Flavors of rich plum, juicy blackberry, and cassis. With secondary notes of spice and red meat.
Big Break Vineyard is named after a levee that collapsed over 80 years ago, flooding the surrounding local farmland near our vineyard in Oakley. The vineyard site benefits from a combination of extremely sandy and well-drained soils and unique cooling breezes from the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. We dry-farm our head pruned, century old vines preferring rich flavor and character over large yields. Big Break also features a beautiful Eucalyptus grove which provides the wine with a distinctive minty characteristic. We allow our Grenache grapes to reach full ripening, with Brix at 25.8 degrees at harvest. The results are expressive and complex grapes that make a delicious wine.
Grapes from the Big Break Vineyard were harvested at high natural sugar levels and treated gently in the cellar to emphasize the explosive fruit characteristic of the block. The fruit was almost entirely de-stemmed and lightly crushed, with a large proportion of whole berries remaining in the must. Fermentation occurred at moderate temperatures in stainless steel tanks, using a selection of cultured yeasts. After 10 days of gentle "pump-overs" and near dryness, we drained and pressed the wine from its skins. Big Break Grenache was minimally handled and aged for 12 months in new, medium-dark toasted French oak before bottling — approximately 38% new.