Norman Joseph McLeod was a founder of the Hub Saloon—the site where caricature artist and roamer, Vasco Urbano Lorriero set up shop during his stay in the Livermore Valley. Norm’s goal was to offer his guests only the finest cigars, liquor and wine. The Marina Ranch produces Grenache with depth and structure—wines that would find their place on Norm’s top shelf.
In line with the previous vintages of Marina Ranch Grenache, the 2015 Norm is highlighted by its red and blue fruit driven aromatics and flavors as well as structural tannins and acid line. The wine invites you in with aromatics of farmstead wild berry preserves, Italian blood orange, cranberry, raspberry and subtle floral undertones. The palate follows with rich and dense fruit balanced by vibrant acidity and gripping tannins.
Deep in the heart of the Livermore Valley sits a northwest facing hillside just north east of Lake Del Valle. Dramatic slopes take the elevation at the bottom of the hill from 200 ft above sea level to nearly 1000 ft at the top. The rich gravelly loam and steep hillside make for the perfect place to grow Grenache with integrity. The Tablas Creek Clone Grenache was planted at this site to take advantage of these amazing growing conditions. The resulting fruit is rich, dense and full of flavor.
The Grenache was hand-picked in the early morning of October 15th and was delivered to the winery for processing. Cluster and berry sorting without crushing the fruit gave us only the finest berries destemmed into open top bins and tanks. The fruit in the bins started its ferment naturally and various yeasts were pitched into bins about 1/3 of the way through sugar depletion. The majority in tank was inoculated with ICV GRE and fermented at up to 85 degrees. The lots were pressed together and barreled down into roughly 40% neutral barriques, 40% neutral puncheons, and 20% new puncheons where the wine underwent malolactic conversion and was cellared for 15 months.