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Grenache is a wine that works great with many foods. It is really making a come-back in California as it can be a very versatile wine that will go with foods that you may not normally drink wine with, such as Indian, Mexican or Asian food. Grenache has the pizzazz to work with such exotic, and spicy, food selections. This is a relatively new source of Grenache for us, the Hook Vineyard, part of Smith & Hook Estates in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County is Pinot Noir country, so it has to be cooler, and when you put Grenache in this climate you get bright fruit along with some zippy spicy elements. We feel that Rhone varieties pushed into cooler growing regions of California tend to produce wines that are much more like their Old-World counterparts than the average California style expression. This is classic Old-World style Grenache, with raspberries and white pepper aromas. This dance of fruit and spices continues through the taste and long into the finish. It has a medium structure that will stand up to heartier foods, yet there is a brightness and tartness that allows it to fit with less hearty fare as well.
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