95 points Wine Enthusiast
"The winery’s study of this 110-year-old, dry-farmed vineyard keeps getting better each vintage. Aromas of fresh red currant and raspberry are lifted by chaparral, gravel and turned earth on the nose. There’s an herbal grip to the palate, as a rocky structure frames red-currant, crumpled carnation and rose-petal-tea flavors." *Editors’ Choice*
Vinous Reverie Notes
Winery: George and Martha Besson’s old Grenache vineyard near Gilroy is one of the best sites with which we work. It could be nothing but Grenache, yet tastes like no other Grenache. 2019 has turned out to be a very special vintage for Besson, likely the finest we have seen since working with and tasting this vineyard in the early 90s. Yields were half of the size of 2018 as a result of widespread shatter. In addition, berry size was quite small and thus the skin-to-juice ratio was quite high. Continuing our practice begun in 2012, a small percentage of the grapes are “rested” post-harvest in small picking boxes for roughly 10 days prior to destemming and recombination with 100% of the rested stems. That fraction undergoes a 6-week fermentation/maceration on its skins, becoming significantly more tannic and botanical than the main lot, and is the source for the very small Hommage bottling one or two of you may have encountered. It is here the Ninja tannins are born, the alpine aromatized quality amplified, and the essential marker of the great Besson Vineyard crystalized. For the main lot, we included 30% stems, and punchdowns and pumpovers were kept to twice daily, The fermentation was native in stainless and elevage was in 225 & 500L neutral oak barriques and demi-muids, and bottled comme d’habitude without filtation/fining.