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August 2014

Jean Pla Passion Grenache

Vintage: 2010

Jean Pla makes this Grenache in the French Catalan area of Maury where he grew up.  Maury is/was famous for producing dense, lush, desert wines.  In the past decade those sweet fortified wines have gone out of favor with the wine drinking public and many fantastic old vineyards were left with few buyers for their wines.  Jean saw an opportunity to snag some of those very high quality concentrated grapes and make a dense, juicy, Mediterranean Grenache table wine from them.  As vines age they produce fewer grapes, but the fruit is more concentrated.  The vines that produced the Passion Grenache vary in age between 40 and 90 years old.

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Aroma: Lots of fruit.  Mostly dark stewed fruit: cooked cherries and blueberries.  A bit brambley and woodsey too.  It smells dark, lush, and kind of....sleepy?  That's the best word I have for it.  It some how makes me think of a hot Mediterranean afternoon, so hot it's drowsey and everyone is taking a long lunch break.

Palate: The Passion Grenache is surprisingly smooth and lush textured.  Surprising because it's a big powerhouse of a wine with very deep, dark, dense cherry and blackberry fruit.  It's only just noticeably tannic and it comes across more as a chewy sensation than anything aggressive and dry.  There's a dark earthy savory taste on the finish that, to me, is similar to unsweetened chocolate as well as just the right amount of Grenache pepperiness.  

The Passion Grenache is about $13 and available at Rosemont on Brighton, Rosemont Commercial St, Higgin's Beach Market, Flock and Vine, Old Port Wine Merchant, and Vic and Whit's