Winery: Kenneth-Crawford Wines
Bottling: 2005 Larner Vineyard Grenache (86% grenache & 14% syrah)
Sub-Region: Santa Ynez Valley
Estimated Retail Price: $32
Purchase Details & Tasting Source: Bought for ourselves through our store when it was still alive.
Tasting Notes: I’m just going to start out by saying that I loved this wine. We had this vintage about a year and a half ago and while it was not bad, it wasn’t that great either. You could sense that it was a good wine, but just wasn’t ready to drink yet. I remember the wine as being disjointed and discombobulated if that makes any sense. This evening’s experience was a complete 180 degree turnaround.
Sweet wild berries, cherries and spice dominate the nose. In the mouth were tons of lip smacking, dark cherry liqueur flavor. The wine was hyper-dense, super-intense and ultra smooth. Very seamless from beginning to end with a lasting finish. The wine carried a monstrous 15.5% alcohol level, but hid it so well I was impressed. An interesting thing about the flavor of the wine is it tasted of fruits with high notes, but without the tartness. Cool stuff.
Great purity of fruit. Good job on the farming and the winemaking. One last thing, the wine sees no new oak.
Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: This wine was fantastic with the tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet) and the accompanying sauce on the table. Also on the table was a plate of assorted tempura, a garlic chicken stir fry and an ahi tataki. The wine went surprisingly well with everything.
If you haven’t tried grenache from the central coast of California, you’re missing out. Some of the most delicious versions are being made down there. When you’re looking for red wines to pair with Asian cuisine and pinot noir is too light for you, look no further than grenache like this Kenneth Crawford. The fruit levels and intensity are kicked up with grenache from this area, but with this particular bottle, there’s still a refreshing acidity present to make it a more food-friendly pairing wine.
Winery & Other Background Information: The Kenneth-Crawford Winery is without a doubt a small, artisan operation. They focus on unique vineyard sites in the central coast of California and only craft reds such as this bottling, syrahs and pinot noir. I’ve tried all of their wines and you can tell these guys are making wines with love and passion. They’re doing a great job and you should seriously seek their wines out.