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Simple Machine

Simple Machine 2012 Grenache

Just let the grapes do their thing

For winemaker Brian Denner – and his partner Clea Arthur – simplicity is a lifestyle and a winemaking technique. Since she sold her restaurant and he quit working as a winemaker-for-hire, they’ve focused all their energy on growing Simple Machine into a thriving brand and opening a tasting room in Talent, Oregon.

Brian’s winemaking is all about simplicity; letting the grapes do their thing. What’s that look like? After harvest, just put all the grapes into a fermenter – stems and all. 100% whole-cluster fermentation “gives the wines a lot more spice, more tannins, more structure and depth,” he says.

And then, they let the native yeast work its magic. They foot stomp every bin to get the juices flowing and they don’t filter or fine their wines. “It’s low technology, all hands-on, old-fashioned wine-making the way it’s been done for thousands of years.”

In this case simple is best – it lets the unique qualities of Southern Oregon fruit shine through. And because of Brian’s long experience in the valley he gets his grapes from the same few rows in the same high-quality vineyard year after year. Simplicity at its finest.

Simple Machine

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Simple Machine, Talent, Oregon
2012 Grenache

This is only our third wine selection featuring a single varietal Grenache. Highly unusual to find on its own, Grenache is usually blended with Syrah and Mourvedre (to make the fabulous GSM blend.)

“Simple Machine reflects the idea of taking really high-quality grapes from great vineyards and just trying to shepherd that fruit into great wine,” says Denner.

The whole-cluster fermentation, native yeast, foot-stomping, low-technology approach makes this Grenache a real stand-out. With a nose of pomegranate and rhubarb, it is rich and wild with flavors of dark berries, leather, and spice. It was aged for 18 months in oak barrels and then bottle-aged before being released in 2017. With only 125 cases made, this is a real treat!

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2017, Focus on Winemaking Techniques Rogue Valley | Grenache