Shatter Grenache is a very special wine, a culmination of chance combining very special old grape vines, a very special place in France, and two of California’s most innovative winemakers. The project started with Dave Phinney (Orin Swift) and his fascination with a little region in the Roussillon known as Maury. After spending some time in Maury, Phinney knew this was a special place unlike any other in the world. When Dave told longtime friend Joel Gott (Joel Gott Wines) about Maury, with its ancient vines struggling on rocky hillsides of schist, Joel had to see it for himself. For years, this area was known only for sweet, port-like wines. However, locals and newcomers were beginning to make exceptional dry wines. Joel went to Roussillon to meet up with Dave, who by then had built a winery in Maury. He was amazed by the incredibly concentrated fruit, capable of creating darker wines than anything else in France, and the terroir, which was unlike anything in France or California. Shatter is a truly unique wine which combines atypical soil and climate with ancient French vines and two of California’s brightest winemaking minds.
Shatter has aromas of toasted French oak and brioche mingle with fresh cut strawberry and candied cherries. The entry of the wine is rich and mouth coating offering a mlange of kirsch and dark stone fruits. The mid-palate brims with layered blackberry and savory essence of ripe pomegranate lending into a soft and lingering finish with just a touch of bright acidity.
“A collaboration between Napa’s Joel Gott and Dave Phinney, the semi-opaque 2012 Cotes Catalanes Grenache is a smoking blend of 100% Grenache that comes from the singular, black schist soils located around the village of Maury, in the Agly Valley in the Roussillon. Aged in French oak (a small part being new) and hitting 15.6% natural alcohol, this sexy, full-bodied, pedal-to-the-metal effort bears plenty of resemblance to the old-vine, 100% Grenache efforts coming from Chateauneuf du Pape. Kirsch liqueur, blackberry, toasted spice, garrigue and hints of vanilla bean all flow nicely to a seamless, silky, yet decadently styled red that has fine tannin, and a blockbuster, heady finish. It will certainly not appease those looking for lightweight aromas and flavors, but count me a fan. The oak is still present, so give it a year in bottle; it will drink nicely for another 5-6 years. “