perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy. After tasting Chateau Rayas, the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer, she had fallen in love with the aromatic profile of Grenache — specifically when made with whole cluster inclusion. This allowed the more ethereal, floral aspects of the grapes to flourish.

I, however, was not convinced Grenache was capable of such elegance. Grenache can be a powerful grape and it's often planted in warm climates, like California, where it's often clunky, over-extracted, and banal. What won me over? Angela's energy and enthusiasm; along with a bottle of her 2011 Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard Grenache. This was years before I would go on to be a wine buyer, and Angela and her Grenache left an indelible mark on me. Over the ensuing years, she and I have struck up a great friendship, bonding over our love of Chateau Rayas and holistic winemaking. I can say with the utmost confidence that in her wines I find the closest thing you’ll get to Rayas outside of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Today, we are offering four different bottlings from my dearest Angela, showcasing her talent and range. One of them, the 2019 Hofer Vineyard Grenache, landed on our shelves a few weeks ago and sold quicker than expected, so we can only offer one bottle per customer on a first-come, first-serve basis. But don't despair: the rest are every bit as capable of converting the California Grenache skeptics as my first bottle of Angela's Grenache nearly a decade ago.

VIEW ALL TRIBUTE TO GRACE WINES

Originally from New Zealand, Angela moved to California in 2006 with a dream of making wine. After working harvests up and down the California coast, she settled down in Santa Barbara County, founding her winery in 2007, lovingly naming the project after her Grandmother, Grace. Today, Angela produces 13 different single-vineyard expressions of Grenache. All are from organic and Biodynamic vineyards ranging from Cucamonga Valley in the south to as far north as the Sierra Foothills. The wines are tied together with a line of refined earthen elegance, with an approach that is firmly rooted in working in accordance with the Biodynamic calendar.

In her own words, Angela wants her wines to transport you, to help slow the outside world down. In my words, they are delicate, with an old-world approach, favoring finesse over power. And, as the name would suggest —truly graceful.

Cheers,
Kirk

kirk@vwm.wine

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A Tribute To Grace "Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard" Rosé 2020

$28.00

Produced with fruit from the Santa Barbara Highlands vineyard, the site Angela has been working with since Day One at Grace. A high-desert vineyard, located about 30 miles inland from Santa Barbara at 3200 feet of elevation, the site is perfect for ripening Grenache due to its diurnal shift (hot days and cold nights). The grapes were picked Sep. 2nd & 3rd 2020 while the moon was in Aquarius & Pisces - Angela always makes sure to take note of the moon phases during harvest. Fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the immaculate freshness. Angela makes one of my favorite rose’s every year. She always manages to create a wonderfully balanced wine, packed with zesty orange peel, honeydew melon and delicate floral aromas and flavors. The finish here is long and salty, with a negroni-like bitterness. I love this wine.

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A Tribute To Grace "Hofer Vineyard" Grenache 2019

$33.00 *One bottle max per customer*

Southern California's Cucamonga Valley, a somewhat forgotten viticultural area, has some of the oldest vineyards in the state, including Hofer Vineyard, where Angela sources fruit from extremely tall, 100-year-old head trained vines. The vineyard is surrounded by ancient pink peppercorn and eucalyptus trees, and has never seen any chemicals. I was fortunate to taste the 2014, Angela's first vintage from this vineyard, a few years back and went on to purchase the majority of the cases that came to New York for the restaurant group I worked for in subsequent vintages. Hofer is different from any of the other single-vineyard wines that Angela makes, in that it is bottled and released younger than any of its siblings. It also tends to be the lightest in color. A bright, gregarious nose of cranberry and eucalyptus is met by abundant freshness, rose water, grapefruit zest, and juicy strawberry, with a menthol finish. Great with a chill.

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Image of A Tribute To Grace Grenache Santa Barbara County 2018
A Tribute To Grace Grenache Santa Barbara County 2018

$33.00

The Santa Barbara County bottling is Angela’s answer to Rayas’ Fonsalette, intended to be drunk while the single-vineyard wines come of age. This iteration is a blend of four organically farmed vineyards, all fruit was destemmed, foot-trodden and raised in neutral oak for 11 months, and bottled under a new moon. A great introduction to the Grace style - ruby red in color, with crushed berry and cedar on the nose, almost Pinot-esque. Light on its feet, medium-bodied with rainier cherry, blood orange, dried mint and baking spices, backed by refined tannin.

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A Tribute To Grace "Besson Vineyard" Grenache 2018

$55.00

Over the years, Besson Vineyard has become my favorite of Angela’s lineup. The vineyard is located in Santa Clara County, just outside of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Planted in 1910, these are the oldest vines Angela works with, and are head-trained, dry-farmed and organic. This wine represents her highest percentage of whole cluster in any Besson vintage to date: 83%. Harvested under a Sagittarius moon (September 27, 2018), she bottled it exactly one year later. This wine is the definition of elegance. A beautiful, translucent crimson in the glass, with a subtle nose of soft violets, strawberry, orange peel and sandalwood. Full of energy, yet nimble, presenting tart berry fruit, a touch of licorice and peppery spice. Drinking beautifully now, but will age, well, gracefully.

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