86% Bates Ranch, 14% Camel Hill Vineyard
Michael’s enduring affection for Rhône wines has led him to experiment with Grenache since the earliest days of the Martella wine label. His vineyard sources for this wine have migrated from the warmth of Amador County to the cool Santa Cruz Mountains.
Michael has made Santa Cruz Mountains Grenache before, but this is the first time he has used grapes from the Bates Ranch, a vineyard at the southern end of the mountain range, definitely a cool-climate location. (Michael’s Grenache Rosé comes from this vineyard.) Consequently, it is a more delicate, elegant wine than his hefty Grenache from the warmth of Amador County.
The 2015 Grenache is an aromatic wine, fragrant and floral, with violets and raspberry scents. In the mouth it has muted sweet fruit flavors of plum and black cherry. Aged in 60-gallon neutral French oak barrels for ten months, this is a well-structured wine with good tannins that harmonize with its round, silky texture. Spring is a good time of year to cellar your heavy reds and turn to Michael’s Grenache, an approachable, good-natured red wine that should be a summer favorite at dinners on the patio. Grilled pork tenderloin or lamb kebabs sound good.
As always with red wines, we recommend that you aerate the Grenache to help marry its fruit with its tannins.