Herman Story 2005 Grenache, Larner Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley

Posted by Keith Wallace

I love this wine–let’s just put it out there and avoid all that wine-writing propriety and distance. And the funny thing is that it’s not in the style I typically gravitate towards, Old World guy I am. But this inky, big-boned monster is so well constructed (and make no mistake about it: it’s an edifice of wine) that I couldn’t resist it.

At this point in its evolution, it’s still tight and not giving much on the nose beyond its tea-like tannins and rich raspberry aromas. It starts as one of those German kirsch-filled chocolates on the palate, but once it breathes a bit, it gains complex notes of super-ripe dark berries and rich plums.

At 15.9% alcohol, it feels a bit heavy in the mouth. The sweetness from all that alcohol is unavoidable, but this is no over-the-top fruit bomb: The tannins are still young and have some serious grip.

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