I do not know Angela Osborne personally but we have had a few email exchanges and I have tried her A Tribute to Grace Grenache from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard. The wine literally shook my senses and turns out to be unlike any other US made Grenache I have ever tasted. The 2008 vintage example is an ethereal other-worldly wine rife with luxurious velvet and grace, presented in a head turning silky and delicately textured mouthful of wine….really.
I always think about the way dog owners can look and behave like their dogs each time I receive a message from Ms. Osborne. Look at what I mean in this excerpt from her most recent email:
“With great excitement, I am officially releasing my wines from the 2009 vintage. And the first offerings are coming to you, my mailing list members. Although the word ‘mailing list’ seems a little ill-fitting to my nature.. And leads me to ponder the true nature of this concept – a winemaker’s mailing list…Luckily for me, a dear friend once lent me his copy of Seth Godin’s Tribes. Which espouses the infinite possibilities of like-minded souls coming together, under one common belief system. As conscious wine is indeed a belief system, I thought it only fitting to create a Tribe around grace. And to my benefit, the vernacular possibilities surrounding the word itself are endless.So…. I have opted to call you my Gracelands members. One day I too hope to have a place for us all to come together (in New Zealand if the stars align). For now though, we shall start with the uniting nature of wine. And the 2009 incarnations of A Tribute to grace Grenache”
“For those of you unfamiliar with my writing ways I will share that for me, wines-with-heart have always presented themselves visually. Anthropomorphising is I believe the correct term… And I am honoured that my own wines paint themselves in just this way. I should think we have all tasted strawberries, and some of us may love Negronis as much as I. If anything remains a mystery however, please don’t hesitate to enquire as to the meanings behind the attributes which I assign.
A Tribute to Grace Grenache 2009,Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard
The first image that comes to mind with this – the third incarnation of my Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard Grenache – is black Velvet, a coat if you will, covering (though not fully) a red silk dress. And this I am delighted with. The 2007 SBHV had more than a dose of velvet, and the 2008 was described by my then 20-year-old sister Alex as embodying the taste of silk. So it would seem the two predecessors have melded in the 2009, and their colours have too begun to shine through. The fruit component here is fig, which is also a wonderful surprise, as figs are my second most-favoured fruit. (Number one goes to Mangoes, which will hopefully one day appear in a grace Grenache Blanc…)… And the figs are dancing with violets. As the wine opens (I decanted both graceful ladies in my Chemex, not having a ‘proper’ decanter in my current Sierra Foothills setting it worked just fine), the wine turns to a musical note. And one of Nina Simone. As I pondered this image, the wine evolved further to be Nina Simone herself – having a Negroni with Tom Waits…. Again, I am delighted that grace reminds me of things I so love.. Or, in more direct terms: Feminine, sultry, with a nod to the masculine.Visual prompts are sun-dosed strawberries, a marine-blue lagoon, and a Seahorse wearing a ruby Tiara….”
If the tasting note and orientation stirs your interest, you should attempt to add yourself to the mailing list by contacting Ms. Osborne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wink-Wink….you don’t want to miss out on this and I don’t imagine the list for these limited production wines can remain open very much longer.