Austin Hope Winery 2009 Grenache, Hope Family Vineyard - 2 Pack
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PRODUCT: 2 Austin Hope Winery 2009 Grenache, Hope Family Vineyard
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On tuesday I got the email that told me of my pending golden ticket. Wednesday it arrived, a 2009 Austin Hope Grenache. I quickly tried to line up a co-taster and made plans for one of my best wine-drinking friends to come over and drink it with me tonight (Thursday). I’m a fan of Paso Robles wines; the only wine club of which I’m a member is in Paso (Tobin James, if you’re curious), and am familiar with and enjoy the jammy style that is common for the region.
I got home from work an threw together a quick meal of black pepper pork loin (Trader Joe’s ftw), sauteed squash and some balsamic figs, prosciutto and goat cheese. We opened the wine and gave it a go. A bit thin straight out of the bottle, not much body, but also pleasantly surprised that it was pretty restrained and didn’t hit you over the head with alcohol (15.5%!) or fruit. This was a nice change from the usual Paso wine, perhaps a bit more old world than you’d expect from California. At this point, we both agreed that we tasted a bit of black pepper, and I got a hint of plum or something.
Now we paired it with the food and it went great with the pork, but seemed to get a bit lost with the figs. Poured a bit more, this time through a Venturi. It definitely seemed to open up a bit, with flavors of stonefruit and a bit of dark chocolate coming through. As the bottle, and evening, wore on, more flavor and character really started to come through. Thsi wine definitely will ebenfit from some time and/or decanting. We both commented on the medium tannins – they were there, but didn’t leave you pickering. When we started talking finish, the words that were discussed were “gasoline”, but not in a bad way, “acid” and “bluberry”.
We readily drank the bottle and enjoyed it, and is a must but for the woot price, but a bit of a harder sell for the from-the-winery price. It could be described as a great first date wine – it’s a good, solid wine, won’t offend anyone, but might not be the highlight of the evening. If you do order, it needs some air, but definitely has decent QPR at this price.
Perfect! And right on time :}
Austin Hope 2009 Grenache
I was so excited to finally get to be a lab rat after a couple of years on wine.woot! I got the email, but then missed the FedEx guy and had to go pick it up, but I knew I had to fulfil my duty to my fellow wooters who have given me so many great reviews, so I trekked over to the depot and grabbed it.
We drink quite a lot of red, but rarely Grenache, so this was interesting. Our normal fare is mostly Californian or new world Zin, Pinot, Malbec, Cab and lots of interesting blends. We are particular fans of Paso Robles Rhone style blends. Anyway, onto the wine.
We opened it up at 5:50pm, the excitement being too high to wait until six. Poured a couple of glasses and took a look. The color is light, a gentle cherry red with a little brick to it. Swirling the glass shows tears forming almost straight away. Putting aside thoughts on how sad this wine must be, I decided the high alcohol content (15.5%) is showing up here.
Next the nose: it has leather and dark fruit, maybe plum. First taste is similar, dark sour cherries, and a lot of tannin. Long, long after-taste with almost a lemon tartness to it. I think it needs a little air. My wife thought there was cherry on the nose, and pepper in the mouth. We agree that it is delightful, and has an ‘expensive wine’ depth to it. I think that is coming from the length of the after-taste. Our 14-year old daughter checked out the nose (sadly for her, she is still 7 years from tasting it!) and got sour fruit too.
Twenty minutes in the glass and it is definitely softening. I am quite sure this wine needs more bottle age to really shine. Given the extra time the tannins have dropped back and the peppery fruit is coming through.
An hour in, and it has softened further, though it still tastes young and full of tannins. My dearly beloved says that it is significantly softer, and is now giving her a big cherry taste. I am tasting unripe tart strawberry. Over a dinner of a spicy pork risotto it cut through nicely, the tannins now working to great effect to keep the wine enjoyable over a quite strongly flavored meal. Mmmm.
I think this will be greater with a little aging. Grenache is normally a blending wine and I can taste why – it is a little one dimensional – but very enjoyable. Buy some, and then force yourself to hold off drinking it for a while, it will be worth the wait. I plan to buy some and give it a couple of years.
I hope this is helpful for you, it is my first wine review ever.
Austin truly makes some great wines - including the Treana wines as well. I had the pleasure of meeting him nearly a decade ago when I was a Masters student at UC Davis. Austin was kind enough to donate bottles of his syrah for my Masters thesis . . . and I must say this his syrah was one of my favorites out of nearly 200 different wines . . .
Will have to try myelf . . . but suffice to say you should purchase with confidence!
Though it’s a little pricey for a cooking wine, the zestyness of this wine makes some of the tastiest and richest marinara sauce you’ll ever come across. Upside being that cooking with it gets you a lot more mileage per bottle.
Another great report!
Two prompt labrats, love it.
Austin Hope = AUTOBUY
There were only 5 sets of these?!