WineSmith Grenache (3)

WineSmith Grenache 3-Pack
Sold by: Winston Winery
$64.99 $138.00 53% off List Price
2014 WineSmith Grenache, Santa Cruz Mountains, Bates Ranch


Lucky to have my second rat bottle! I got the golden email and was really looking forward to this bottle. Popped a 2010 WineSmith Cab last weekend to the delight of our dinner guests so another Clark bottle sounded amazing.

Back to the bottle at hand. 2014 Grenache. Received on thursday, put in the wine fridge and P&P this evening.

Color was a surprisingly pale ruby. Super clear, no sediment. I’m not super versed in Grenache, so maybe this is normal to be so light?

Aroma was delicate on pop-and-pour. After being open for an hour it gained a little more nose revolving around candied cherries, dark red fruits. Almost caramel.

Taste! Now it gets interesting. Dry and light with excellent acidity. We paired with harissa chicken and it was fantastic. The acids played great with the bitter/spicy of the food. It would be a little acidic on its own, so best paired with something that needs a bright wine.

This is another great Clark Smith wine. I have been put under orders to not order wine under any circumstances – that resolve started to fade after a few sips. As my wife doesn’t know pricing of wines on woot i asked how much retail on this should be “$40” how much should we pay? “$28”. So at less than $23, it’s a steal.

Bottom line : it’s a superb light-style red that works great with food.

(probably in for one? i’m still working on that)


2014 Grenache Santa Cruz

Color Garnet red, bright

Hay, moss, mushroom, earthy, raspberry, cherry, some black pepper

Taste moderate tannins, cherry, dill,

Best paired with food. On its own it tasted a bit like sour cherries and not as enjoyable according to one of my co-tasters. I agree. Not a sipping wine but an incredible food wine!

Overall: Needs food. Wife finds a vinegary finish and annoyed by it. Doesn’t want to taste that at end. MY colleague liked it but a different wine with or without food. Like Jekyl and Hyde. Preferred it with food. This is classic Winesmith. Lots going on and old world in style. Really enjoyed it.

Winery price:
Colleague 25
Wife 28-32
Me 30

Woot deal:
$20 delivered a great price

How long do these last?

Until they’re gone. :tongue:

Grenache is perhaps a new grape for many of you. It’s the backbone of Rhone wines, and Randall Grahm and I consider it the quintessential California grape. His Popelouchum experiment involves planting 10,000 Grenache seedlings and selecting their seedlings. Crazy dedication to an original wine of terroir.

Like Randall, I have long felt the
Santa Cruz Mountains to be the best place in California to grow wines of distinctive terroir expression.

I’ve always wanted to make wine from SCM. There is, in my view, no other region in California that compares to the Santa Cruz Mountains for producing wines of distinctive terroir expression. Something about its mountain soils and mix of sandstone and greenstone, plus the lush surrounding herbs that encircle its tiny vineyards and impart their own distinctive “air-oir” gives each vineyard a unique stamp. The area is moderated by heavy Pacific influence but also lifted above the fog so that it enjoys plenty of cool direct sunlight, the perfect recipe for the grape to express itself.

Because of this, most of the region is best suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, of which there are many stunning examples. The Bates Ranch is located in the sheltered Corralitos region just south of Ridge Vineyards, and is famous for their Cabernet Sauvignon, while their Grenache, less well known, is also quite wonderful.

Although Grenache is the “paint” of Chateauneuf du Pape the way we use Petit Verdot in California Meritage, in California we do not get a big and muscled, highly colored wine here. The difference is something of a mystery. We used to think it was clone differences and wineries going for big yields, thus overcropping for Gallo’s Grenache Rose programs., but all those theories turn out to be debunked.

Welcome to my world. On this planet, Grenache is not a big bruiser, but it is something more worthy attention than in France, capable here of great soulfoulness.

The nose is instantly alluring. One expects from your basic Grenache a simple strawberry aroma, but here we have in support of its bright fruitiness an intriguing collection of melon, droughty “garrigue” herbs, saddle leather and Asian spice. The mouth is medium-bodied with fine tannins and energetic minerality

As a result, the wine is more complex and intriguing than a simple picnic wine, but is certainly suitable for an outing in some summer meadow with a basket full of chicken and three-bean salad with sun-dried tomatoes. Its tannins have no edge at all, so I wouldn’t serve it with a steak, but it loves game, from venison to quail and is magic with my Swedish meatballs, doused in a morel / porcini cream sauce with a dash of Marsala. The wine is more complex and intriguing than a simple picnic wine, but is certainly suitable for an outing in some summer meadow. It loves game, from venison to quail, stinky cheeses, and wild mushrooms.

At Winesmith online you can find its twin sister, a Sparkling Grenache also poured at our wedding and available in very limited quantities only from the winery.


2014 wineSmith Grenache, Santa Cruz Mountains, Bates Ranch

TLDR: another fine bottle from Clark. Versatile and food friendly that won’t disappoint.
Classic style and true to varietal, great aromatics of strawberry and sour cherry with some additional spices. Palate clearing acidity with some twitchy minerality that adds interest and a refreshingly low AbV of 12.9% that should be good for years.

While I purchased futures of this, they are off in storage, untasted, but I was fortunate enough to receive on Friday a rat bottle to share.
Turned out to be a busy work day, so our “organized” tasting planned for ~ 16:30 or so, became a bit scattered over nearly six hours, and in this case, with the ladies at work, six of us total. Various levels of experience and preferences; from a newer addition claiming to like off-dry to medium sweet whites, to an experienced palate who quite enjoyed both the Roman Reserve and regular CF from Clark.

Wine poured initially at cool room temperature after a 4 hours slo-ox in bottle.

So, using Delong color varied from deep (?) to medium and pale, ruby to brick, not as in aged bricking, and most thought clear, while two of us detected some cloudiness likely due to shipping.

All agreed aromatic and youthful, some adding (light) cherry, red fruits and vanilla.

Most chose dry, with one off-dry and a medium sweet from from our newest taster. I think she perhaps she confuses sweet and fruits, time will tell. Medium body from all with smooth to fresh acidity from the more experienced. Minimal complementary and good balance from all with moderate to flavorful intensity. Comments (other than strawberry) of black cherry, cranberry, current and sun dried tomato. the most experienced noted light red fruits, thyme and cherry.

All chose a medium finish.

Some rather interesting conclusions.

Taster #1 (newest addition, sweeter whites) thought the style was more modern and thought it would pair well with filet and asparagus.

Taster #2 noted fruty, but dry, and liked this much better than the Roman. Thought it would do well with cheeses, bread and dipping oil/vinegar.

Taster #3 noted light with a rich, old world finish.

No comment from #4.

Taster #5, the experienced one, thought traditional style that would pair well with brie, red fruits and light pate.

Tonight I had the remaining 200ml or so with some Costco five cheese tortelloni with a homemade cherry tomato and herbs sauce, followed by some Vella Mezzo Secco cheese and olives. Good pairings all.

I look forward to finding my half case of futures, as this bottle went all to quickly.

Hi Clark, always good to see you on wine.woot. :slight_smile:

I do enjoy a nice Grenache and definitely prefer the lighter fruit-driven Grenaches vs. ones that are almost all spice from the entry through the finish.

Can’t wait to try this!

EDIT to add belated congrats on the nuptials! My girlfriend you met when you were in Ohio is now my wife and we served your Cab Franc as one of our wedding wines. Some guests were wooters so no surprise that it was one of the first wines gone.

I guess I’m the only one on cellartracker drinking these. If my notes there aren’t clear, I’m a fan of this wine. If it was a new vintage I’d be in for sure. We’ll see if molarchae wants to re-up on this one…

Ordered :slight_smile:


Living in SC, it is currently HOT! Is there a way to order and delay shipping?

Thanks in advance for your response!

In for 2. Looking forward to this - we love lighter reds. Clark, thank you for pairing with woot so consistently and delivering to New York. Can’t wait to try it.

I was thrilled to receive a bottle of 2014 WineSmith Grenache, Santa Cruz Mountains, Bates Ranch to rat/debate for the Wine.W00t masses. I composed my notes yesterday and have cut & pasted them here.

PnP at cellar temperature. Poured a sip for 3 tasters, all experienced.

Mostly clear medium-ruby color, I thought just a tad cloudy (surely from recent cross country shipping. One taster suggested “almost brick” color. To clarify, not “bricking” like an aged wine, just the color spectrum of bricks.

Initial nose doesn’t jump out of the glass. With some swirling all said cherries. One said “smells young”.

Initial taste: definitely fruity, again cherries. Poured through Venturi: more cherries, bing and sour, DH got very subtle hint of leather (I didn’t), I pick up some pomegranate, and a spice that I couldn’t quite pin down, we decided on black pepper. All agreed brisk acidity, well balanced, and medium bodied.

This wine is begging for food. We were having sous-vide ribeye for dinner, and the wine would not hold up. Got out some Beehive Promontory cheese. Oh yeah, now this is what I’m looking for. Both the wine and the cheese were improved when paired together. I’m thinking I’ll buy some just to have with cheese! DH said this would be a fantastic wine with turkey, so I’ll need to order enough for Thanksgiving.

Vacuvinned the other half for additional tasting tomorrow.

Guessing $35ish retail and $23ish Woot price. If I’m close, I’m in.

Seems you have the same shipping issue you had a while back…can’t ship to your state…oh well…

Woot does a good job with the heat, but if you want to wait, you’ll need to call the winery direct on Monday. Sandra works 10AM to 4PM Pacific time at 707-332-0056.

Amazon is pretty restricted where they can ship, but the winery can ship almost anywhere. Call Sandra Monday. She works 10AM to 4PM Pacific time at 707-332-0056.

We had a bottle of this Grenache from the April Woot deal that included a signed copy of Clarke’s book.

Brought it to our 26th anniversary dinner in June at Lento restaurant in Rochester. Can’t remember everything we ordered, but it included a cheese plate and a duck entrée. We really enjoy Grenache, and this wine instantly became a new favorite. Lots of subtle complexities and the beautiful texture we expect from all of Clarke’s wines. I remember loving my wife, the wine, and the food, in that order!

I resolved to get more, and planned to give Clarke a call at some point, so this offering is perfect! Thanks Clarke and Winedavid!


I, too, received a bottle of this and drank t alongside some Boursin-stuffed chicken breasts. Some great rattage already leave Amy job pretty easy.

I agree with almost every taster so far regarding bouquet, palate sensations, and flavors. While drinking this, I kept thinking about sangio. This wine has the body of a sangio, the same nice acidic backbone, and as I think everybody has said (?), cherries. I found the fruit to to be sweeter than what I traditionally associate with sangio. This was like ripe, dark red cherries instead of bright, sour ones. There was also something in the background. Lost said “dill” which I’m not entirely ready to jump on board with. But, I don’t think I have a better descriptor. I maybe would have said a hint of pickle juice.

I liked this wine less than a lot of the tasters, but I a) am not a fan of Grenache on its own and b) generally like bigger wines.

Very pure, very transparent wine. I can see why so many like this and I’m not surprised at all that klez!amd Ron, whose palates I know relatively well, enjoyed this so much. Nice wine, great woot participant (Clark), and a fair if not screaming value here.

Good morning and thank you for this opportunity to chime in.

As many had indicated, the color is light and clear. Aroma is floral and pleasant. Rested for 30 minutes, it had a taste of cherries and red fruits, but mostly cherries. Did some reading on Grenache (not familiar with this varietal), and was expecting more of strawberry. Actually, was glad that it was not such a fruit bomb. There was a lot more complexity and body. Super smooth and goes down well, with tiny hint of tannin. Agreed with everyone that this is a food wine - little bit of acidity.