This bottle of wine has made a few trips around the sun.
I first tasted it a few years after its harvest out at the winery’s quaint tasting room overlooking the lower Ribbon Ridge hills. It was hot. Hot enough to want to sit inside for us native north-westerners. Air conditioning was rare, and welcomed.
As I tasted through their flight, this particular pour jumped out at me right away. Not many producers at the time made a single variety Grenache – this was maybe only my first or second time tasting it alone and not blended with another varietal for its beautiful color and body.
Similar to a Pinot Noir, my favorite at the time but with its own unique attributes, it just had to come home with me.
Since then, it has move three times, to two different states, in the five to six years. A steady, patient friend waiting for its night.
With notes of black cherry, toasted vanilla, and a light nutty finish, the 2013 Utopia Grencahe had tamed the bright flavors of its youth and settled into a seductive and smooth character. It smelled like a smothered autumn candle: sweet cloves, vanilla bean, and cinnamon. The body was delicate but balanced. It enveloped the palate with welcoming flavors but didn’t overstay, melting away.
I was worried when I first opened the bottle that maybe I’d waited too long (or that in one of the moves, I wasn’t careful enough). I must admit, the bottle fluttered from my memory two moves ago, settling into the cool nap in the bottom of my wine fridge.
But like that first taste, it didn’t disappoint on its last. My only regret is that it disappeared so fast.