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GSM blends of course originate in Chateauneuf du Pape. Australian winemakers coined the phrase with much success but here's one from a super Central Coast Rhone Ranger that is an absolutely stunning example. Esperance, which means Hope, is 60% Grenache from the Terra Bella Vineyard in Paso Robles, 25% Syrah from the Watch Hill Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley and 15% Mourvedre from the Brave Oak Vineyard, also in Paso Robles. It's clear that these warm California Central Coast microclimates are ideal for these grape varieties, and Andrew Murray has been proving it for many years. Robert Parker called him "one of the shining stars" and said "Andrew Murray's offerings are a breath of fresh air". Only 600 cases of this 2011 were produced and it shows bold, ripe flavors of black plums, blackberries, cherries, licorice and spices. There's a chewy mouthfeel, supple tannins and a long finish. Murray's hope is to inspire us with Esperance and I think he's done it!
Have been following the fantastic wines produced by Andrew Murray since he began turning out Rhone Varietals in the 90's... this is yet another example of a value priced wine that more than holds its own against much higher priced offerings.