"Reminding me of a top vintage of Chateauneuf du Pape Domaine de la Janasse's Vieilles Vignes, the 2013 Grenache from Alban sports a deep ruby/purple color to go with blockbuster notes of smoked meats, black raspberries, chocolate and licorice. Big, full-bodied, backwards, primary and unevolved, this seriously good Grenache will need short term cellaring and will have 15-20 years of overall longevity.
After the cool, and then cold, 2010 and 2011 vintages, 2012 through 2014 is a return to the more generous, layered and voluptuous style of wine that this estate is known for. Looking at the 2013s, this was a more elegant and firm vintage for most of the State, yet these wines from John are loaded with fruit and texture, with incredible polish, ripeness and sweetness to their tannin. While they were mostly tasted from barrel, they're already hard to resist and should drink nicely in their youth. The 2012s are classic, rich, concentrated and structured wines that also show incredible elegance and purity. John is a big fan of this vintage, and as I think the scores and reviews here so, I agree with him. In addition, while the greatness of the Syrahs is well known, don't miss the Grenache and Mourvedre releases from this estate. They're just about as good as it gets and John is able to get more concentration, depth and layers in his Grenache than just about every other winemaker in the United States." (WA)
"Saturated ruby. Intensely perfumed aromas of black raspberry and boysenberry are lifted and complicated by notes of white pepper, star anise and pungent flowers. Broad and fleshy on the palate, offering sappy red and dark fruit flavors and suggestions of licorice, floral pastilles and cola. A smoky mineral nuance adds cut and focus to the impressively long finish, which features well-integrated tannins and a repeating floral quality." (VM)