2017 Subject to Change Coastview Vineyard Grenache
Region: Santa Cruz Mountains < CA
Vineyard/cellar stats: Organic, zero-input farming; 75% whole cluster, fermented in open top bins; cap manipulation was a combination of pigeage and pump overs for a total of 65 days on the skins; elevage in neutral french oak for 10 months; bottled unfined, unfiltered and untouched; no sulfur is harmed in the making of this wine (zero-zero); 134 cases; 13.8% ABV
Winemaker: Alex Pomerantz
Subject to Change, a project from our friend Alex Pomerantz, is relatively new on the natty Cali wine scene. We love his commitment to using only organic or biodynamic fruit (something not all “natural” winemakers insist on) and eschewing all additives, including added sulfites, in the wines. For him, it’s all about the pristine quality of the fruit, which comes from the legendary Coastview Vineyard, farmed by Father-Son duo John and Parker Allen, 2400 feet up the Santa Cruz mountains, with a view clear out to the Monterey Bay. John and Parker farm with only a small crew and a herd of 900 sheep (instead of mowers and herbicide).
Grenache is best known for sexy/polished/BIG wines in Spain and parts of the new world (where it's often made in the same style), as well as the lead grape in the lauded Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In a nod to CdP, this section of this high-elevation, coastal vineyard is terraced with huge granite/limestone boulders that hold the heat from the day well into the night. Perhaps this dichotomy explains why the wine has something for everybody -- dense red fruit and spicy intrigue to satisfy the desire for a red wine to sink one’s teeth into, yet offers high-toned fruit that somehow feels lifted and light, fresh and extremely drinkable, for those in the chillable red camp. Here’s what Alex says, “I think this Grenache is great because it really shows how VA can lift a wine. Though it registers an ABV of almost 14%, the wine dances much lighter than that, and is easy to knock back --it even takes a slight chill really nicely. I love how the savory elements evolve as the wine is open from a bitter mustard/horseradish note to sweeter cinnamon and baking spice.”