Tasted during harvest 2023 with colleagues and collectors.. After 5 months in bottle, this wine is superb. Transcendent. LIght like saké, but still an intense, leathery, red wine. Like ethereal alpine nebbiolo.
It was a brutal year in the Maglite vineyard. The owner pruned less than half of the vineyard and never disclosed this to us. We discovered it after budbreak, when it was too late to go in and prune ourselves. We did put a team together and performed an emergency shoot and cluster thinning, but the damage had been done. This old vineyard, dating from about 1905, beset by years of drought, was now set back further by pushing too many shoots and trying to set too many clusters.
We monitored the vineyard closely during the growing season and made one more thinning pass. We began harvesting red fruit from the vineyard on August 9. The yields were cut more than in half by the drought and the lack of pruning. But the fruit was delicious and intense. It was super light in color and not recognizable as Grenache. No meatiness, but instead a delicate florality and black tea tannins. The resulting wine is just the same: light in color and more reminiscent of exotic tea, brewed for delicacy, than any warm climate red wine.