“From vines planted in 1910, this wine impresses on multiple levels. Aromas of dark berry, strawberry, dried thyme and turned soil are both rustic and refined. The palate is framed by fresh acidity and a delightful rocky minerality, which give depth to the cranberry, raspberry and herbal flavors.” 94 points, #25/Top 100 “Editors’ Choice” Wine Enthusiast (MK) (11/2020) Scroll down for pdf. reference.
“Deep, brilliant red. Vibrant raspberry and floral scents are complicated by suggestions of baking spices and succulent herbs. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering open-knit red berry, cherry and spice cake flavors and a subtle lavender nuance. Fine-grained tannins lend shape to a long, smooth finish that leaves juicy red fruit and white pepper notes behind.” – 92 points Vinous (JR) (10/2020)
This old bush vine Grenache vineyard was planted on its own root stock in 1910. The old vines are dry farmed on the well drained, sandy loam and granitic soils near Uvus creek in the windy Hecker Pass area of Gilroy in the Santa Clara Valley. The vineyard was the original source for many of Randall Graham’s Bonny Doon “Cigar Volant” and “Clos du Gilroy”. David Bruce and Ian Brand have made very successful wines from this vineyard site too! Very refined and pure Grenache, not over ripened, so there is true transparency and restraint. Quite literally “strawberry fields forever”! 13.5% alcohol.
“Besson’s old Grenache vineyard near Gilroy is one of the two or three best sites with which we work. It could be nothing but Grenache, yet tastes like no other Grenache. While the wines ultimately revert to their highly refined center of gravity as they resolve some time 4 or 5 years after bottling – an elegant composition of tertiary spices, fruit liqueur and alpine botanical extracts – Besson Grenache generally comes out of the gate dominated by one of those elements. The 2018 falls squarely in the liqueur corner, the effect of the rested fraction of the grapes being at least temporarily buried beneath the considerable cherriosity. This vintage is quite reminiscent of the 2014, one of our favorite vintages, at the same stage of development. Continuing our practice begun in 2012, a small percentage of the grapes are rested post-harvest in small picking boxes for roughly 10 days prior to destemming and recombination. That fraction, lovingly called the skonkwerks, undergoes a 6-week fermentation/maceration on it skins. The skonkwerks fraction becomes significantly more tannic and botanical than the main lot, and is the source for the very small Hommage bottling one or two of you may have encountered. It is here the Ninja tannins are born, the alpine/aromatized quality amplified, and the essential marker of the great Besson Vineyard crystalized.” – Winery notes.