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2022 The Grenachista Carbonic Grenache Blanc

2022 The Grenachista Carbonic Grenache Blanc

Grape: Grenache Blanc

Region: Sonoma Valley < CA

Vineyard/cellar stats: Organic farming, full carbonic maceration in tank for 10 days, then drained and pressed directly into neutral French oak barrels before resting on the lees for three month; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added SO2; 13% ABV; 65 cases

Winemaker: Casey Graybehl

After years of following his work on the 'gram, we were stoked to finally taste the Cali-natty wines from Casey Graybehl,  a self-proclaimed "Grenache Gorilla" who fell in love with Rhone wines early on.  The Bay Area native, who grew up in a wine-loving household, started working for Santa Ynez valley wineries while getting his degree in fruit science from Cal Poly SLO. He then spent eight years working for Cakebread in Napa before landing his current gig running Obsidian Ridge Wine Company in Sonoma.   Here, the owners allowed Casey full access to the facility to work on his own side project, so in 2013 The Grenachista was born to focus entirely on Grenache-based wines. Ten years later, Casey is still a one-man show making less than 500 cases TOTAL every year.  

This vibrant carbonic Grenache Blanc hails from Casey's estate vineyard, adorably named Kitty Face by his then 4-year old daughter.  Casey explains: "The Grenache Blanc grapes for this wine were picked on the morning of October 4th, 2022 from our estate vineyard, Kitty Face, here in the idyllic Sonoma Valley. I brought them into the winery and placed them into a small closed top tank without destemming. With the idea of doing a full carbonic fermentation, inert gas was then used to fill the headspace of the tank and the tank was sealed. I added nothing and walked away from the lot. Leaving it completely unmolested for 10 days. Very unusual for a white wine but something I’ve been thinking about trying for a few years now. I drained and pressed the grapes directly into neutral French oak barrels. The juice was still quite sweet at that point but the aromas and flavor profile were absolutely amazing! The wine finished its primary fermentation in barrels within a few weeks and the wine was then placed in the barrel room and allowed to rest on its lees for three months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered on December 2nd 2022.  It ended up with wonderful notes of sweet dessert pears and granny smith apple with notes of honey and blood orange rind. Full in the mouth with beautiful tannin and acid that make this unique wine really pop. Not until the very end do you get notes of the carbonic fermentation, banana and bubblegum finally express themselves."

Yum!  You know carbonic wines, but you probably don't see a ton of carbonic whites.  But the carbo treatment makes such an interesting white.   Textured and nicely round, with a fuzzy peach quality, blood oranges, tropical fruit, poached pears and white flowers, coming full circle with bitter citrus pith on the finish.
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