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The 2018 Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard comes all from the estate vineyard located on the eastern side of the Sta. Rita Hills and is even more Grenache-dominated, checking in at close to 84% Grenache with 9% Syrah, 6% Petite Sirah, and the rest Viognier. Aged a whopping 38 months in 52% new barrels, it has an insane bouquet of black raspberries, herbes de Provence, violets, mulled cherries, sandalwood, and new leather. As complex and nuanced as they come, this full-bodied beauty has awesome purity of fruit, a layered, balanced mouthfeel, sweet, fine-grained tannins, and a great, great finish. It's one of those wines that makes you run out of adjectives. One of the finest examples of Grenache to pass my lips, give it 2-3 years and enjoy over the following two decades.
The 2018 Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard is a barrel selection and is composed of 83.7% Grenache, 9.1% Syrah, 6% Petite Sirah and 1.2% Viognier. It was fermented with 45% whole clusters and matured for about 38 months in 52% new French oak barrels and demi-muids. It has a deep ruby-purple color and slowly opening scents of Morello cherries, coffee beans, licorice, thyme, tea leaves and forest floor. The full-bodied palate is powerful yet energetic, offering bursts of juicy acidity and grainy tannins to counter its concentrated fruits. After spending some time in the glass, the long finish blossoms to a kaleidoscope of spicy, floral accents, suggesting this may require more bottle time than some of the other wines in this lineup before reaching its peak.
The 2018 Grenache Eleven Confessions Vineyard has tightened considerably since it was bottled. That's probably a good thing for the long-term, but today, the 2018 doesn't show the opulence and richness that is such a signature of this wine. Perhaps the 45 whole clusters are contributing to that. Readers will have to be especially patient.
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