Chapel Hill Grenache 2011 (McLaren Vale, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $35
I believe this has flipped over to the 2012 vintage now, so consider this little note a back vintage update (of sorts). The single takeaway point is that, despite the Grenache-unfriendly vintage (Grenache needs sun. In ’11 there was too much clouds and rain and not enough sun – to put it simply) is palatable.
It’s really quite dak actually, with enough red inky depth to suggest properly ripe grapes. in contrast, tt smells less ripe and more pretty, more fragrant and lively, if just a bit skinny, backed up by a palate that offers much of the same, with a dry and serious finish.
Ultimately you have to give it to Michael Fragos and the Chapel Hill team – this is good wine from a shit vintage. Probably not long, profound or deep enough to be great, but still a helluva lot of fragrant, lightish Grenache drinking joy.
Tasted: December 2013
Score: 16.8/20, 89/100
Would I buy it? Not quite. Not far off though.