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Sheldon 2008 Grenache, Vinolocity, Vogelzang Vyd., Santa Ynez Valley
Sheldon is a "Micro-Winery" crafting only single vineyard designate wines. Grapes are all sustainably farmed, hand harvested and basket pressed. Many small lots are hand bottled and hand labeled. A few special vineyards only yield enough for a single barrel (just 25 cases). The Sheldon's have worked hard to remain true to their dream. Their winery is a labor of love. They apply a minimalist approach to winemaking. After harvesting and sorting clusters by hand, fermentation goes along slowly and naturally in small open top fermenters. Punch downs, of the fermenting grapes, are done by hand many times a day. They gently press using the 3/4 ton basket press. The new wine is aged in primarily neutral French Oak, allowing the flavors of the vineyard and vines to take center stage. The wines are gravity racked according to lunar cycles, until being sent to bottle unfiltered and unfined. This is their fourth release of the 'Vinolocity' a designation only made in specific vintages where whole cluster fermentation can be employed. This Grenache is grown on the rock strewn rolling hillside of the Vogelzang Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. After 16 days of fermenting with 'four a day' punch downs it was basket pressed into one new Mercury 'SR' barrel and six 2 & 3 year old French oak barrels for a total of 175 cases. This wine displays classic Grenache aspects and a purity of the varietal. Raspberry, red Licorice and baking spices are followed by lifted floral notes supported by a fine band of tannin on the mid palate. Acidity is bright, refreshing and balanced. The texture is well integrated after the nearly four years of cellaring before release. Very Limited!