Shatter Grenache Provides the Power
It is a joy to judge wine entries every year for the Iowa State Fair Amateur Oenology Competition. Amateur winemakers from the midwest enter their wines to be judged and hopefully awarded a ribbon.
Nearly 120 wines were judged this year with fruit wines–peach, cherry, apple, raspberry; grape wines–Frontenac, Seyval Blanc, Touriga Nacional; and yes, rhubarb wine, lilac wine, even onion wine.
Intrepid judges rolled up our sleeves, prepared our palates, and sipped our way through the entries.
Best-of-show was declared at the end of our long day.
All ribboned wines will be displayed for proud winemakers to see, at the Iowa State Fair next month.
After a full day of tasting locally-made wines poured into plastic cups, I craved a solid wine with a serious pedigree. Shatter Grenache, in my fine Riedel glass, fulfilled my craving!
Shatter is made by winemakers Dave Phinney off Orin Swift Cellars (The Prisoner) and Joel Gott (Joel Gott Wines).
The 100% Grenache juice for Shatter is sourced from ancient vines that struggle on rocky hillsides in the Roussillon region in southern France.
The harsh conditions here cause the vines to drop leaves and fruit, an event known as shatter. The remaining fruit becomes highly concentrated and the resulting wine is pure power! Dave and Joel cold soak the fruit 30 days to further concentrate the wine. The wine is then aged 12 months in French oak, 75% new, to deepen complexity.
Aromas of black cherry, dried fruits, spice and oak are massive. On the palate, black cherry and blackberry are dominant; the mid-palate becomes soft and lush. Flavors of dark berry, dried plum and spice continue on to the long finish, showing solid tannins, cranberry, and more spice.
I served Shatter alongside a grilled Portobello mushroom and peach burger marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, lots of fresh rosemary and garlic.
This burger, big-on-flavor and texture, stood shoulder to shoulder with the massive Shatter. Find the recipe in Vegetarian Everyday, a beautiful new cookbook by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.
Shatter was a powerfully pleasing follow-up to all the delightful wines from the Iowa State Fair competition.