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90+ point rated wines under $20

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2004 Cass Winery Grenache**
cass05Grenache.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $28 @ the Winery 8/23/08
A bright ruby wine with aromas of ripe berries and earthy spices with a hint of maple syrup. The palate is well-balanced with good acidity with flavors of cherry, strawberry, earth and notes of vanilla and herbs. Soft tannins make this medium-bodied wine easy to drink right out of the bottle. Not as vibrant or complex as the 2005 version, which is no surprise since the vines are a year younger. Still an enjoyable first pass. Looking forward to seeing if their 2006 is progressively better.

2004 Edward Sellers Grenache***
edwardgrenache.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $25 @ the Winery 9/12/08
A deep, ruby-colored wine with bright berry, earth and spice aromas and flavors. It is medium-bodied with plenty of volume, texture, and length with just the right amount of acidity to keep the ripeness in check. The palate is full of ripe red cherries and berries mixed with layers of crushed herb, tea rose and dusty tannins on the long finish. Complex and elegant, this is a wine that keeps you coming back for more.

2003 Pirramimma Old Bush Vine Grenache**
bushgren.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
McLaren Vale, Australia $22 Vendome 3/14/08
The wine has an elegantly perfumed nose showing aromas of plums, cherries and violets. These characters follow through on the medium-bodied palate along with notes of sweet oak and subtle spice on a good and round finish. Full of flavor with the alcohol poking out a bit due to the lack of tannin and low acidity. Ripe with enough complexity to make each mouthful interesting, but not as smooth as expected. At a 100% Grenache this wine is ready to drink and won't be getting any better.

2002 Ridge Lytton Estate Grenache***
Ridge02Grenache.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Sonoma, CA $25 Gift 8/30/10
A medium, ruby-colored wine that's showing some signs of age along the rim. Not your typical Grenache this one is blended with 13% Petite Sirah and 9% Zinfandel, which makes its presence known on the nose which is filled with ripe (almost cooked) red fruit, earth, garrigue and minerals. The palate is medium-bodied with low acidity and fine tannins with flavors that reflect the nose along with some sweet spice and tobacco on the lingering finish. Popped and poured, we initially thought that this wine was past its prime, but it really came together as it opened up with the Zin poking its head out a bit as it warmed. I was wary of an 8-year-old grenache, but the PS gave it structure and weight for the long haul. Wouldn't wait much longer as the fruit is on its way out, but a well-crafted wine that gave us something to think about. Had no idea Ridge made a Grenache until I received this bottle. Not a wine they make every year and one that goes out exclusively to club members. (39 barrels produced/14.7 abv)

2001 Bedford Thompson Grenache**
grenache_00.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Santa Barbara, CA $20 @ the Winery 11/17/07
The nose is aromatic with spicy notes of ripe raspberries, plums, dark cherries, clove and earth that carries through to the palate. The tannins support the lively fruit and create a supple, full body and lingering finish. The longer the wine was open the more the ripeness died. Passing it's peak, though still drinkable.

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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