Made from Mendocino County’s Renowned Eaglepoint Ranch Vineyard, Carica 2011 Grenache has a deep garnet hue, clear red fruit flavors, with a sinewy and well-structured character.
Carica Wines has just released its newest vintage of red Grenache. Carica’s 2011 Grenache was produced from grapes harvested at Mendocino’s famed Eaglepoint Ranch vineyard. The vineyard, sited at 1800 feet above sea level, looks out over the Ukiah valley, some 120 miles north of the San Francisco Bay Area. This elevation means that the vines flourish in the warmth from the inland valley, moderated by cooler evening and early morning temperatures. These conditions, and the vineyard’s rugged slopes, mean that the vines have a longer growing season for deep flavor development. The challenging 2011 growing season, with two late-season rain storms in Mendocino, meant high drama in the premium winemaking community, and delight when the 2011 vintage reached the bottle.
Asked to describe this wine, Carica winemaker Charlie Dollbaum observed, “The 2011 Grenache has the red cherry fruit flavor that typifies a medium-bodied red Grenache, plus notes of grapefruite and a burst of pepper and spice. What distinguishes Carica’s new release is a sinewy, sophisticated character that makes me think of old world red table wines—the kind that drink superbly alongside the best meals.”
Carica 2011 Grenache was hand-harvested in mid-October, 2011, then fermented to dryness in open-topped vessels. The wine was aged in neutral French and American oak barrels for 19 months, then bottled unfiltered and unfined.
The wine is for sale for $30 per bottle and $324 per case of 12. Carica 2011 Grenache can be purchased directly from the winery. (Visit the Carica Wines website, www.CaricaWines.com, then click on the “Purchase” tab.) Carica wines are also available for purchase at select wine shops in San Francisco, Mill Valley, and Menlo Park, California.
When he is asked about food matches for Carica 2011 Grenache, Dollbaum suggests oven-baked potato wedges dusted with smoked paprika, a charcuterie plate, chicken Marbella, and polenta with mushrooms. He admits that his recommendations are broad ranging, because red Grenache has historical roots in both Spain and France.
Since its founding in 2005, Carica Wines has stayed true to its vision, producing wines of extraordinary character from small lots of premium grapes. In addition to its proprietary Rhône-style red blend, Carica makes single-vineyard Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, and Sauvignon Blanc. The winery is located in an urban winemaking space in the San Francisco Bay Area, close to Northern California’s premium winegrape growing regions. The winery’s name and the fig leaf on the Carica label are inspired by the rugged fig trees (Ficus carica) that still flourish on the hillsides of Northern California vineyards. Together, the grapevine and fig tree have traditionally symbolized a life of peace and prosperity.