Sometimes things come along that are new and exciting. And sometimes, they also happen to be decidedly, and unapologetically, delicious. Like our newly released, 2012 vintage GSM blend called “Entanglement.” (A new release, by the way, is a wine we have NEVER made before. A new vintage is the newly released year [a.k.a. vintage] of a wine we have previously made.)
GSM stands for Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. No, it has nothing to do with MSG. And no, it is not a GMS, though you may hear the letters SGM when someone refers to a blend from Down Under, as they like Syrah-heavy blends (or “Shiraz,” as they say – same grape, different name). A GSM blend is nothing new. It has been the happening blend in the Rhône region for years (read: over a century). You may have heard the name of one of the most famous examples: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the AOCs in the Rhône well-known for its beautiful examples of GSM blends. The great thing about blends is that each grape brings its own special something to the party – and when they get down – we all win.
Party down, people, party down
What are you bringing to the party?
Grenache. In Spanish, this grape is known as "Garnacha". When I was pouring wine in the Tasting Room, a customer once told me that the phrase “a la garnacha” in Central America means “to beat” or “violently.” He said it refers to the way the sun beats down on the grapes there, slapping the back of one hand against the palm of the other for emphasis. Grenache does love hot, dry-climate areas.
Grenache is bringing… fruit, alcohol and a hint of spice.
Syrah. Probably the most well-known of the three grapes to the average American consumer, Syrahs are some of the darkest, fullest-bodied wines out there. I’m talking fuller than a Cab. Oh yeah, baby, pour me a Syrah any day. This big, bad grape loves a long, cold soak after being picked; this soak helps to reduce some of the harsh tannin found in the grape.
Syrah is bringing… structure and boldness with dark fruit and earth.
Mourvèdre. It is quite possible you may not have heard of this one. It is actually referred as “estrangle-chien” in French, which translates to "dog strangler" – lovely, right? It earns this name due to its extremely high tannin content. Because of this (and its rich color) it is often used as a blending grape. If you want to try it as a single-varietal wine, look for a Monastrell from Spain (Mourvèdre & Monastrell – another case of same grape, different name).
Mourvèdre is bringing… tannins and finish.
Right away, this bottle captured my attention. I’m always partial to the soft, sloping shoulder of the Rhône bottle shape. Plus the cartouche (pronounced car-TOOSH) of the raised logo is really – dare I say it?- snazzy. Yes, snazzy. And the name – Entanglement – is just so enticing. I can't wait to get entangled in the wine.
The cartouche on our 2012 Entanglement
And then there’s the wine in the bottle. The first sniff transports you to a briar patch in the redwoods, and the first sip will make you fall in love. Black plum, black cherry and warm rhubarb pie, topped with just the perfect touch of fresh strawberries.
Pairing suggestion: Of course, this is a great wine for a rich meal – think pepper steak, lamb, or bison. Keep it simple and pan sear them before finishing in the oven. The spice in the wine will echo the pepper on the steak and make for a great pairing.
Dark chocolate is another friend to this wine, just stay away from fruit or highly acidic foods.
Questions or comments? Leave 'em below and I'll shoot you an email back!
And always – ENJOY!