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2021 Gondak Cellars Grenache, Campbell McKinney Vineyard, Russian River Valley, California (750ml)

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A full-time side hustle, Gondak Cellars was established by Will Gondak in 2015 to focus on producing elegant, small lot wines that highlight the unique features of each vineyard involved. According to Will, it is all about the vineyard. "The potential quality of a wine is created in the vineyard. It is the winemaker's task to guide the expression of that quality and to shape the style of wine. This might technically be a one-person show but there are too many influences, teachers, and experiences to list that all come into play. It's a collective effort."

Will Gondak has been living the dream, making wine in Napa, Sonoma, Australia, New Zealand, France, Santa Cruz, and South Africa. That, plus studying winemaking and viticulture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Napa Valley College has yielded one curious wine geek! He has been calling Sonoma County home since 2015, and is looking forward to his 15th harvest in 2022. It promises to be a busy one, since Will still spends most of his time helping make wines for several other producers.

 Grenache can vary greatly in style, depending on where it is grown. This mystery clone, from the Campbell McKinney Vineyard, was planted in 1993. The combined cool climate, eastern exposure, and well drained soils of the site contribute to the elegance of this beautiful wine. Each step of the winemaking process was taken to display the youthful, bright, light, and refreshing personality of Russian River Valley Grenache. The grapes were carefully harvested and sorted, then fermented with native yeast and a small portion of whole clusters at cool temperatures to preserve the delicate aromatics. It was then very lightly pressed to avoid the over-extraction of tannins, and aged for 7 months in neutral French oak barrels before being bottled unfiltered. 125 cases produced.

 Bright ruby red. Aromas of red fruit. The delicate palate shows red cherry, raspberry and strawberry with a hint of green herbs and chalky tannins. The finish is long and graceful with a mouth-pleasing acidity.

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