Tim Elliot of Winecast is the host of this months Wine Blogging Wednesday.  Task – Choose a wine made from a variety best known in Rhone but not made in the famous French region. Thank you Tim for the challenge.

Lately I’ve been drinking quite a bit of Viognier from California.  It would be real easy for me to choose this varietal but I am not going to.  I will stay in the same state, but instead I am going to introduce you to  Mayo Family Winery 2008 Sonoma Valley, Judge Family Vineyard, Jeffrey’s Cuvee Grenache  We visited this winery in October when we were in Sonoma and had the wine shipped home.

When we stopped at the winery, it was late in the day and we had just come from Bennett Valley which is where this Grenache was grown.  In a conversation with the Max who was pouring for us, it turns out he went to the CIA in Hyde Park, NY and worked for a bit at Millbrook Winery.  What a small world.

The wine…We did decant the bottle and it had a beautiful color.  On the nose there was cranberry, and a bit of pepper.  The initial taste was blackberry and a little oak.   As the wine opened up, fresh blackberry, raspberry with cranberry a hint of mushroom and vanilla on the finish. The wine had a nice soft mouth feel and was nicely balanced.

This Grenache was harvested in late October so the grapes could reach their full maturity.  There was 216 cases made.