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- 97p by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
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The 2018 Grenache Profuga is composed of 77.5% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 8.3% Syrah, 3.3% Petite Sirah and 0.9% Viognier. The vineyard sources are 38% Cumulus Estate, 35% The Third Twin Estate, 23% Eleven Confessions Estate and 4% Bien Nacido Vineyard. Forty-one percent whole cluster was performed, predominately on the Grenache. The small proportion of Viognier was co-fermented with red grapes, but interestingly, because it ripens earlier than the reds, the white berries were frozen and added to the reds at the time of fermentation. As an added bonus, these frozen grapes help to cool and, therefore, slow the fermentation. The wine was aged for around 23 months in 37% new French oak, 57.8% used oak and 5.2% concrete.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the wine does bedazzling pirouettes out of the glass with the most gorgeous rose oil, kirsch, licorice and fragrant earth scents, leading into a powerful core of black raspberries, redcurrant jelly and powdered cinnamon plus a waft of underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is incredibly fresh, elegant and polished, yet make no mistake—there is a lot of power and energy on the mid-palate. This is all beautifully framed by tightly knit, very finely grained tannins, and the finish holds this provocative, lingering siren’s note, delivering exotic spices and rose-laced accents. Beguiling. 1,350 cases and 600 magnums were made. This wine was tasted as a tank sample to be bottled in two days, so this is pretty much “it.” With regard to name, according to Elaine and Manfred Krankl, Profuga is "the Latin female version of refugee, fugitive, deserter, exiled, eluding one's grasp."