28 Nov 2011
God only knows I’ve wanted to. God only knows I’ve tried. Once given the opportunity all I can say is God Only Knows lives up to the hype. In short, the Cayuse Vineyards 2008 God Only Knows Grenache is possibly the best wine I’ve had in 2011.
Sitting on 55 acres of stony riverbed soil on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA is the legacy of French winemaker Christophe Baron. Planted in 1997, Cayuse Vineyards was Washington’s first biodynamic farmed vineyard and creator of some of the most sought after wines in the U.S. According to the story, Christophe Baron fell in love with the stony vineyard site at first glance. Wine grapes love to be stressed and the rocky soil creates some amazing wine.
The “God Only Knows” wine is 90% estate Grenache and 10% ‘god only knows’ according to the web site. The wine is available only to mailing list members. As luck would have it I have a friend who after four years finally made the allocation list. After paying for her three pack of wines 9 months ago, she finally received her first shipment. With a little coaxing I persuaded her to bring a bottle down to Nectar to share. According to web sites the wine is available for $170 on various auction sites. My friend paid about $60 per bottle.
With previous vintage scores settling in at 96 and 97 points from The Wine Advocate’s Jay Miller, the wine has some high expectations to live up to. The color is a light ruby rust color that is about 60% transparent. The sniff reveals aromas of violets and other floral fragrance. When the wine was first opened, there was a hotness to the nose along with an odd steely aroma. After about 30-40 minutes that fragrance was gone and additional aromas of cranberry and raspberry jumped out of the glass. Hints of clove were also present.
The first sip left me pretty disappointed. The flavor structure was disjointed and the finish left something to be desired. We poured the wine into a decanter and let it sit for about 30 minutes while we chatted about the upcoming holiday. A second effort started to reveal the true magic of this wine. An elegant layer of fruit lays across your tongue like a blanket of velvet that gives way to a rustic earthiness and lingering finish that includes raw meat (trust me it’s good), and silky cherries. About 1/2 way through the second glass I knew that I was fortunate to have a friend on the allocation list and was contemplating putting my name on the list as well.
In short, God Only Knows is a phenomenal wine…now, I know. This wine is deserving of a very rare 5/5 score.
- CAYUSE WEB SITE http://www.cayusevineyards.com/static/index.html
- Sean Sullivan’s WA Wine Report New Release Review
- Cellar Tracker score 91pts (six reviews)
26 Mar 2010
Six wines, two drain dumpers, two meh, and two certified “deals.” This is the result of the Grocery Outlet Challenge. Yesterday, I received a comment on my blog that I MUST pass along. Kelly shares this in regards to wine deal hunting at Grocery Outlet, “You have to kiss a lot of wine-toads before you find your prince charming vin.”
The last two GO posts have generated some of the most intense response I’ve seen to a wine review (over 100 comments between my Facebook page and this blog). This tells me two things, 1) people are looking for bargain wine in a big way and 2) people like the chance to win $50! For me the exciting part has been seeing actual consumers comment on the blog (usually wine blogs generate a lot of industry insider comments). I want to thank the hundreds of new visitors that have stopped by and I want to encourage you to keep coming back and to check out the blog links I read on the right side of the page. There are so many great wine reviewers there that can help with your wine buying decisions.
Today’s review is two reds and two labels that I recognize. In reading through everyone’s comments, this seems to be one of the themes. If you see a label you recognize at a price below what you would find at a grocery store, pick up a few bottles. The other theme is, if you’re into experimenting, be sure to just pick up one test bottle before you commit to the whole lot.
Now, on with the review.
- The Stuff: Sourced from a top Petite Sirah producer in Lodi then re-introduced to oak barrels for 12 months; 6000 cases produces 13.5%abv
- The Swirl: Dark brooding wine with a rusty purple tinge.
- The Sniff: Subtle and subdued but gives off hints of dried cranberry, blueberry, violets and nutmeg (Thanksgiving in a bottle)
- The Sip: Slightly disappointed because the nose was so nice, the structure seems very thin. The hint of cranberry on the front loses itself pretty quickly. The seems to be average tannin on the back end, but not as bold as I would hope for a Petite Sirah. Could be a decent sipper for some folks.
- The Score: G.O. says the retail is $15, but Cameron Hughes website says $11. The price I paid was only $6. At $6 I can score this wine a 3 minus (out of 5). Some people may love it, I was on the fence.
Cellar Tracker scores average 85 (with 7 reviews)
- The Stuff: 100% Grenache from the McLaren Vale; Aged 10 months in used oak 14.5%abv
- The Swirl: Brighter plum with hints of ruby red jewel tones.
- The Sniff: BAM – I just hit in the nose with a raspberry / blackberry fruit. Soft tones of oaky smoke are there too.
- The Sip: My mouth eagerly welcomed this Spanish lover! The fruit was intense but not over the top. It smoothed out nicely and provided just enough spice, leather and smoke as the finish lingered.
- The Score: At $22.50 retail, this is a good wine – at $12, this is a great deal. I score this a 3+ (out of 5)
Definitely the best of the six wines that I purchased.
Cellar Tracker score of 87 (1 review)
There you have it! Six wines down the hatch (or down the drain). Thank you for all your comments, encouraging words and suggestions. I love hearing about the DEALS you found. Please leave a comment for your chance to win a $50 Grocery Outlet gift card. You won’t be added to a mailing list and you won’t get spammed.
GROCERY OUTLET BI-ANNUAL WINE SALE IS MARCH 30-APRIL 3 20% OFF ALL STOCK
*All wine reviewed was purchased using a gift card provided by Grocery Outlet