Notes made without consulting my previous taste of this wine. Decanted 30 mins. ahead and sampled over the next hour. Very deep garnet with just a touch of brick. Nice but shy nose (note to self: Grenache in CA often has a shy nose) that shows plum and a bit of cranberry with black pepper and leather. Smooth on the palate, as a "consumer-friendly" level of acidity conduces to slurping, which means that acididy is not challenging or tart but rather friendly in a medium-bodied package. Finishes quickly with almost no tannins. This is a perfectly fine bottle of mid-week wine, delicious in some ways but not rising to the level of, well, what . . . ? Find this wine, buy it, enjoy it.
This wine told me something about the allegedly problematic 2011 vintage. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Light ruby color, rather like certain pinot noirs. Fragrant nose, with tobacco, earth, light floral, and cranberry tones. Bright and brisk on the palate, with oak and strawberry notes in a plummy but light to medium bodied texture. Finishes quickly with light grip and low tannins. Quite a difference from the 2010 Garnacha. This wine is lighter, racier, and seems less ambitious. It's not lower in quality, but it is less serious. I think this is Markus Bokish making the best of a difficult situation. I have a few more bottles of this; I will use it when I might also use a floral pinot.
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