Long-time WineCollective members will surely recognize the playful label of Domaine of the Bee's "The Bee-Side" Grenache: we first featured this "second label" wine from Justin Howard-Sneyd's acclaimed winery way back in 2018. For newer members, this is a fantastic introduction to the style of wines coming from this small, dynamic producer. It's made entirely from Grenache sourced from three vineyards: Bac de Genievres, Coume de Roy, and a small amount from friend Jean-Marc Lafage’s vines. Here, in the hot and dry region of Roussillon, Grenache performs spectacularly well, and creates fragrant, aromatic wines full of bright red fruit aromas. Deft winemaking choices like partial whole-bunch fermentation, cool pre-fermentation maceration, and aging in 2-4 year-old oak barrels results in a complex, nuanced wine that's juicy and approachable. Drink now or over the next five years at about 18 C.
Bright red-fruit aromas burst from the glass, with bing cherry, tart red raspberry, and cranberry leading the charge. There's a mineral hint of wet stone, along with a waft of sweet campfire smoke and fresh-ground white pepper.
Lively and energetic on the palate, with tons more of the red fruit we found on the nose: cherry, raspberry, and strawberry, all carried along by a vibrant acidity. The finish is dry and firm, and the dusty tannins are very well integrated. Complex enough for some seriously contemplative drinking, but juicy and quaffable enough for easy enjoyment, this wine is a hit!
The tart acidity of Grenache lends itself well to pasta in hearty tomato-based sauces, but this would also be great paired with grilled lamb seasoned with rosemary and garlic.