“It is super-expressive and mouth-filling with a very long finish.”
—Jay Miller,
The Wine Advocate

God Only Knows Grenache

Produced: 2005 - present

Professional reviews and tasting notes from prior vintages added as published (scores within parentheses indicate barrel samples):

2011

The 2011 God Only Knows...Offering up loads of pepper, underbrush, raspberry and spice, it flows onto the palate with a medium to full-bodied, ripe and textured mouthfeel. Firm and structured, especially for the vintage, it will need a handful of years in the cellar once released and have over a decade of longevity. Drink 2016-2023. (93-95+) Points. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2010

The almost all Grenache 2010 God Only Knows (named as such because the full blend is unknown, or so we’re told) is a complex, elegant version of this wine, with a Rayas-like perfume of kirsch, white pepper, stem, herbes de Provence and a gamey meatiness that comes out with air. Medium to full-bodied, silky and seamless on the palate, with juicy acidity, polished tannin and a light, clean texture, it lacks the back-end concentration of a top vintage, yet possesses brilliant purity and balance. It will benefit from short-term cellaring and impress for upwards of a decade. Drink 2015-2020. 93 Points. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2009

The Cayuse 2009 Grenache Armada Vineyard God Only Knows (named for the otherwise unspecified roughly 10% share of this that he claims isn’t Grenache) was cropped at only a ton and a half per acre (ca. 20 hectoliters per hectare) because, as Baron puts it, “we are struggling every year just to get Grenache ripe. But we love it for the challenge,” he hastens to add. “Even a monkey can make a great Syrah, but Grenache , We’ve got 7 acres of this grape now,” compared with more or less 25 of Syrah, he reports, commenting: “You’ve got to be crazy!” Fresh strawberry and elderberry are tinged with birch bark extract, black tea, and basil, making for an aromatically intriguing and lip-smacking palate presence. An upwelling of beef marrow and a Syrah- (or Gewurztraminer-) like hint of smoked meat add to the wine’s saliva-inducing savor. Here is a really vivid illustration of how the best Washington wines offer nearly luxuriant richness and sweet berry intensity but at the same time exhilarating vibrancy and lift. And, true to Baron’s repeatedly stated intentions, there are – beyond salt, stone, and smoky aura of black tea – elements impinging on this wine’s superbly sustained finish that can only be called “mineral,” even if one can’t find further words for them. I suspect this will be worth following for at least a decade. 95 Points. –David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate

This Grenache leaps into another dimension, with more concentration, earth, umami and salinity than ever before, yet it retains its elegance thanks to a crisp finish of raspberry and rock flavors. Reminiscent in a way to high-altitude Argentine Malbec, this will cellar well for a decade or more. 95 Points. –Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

Good medium-dark red. Very ripe aroma of strawberry liqueur. Intensely flavored and gripping; broad without coming across as heavy. Wild berry and smoke flavors are accented by a peppery element. Finishes subtle and long, with substantial fine, dusty tannins. 93 Points. –Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

2008

The Rhone-style wines begin with the 2008 God Only Knows Grenache, a wine raised in neutral oak puncheons. Fragrant cherries, garrigue, lavender, and exotic spices inform the nose of a silky, complex, beautifully proportioned wine that will deliver pleasure for a least a decade. 97 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

2007

...According to Baron, it is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% “God only knows”, hence the name. It was aged in puncheons (500-liter barrels) from Cote-Rotie producer Rene Rostaing. Dark ruby-colored, it sends up a sensational aromatic array of mineral, underbrush, truffle, bright cherry and raspberry aromas. Incredibly intense, vibrant, and lingering on the palate, this superb effort will surely evolve as well as any great Chateauneuf-du-Pape. 96 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

2006

...Dark ruby-colored, it exhibits a sensational bouquet of mineral, underbrush, mushroom, bright cherry and raspberry aromatics. Incredibly intense, vibrant, and lingering on the palate, this superb effort will surely evolve as well as any great Chateauneuf-du-Pape but with no track record, there is only one sure way to find out. 97 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

2005

The red wines start with the 2005 Grenache God Only Knows – Armada Vineyard, the first release of this wine. It was produced from yields of 1 ton per acre with 75% of the crop dropped on the ground. Cherry preserves, kirsch, and raspberry are the primary notes both aromatically and on the palate. It is super-expressive and mouth-filling with a very long finish. “High density vineyards and low yields are the secret to Grenache,” says Baron. 96 Points. –Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate

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