This is a big, bold Grenache that offers lots of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with underlying notes of wet gravel, peppery herbs, licorice, and pepper. Full in body, seamless, elegant and multi-dimensional on the palate, with a weightless mouthfeel, its acidity is nicely integrated and it never puts a foot wrong. Given its balance and overall purity, it’s a killer drink today, but it will evolve beautifully.
Robert Parker 95 Points: “The 2020 Grenache Ora et Labora Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from 16-year-old vines farmed by Chris Hammell and was matured for 19 months in 20% new French oak. Pale ruby-purple, it’s shy to begin, unfolding to blackberry and raspberry, oolong tea leaves, mushrooms and forest floor—there’s a very pretty broodiness to this vintage. The medium-bodied palate offers concentrated, slowly blossoming fruit and earth accents. It has firm, dusty tannins, fireworks of fresh acidity and a very long, spicy finish. Only 89 cases were made.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: The Grenache Ora et Labora Bien Nacido Vineyard isn’t far off the Lumiere Larner Vineyard and certainly has a similar level of polish and elegance. However, there’s more minerality and marine-like influence. Black cherries, peppery herbs, crushed stone, and floral notes all show on the nose, and it’s medium to full-bodied, structured, and concentrated. Where the Larner is up-front and ready to go, this is going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age. It should still be drinking nicely at age 10 as well.
Paul Lato says: “This wine has a seductive nose of kirsch, potpourri, and white pepper with touches of garrigue and dried lavender. The palate is full-bodied, rich, and concentrated with notes of blackberry preserves and layers of spice. With a focused style and a structured backbone, this wine finishes with smooth flavors of cranberry and vanilla. Lay this bottle down for 2 to 3 years and it will truly shine.”