McCrea Cellars Grenache 2005
So I’ve worked with a few McCrea Cellars bottlings over the past five years and Doug McCrea’s work continues to be among my favorite’s in the state of Washington. Doug McCrea is an interesting guy, having had a full career as a musician in both New Orleans, as well as, San Francisco, before settling in Seattle and making Rhone varietals.
Founded in 1988, McCrea Cellars was the first winery in Washington dedicated to Rhone varietals. At that point it’s been said you could buy Syrah grapes….from a guy, if you knew who to ask & you were nice about it.
Ok, I decided to circle back for yes, yet another Grenache (sorry….ok, not sorry) because this is one of the few that I could find with some bottle age.
We’ve talked about it some with wine club offerings at all of our club levels, but wine that’s stored correctly (pretty much the only organizations capable in the United States, are the wineries themselves….I’ve been to the warehouses of large retailers…..it isn’t the most pretty, or the most organized) takes on a set of qualities that aren’t entirely consistent with the initial offerings.
Take this Grenache as an example. When you open it, please give it an hour or so to open up. Like when you get off an airplane, the wine seems to need the chance to stretch its legs a little bit.
You’ll find it’s become almost dainty in its old age, much different than the almost 15% alcohol that is stated on the label. Yakima Valley in Washington State was the Pacific Northwest’s first AVA and continues to be a trailblazer in many ways. Not the least of which is the ability to try new things as the AVA has the most acres under vine in the Pacific Northwest, close to 20,000 acres in total.
To put that number in perspective, that’s about half of Napa Valley’s total and almost equal to Sonoma.
Lastly, a quick word on 2005 in the Yakima Valley. Patience was helpful in a vintage where a scorching hot summer led some vintners to pick early, only to see cold temperatures pervade September and October-allowing grapes to hang almost indefinitely. That’s part of the reason this wine is so darn dark in your glass, significantly darker than a Grenache from the same set of Yakima Valley vineyards might be during a different vintage.