2017 Skinner Vineyards Grenache, El Dorado Hills

2017 Skinner Vineyards Grenache, featured on the Pairs With Life Wine Blog

Skinner Vineyards Grenache is one sexy wine. And not just because it has sexy vowel sounds, like “ahh” and sexy consonant sounds, like “Shh.” Or even because if you leave the K out of Skinner it spells “Sinner.” It because of the grapes. And all that, you know, winemaking stuff.

The Featured Wine of Episode 85: Pairs With Skinner Vineyards Grenache and The Top 3 Wine And Sex Facts

92 Points, Wine Enthusiast

What Makes A Wine Sexy?

What exactly makes a wine sexy? Is it the shape of the bottle? The color of the label? The way the wine drifts into your nose and activates the sense? Could it be the feel of the wine in your mouth or the way it brings your taste buds alive? Or is it simply our good old friend Alcohol, that has been spinning its particular sex magic for a good 8,000 years now.

The answer is E, all of the above.

And E for El Dorado, where this Skinner Vineyards Grenache hails from. El Dorado is a sexy appellation. Just ask anyone from El Dorado. Some of you may think that El Dorado couldn’t be nearly as sexy as the Rhone Valley, where Grenache is part of a Holy Varietal Trifecta. (And you’d be right, but just work with me for a moment here). What the warm, rocky climate of El Dorado does to this Grenache is downright sexy.

That’s why the Skinner Grenache the featured wine for my podcast on wine & sex. That, and the fact that it got 92 points and an Editors’ Choice award from Wine Enthusiast, as well as a Wine & Spirits Top 100 winner. And that it only costs $17.00 from the Wine Spies, or as low as $7 when you use my link. Cheap is sexy. Sorry, that’s just how I roll.

Skinner Vineyards in El Dorado is featured on Episode 85 of The Pairs With Life Wine Podcast

Skinner Vineyards: A True Family Legacy

The story of Skinner Vineyards is one of a true family legacy coming to fruition. Kevin Skinner and his wife randomly stumbled upon an epic piece of family history on their way to Lake Tahoe. After a little research, Kevin’s father Mike traced Skinner Winery to his great, great, great-grandpa. Kevin decided to go all-in and purchased Skinner Vineyards with one purpose in mind: revive the legacy.

Grenache is one of the five varietals planted at the original J. Skinner Winery in the 1860s, and it’s the focal point of Skinner’s wine program today. Grenache is the most widely planted wine grape in the world, but only 8,500 acres exist in California. Recently, Grenache has seen a renaissance in quality and plantings in California. Skinner Vineyards has five clones of Grenache planted in poor shallow soils onto low vigor rootstocks that limit yields and concentrate flavor. The warm, dry Mediterranean climate of El Dorado, coupled with volcanic and granitic soils, makes the region ideally suited for this grape varietal.

Skinner Vineyards sources grapes from 7 vineyards of various aspects, soils, and elevations, ranging from 1,300’ to 2,800’ to make a wine representative of El Dorado. The 2017 growing season provided just the right amount of hangtime, sunshine, and heat in the vineyards. This 100% Grenache was produced with native yeast, minimal sulfur, and aged on its gross lees for 11 months in barrel before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

A map of where Skinner Vineyards in El Dorado wine country featured on the Pairs With Life wine Blog

2017 Skinner Vineyards Grenache Tasting Notes: 

Winemaker Chris Pittenger, who created the 2017 Skinner Vineyards Grenache, cut his teeth at Turley, Marcassin, Robert Biale, and Williams-Selyem. So I guess you could say he’s got some cred.

The Skinner Vineyards Grenache all the imprints of fine winemaking – beautiful aromatics, plush deep fruit, and style for days. Yet somehow, it remains shockingly affordable. It’s light to medium-bodied but still utterly jam-packed with lovely red fruit. Strawberry whips, juicy red cherries, and crushed raspberries dominate the palate. It’s like they figured out how to liquefy strawberry Pop Tarts, but not in a gross way.

WINEMAKERChris Pittenger
VARIETAL100% Grenache
APPELLATIONEl Dorado County, Sierra Foothills
AGING11 months
BARRELS6% new French oak

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